THE RECANT- Banned Word list is now banned…

Very quietly yesterday the New York City department fo education, withdrew the official banned word list with much less fanfare than their announcement of it.

“After reconsidering our message to test publishers and the reaction from parents, we will revise our guidance and cut the list of words to avoid on tests. We will continue to recommend companies to be sensitive to student backgrounds and avoid unnecessary distractions that could invalidate test scores and give an inaccurate assessment of how students are doing. New York City schools teach the broadest, richest curriculum in the nation and we can’t let this distract from the important work going on our classrooms.”

Of course since the release of the banned word list there have been a host of comments from people who support the list to people who have managed to use all the words in one well written commentary.  SFNY whose post on so eloquently managed to point out his feelings on the list is with the following thoughts;

“It writes itself!!

A celebrity’s abuse of alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs at birthday celebrations (and birthdays) leads to impairment of bodily functions and cancer (and other diseases). 

Other catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes) afflict addicted celebrities who act like overgrown children when dealing with serious issues.  Coping mechanisms include smoking cigarettes and masturbating to computers in the home which is a crime that can lead to death and disease, divorce, and stunted evolution. 

Celebrity addicts are also addicted to expensive gifts, vacations, and
prizes, gambling and Halloween costumes.  Rarely victims of homelessness, the celebrity addicts indulge their habits in homes with swimming pools that often have ample grounds for hunting, whether it be hunting for junk food or in-depth discussions of sports that must prior knowledge gained from celebrity sportscasters. 

Extreme addiction can lead to loss of employment, and other disorders such as stockpiling nuclear weapons, obsession with Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling), parapsychology, politics, and pornography.  In extreme cases, the celebrity addict may plunge into psychosis and poverty, become enraptured with Rap Music, or preoccupied with religion, religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan) and Rock-and-Roll music. 

Occasionally the celebrity addict will run away to join the real-world Society for Sex Slavery And Terrorism that they’ve experienced in the past on sets for television shows and video games.  Such traumatic change of circumstance will cause hallucinations of vermin (rats and roaches), real and imagined outbreaks of violence, war and bloodshed (using weapons like guns, knives, etc.) and involvement in witchcraft, sorcery, etc., a tragic real-life end to what started out as mere psychological escape.” – Written by SNFY on

Of course, many have pointed out that this list is just about testing and should not be the curriculum itself, but the truth of the matter is that if the students are not ultimately going to be tested on it then a teacher’s time (or at least part of it) will be spent on teaching something that will and activating that of so very important prior knowledge.

It would like to believe that a state who contracts a vendor to develop standardized testing would have the foresight to option a company that would at least have an understanding for what is developmentally appropriate for students and use the time and resources to focus on much more pressing matters like curriculum development or data analysis rather than developing lengthy banned word lists.


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