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December 2017 Issue [Readings]

Chronicle of Dire Education


From news reports of homework given to students in US public schools since 2011.

first grade

Lisa was not happy. Her mother was (lack/buck/back) at work. Before Lisa was born, her mother worked in a big office. Yesterday, she told Lisa that she was going back to (school/cook/work). The morning was terrible. Lisa had to get to school on time. Her father had to get to work on time. And now her mother was in a (bush/rash/rush), too. Lisa’s father made breakfast. It was not too good. And he asked Lisa to wash the (dishes/wishes/ditches). That was not too good either. Lisa did not like her day at school.

second grade

The master needed 192 slaves to work in the cotton fields. Only 96 slaves were able to pick cotton for the day. The missus needed them in the big house to prepare for the annual picnic. How many more slaves are needed in the cotton fields?

third grade

(a) If Frederick got 2 beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week? In 2 weeks?

(b) Frederick had 6 baskets filled with cotton. If each basket held 5 pounds, how many pounds did he have all together?

fourth grade

Ruby sat on the bed she shared with her husband, holding a hair clip. She didn’t recognize the hair clip. It was too big to be their daughter’s, and Ruby was sure it wasn’t hers. She hadn’t had friends over in weeks, but there was this hair clip, little and green with a few long black hair strands. Ruby ran her fingers through her own blond hair.

Why is Ruby so affected by the hair clip?

fifth grade

You are a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Why do you think your treatment of African Americans is justified?

sixth grade

Please rate the following statements on a scale of 1?4, with 1 being not comfortable at all to 4 being completely comfortable:

A homeless man approaches you and asks for change.

A group of young black men are walking toward you on the street.

Your dentist is HIV positive.

The young man sitting next to you on the airplane is an Arab.

The woman sitting next to you on a plane weighs 250 pounds.

Your brother’s new girlfriend is a single mother on welfare.

You discover that the cute young man/woman that you are attracted to is actually a woman/man.

Your black roommate gets a full-tuition minority scholarship.

A Native American student invites you to attend a powwow with him.

eighth grade

Leroy has 2 ounces of cocaine. If he sells an eight ball to Antonio for $320 and 2 grams to Juan for $85 per gram, what is the street value of the rest of his hold?

Pedro got 6 years for murder. He also got $10,000 for the hit. If his common-law wife spends $100 of his hit money per month, how much money will be left when he gets out?

Tyrone knocked up 4 girls in the gang. There are 20 girls in his gang. What is the percentage of the girls that Tyrone knocked up?

Marvin steals Juan’s skateboard. As Marvin skates away at 15 mph, Juan loads his .357 Magnum. If it takes Juan 20 seconds to load his piece, how far away will Marvin be when he gets whacked?


Write a paper that gives a historical account of 9/11 from the perspective of the terrorist network. Use your imagination and make it as interesting as you like.

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December 2017

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