Skip to comments.Rancho Cotate students cry foul over unflattering final exam question
Posted on 05/30/2014 4:11:14 PM PDT by rey
An attempt at humor by a math teacher at Sonoma County's academically elite Technology High School backfired Friday when students at a nearby campus found they were the subject of an unflattering final exam question.
Teacher Ken Torres suggested in a hypothetical question to his Algebra I class that students at the larger Rancho Cotate High are involved in crime, sport tattoos, possess weapons and are slackers when it comes to homework.
Rancho Cotate students bristled at the negative characterization and said it is evidence of a superior attitude at Technology High. Some said the teacher should face discipline.
I'm quite offended by this, Rancho senior Nayeli Ruiz said after reading the multiple-choice question. It's ridiculous that a teacher who is supposed to be a role model would put other people down.
School board member Leff Brown agreed, calling it totally inappropriate. Brown said he would leave it to school administrators to decide what to do to Torres, a former Rancho teacher.
It's unacceptable, Brown said. I have three sons who graduated from The Ranch. They are all doing well.
Torres didn't return a phone call seeking comment Friday. In an email response, he said the question was an attempt to lighten the mood of the all-important final exam. He called it light-hearted humor.
But he conceded the question was a poor choice and promised to remove it from other tests.
Perhaps in retrospect, it wasn't the best decision, and I will refrain from any inappropriate questioning, particularly inter-school ribbing, in the future, Torres said. That question has been removed from the exam draft, so it won't inadvertently appear again in the future.
On the test, students were given the following question:
Suppose we collect data on 50 Rancho students. Which of the following variables is categorical?
a) years in Juvenile Hall
b) circumference of largest tattoo
c) hours of homework completed last week (really?)
d) weapon choice
e) number of stolen computers at home
Rancho junior Chaz Highfill said he felt slighted by the question.
It's driven by ignorance, Highfill said. My dad has a bunch of tattoos and he's the smartest person I know.
Another Rancho junior, Tamara Fahel, said Torres should get in trouble.
He's basically talking crap about our school and students, she said. He doesn't even know who we are.
But others said it didn't offend them at all. Sophomore Liam Reynolds said he appreciated the sense of humor.
I like that teacher, Reynolds said. That's funny.
Superintendent Robert Haley did not immediately return a call Friday.
The Church of the Perpetually Offended has some new members...
I think the teacher should be given an award.
Sounds like the teacher hit the nail on the head.
Awesome test question!
It was a friggin’ joke to break on a rival. Whatever.
Flak is thickest when you are over the target!
That actually sounds funny and besides, we made fun of other schools when I was growing up.
Time to sharpen the switchblades!
He threw one rock and a whole bunch of dogs yelped! lol
The new attitude: Being Offended
The mindset: Pessimism (drowning polar bears, boiling fish)
This is very new and weird and will sell Rush Limbaugh books and happy, uplifting religious movies.
I see huge, huge upsides to this —WE WILL WIN.
Sounds more like a statistics question than an Algebra I question. Anyone got the answer? I think it is D Weapon Choice but I could be wrong... it’s been a while.
This was an algebra test question? Algebra sure has changed.
I was wondering the same thing. Jeez - what a geek I am!
How many of those claims are true?
That is actually pretty funny
Methinks they doth protest too much.
Well, I think I see the problem.
If Jenny got knocked up by Ray in May and took 3 months off to give birth then got knocked up by Tommy in March taking another 3 months off, How many months of school did Jenny miss before getting knocked up by Randy?
Why do Rancho Cotate High School students hang their diplomas on their rear view mirrors?
To be able to used the disabled parking spaces.
Torres used to teach at "The Ranch," so he probably has a very good idea who you are.
I still believe that if statements are true, it is a legal, ethical and moral defense against any hissy fit by the shoes-that-fit... crowd.
The new normal : "doing well" = "never been caught, arrested and charged."
Are all liberals, gays, public employees and Union members lacking the humor gene?
I am mathematically... troubled.
LOL, you’re not alone. Too many people live too much for this world. Why be offended when you can be smart instead?
You set the bar low enough...
That’s what I was thinking.
That, and that these students have absolutely no sense of humor — poor things!
It’s driven by ignorance, Highfill said. My dad has a bunch of tattoos and he’s the smartest person I know.
I wonder if knows the definition of relative.
“Superior attitude” You bet. If you were to hire from either of these schools and based it solely on academic performance, there is no doubt whom you would hire.
Odd that no one may realilze that they are better than someone else. This equality thing is ridiculous. Rancho has a better football team, but that is because tech doesn’t have a team. A football team will get you nothing. A degree from a prep school like technical will take you far.
Imagine if the time and money spent on the numerous tattoos were spent on the child?
My girlfriend’s son in law says private school is too expensive his kid goes to a school where the literacy rate is 57% and the math competency is 45%). He has a custom high ride 4wd pick up, big screen tv, all the games, 2 custom harleys, diving gear, etc. None of that stuff is “too expensive.” I asked him how much ignorance costs.
Hector knocked up six girls in his gang. There are 27 girls in the gang. What percentage of the girls in the gang has Hector knocked up?
It was a question about details important in data analysis. Quantitative vs categorical... different methods required for analyses on each type of variable so kids have to know the difference. "Algebra" now includes some algebra, some data analysis, and some geometry. Go figure. But this is part of the data analysis piece.
Does this mean I can’t tell anymore jokes about the University of Iowa’s cheerleaders?
Enlarge your social circle, Chaz.
They have a Constitutional Right to possess weapons.
Now that’s funny!!.....if it wasn’t so close to the truth. lol