On Twitter, Sari Beth Rosenberg, a woman who believes standardized tests are by their nature racist, passes on a screenshot of a N.Y. Regents email saying New York State's standardized Regents Test (which is about graduating from high school) are cancelled because "in the wake of the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, there is triggering content on the test."
The NYS U.S. History Regents exam scheduled for June 1st has been cancelled! The reason: in the wake of the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, there is triggering content on the test…— Sari Beth Rosenberg (@saribethrose) May 24, 2022
From the State Education Department: pic.twitter.com/tSN13BBnSm
To translate that into text, emphases added:
In the wake of the heinous mass shooting in Buffalo, the Department is taking numerous steps to explore potential areas of support for students and schools across the state. Such actions include having content experts from the Department, in partnership with NYS educators, review all June 2022 Regents Exams, which have already been printed and packaged for shipment to schools. During that review, our experts determined that there is content on the new Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework) that has the potential to compound student trauma caused by the recent violence in Buffalo.
While developed by NYS-certified social studies teachers more than two years ago and field-tested to confirm that the exam's content is educationally sound, the tragedy in Buffalo has created an unexpected and unintended context for the planned assessment. The Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework) was scheduled to be held for the first time on June 1, 2022. The Department planned to administer this examination earlier than other Regents Exams to allow NYS educators to review the content of the exam and a representative sample of student results to make a recommendation for the performance standards (i.e., "cut scores") for this new assessment.
This not just her saying this: it's also in the regular news:
JUST IN: A new Regents exam scheduled for next week has been canceled because of potentially traumatizing content in the test in light of a mass shooting in Buffalo.https://t.co/25RBwRFGoG— CNY Central (@CNYCentral) May 24, 2022
“While developed by NYS-certified social studies teachers more than two years ago and field-tested to confirm that the exam's content is educationally sound, the tragedy in Buffalo has created an unexpected and unintended context for the planned assessment. In the wake of the Buffalo tragedy, it is not appropriate to administer the exam with a question that could compound the grief and hardship faced by our school communities.” Emily K. DeSantis, Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs
[New York U.S. History Regents canceled because of trauma potential after Buffalo shooting, CNY Central, May 24th 2022]
So what could this be? My theory, which I just made up, is that there's a unit on demographic displacement in American history, which is a pretty well-known historical fact, and they decided it sounded like "Great Replacement Theory," which it does.
And why am I allowed to just make up this theory? (We usually have higher standards than that!)
Because they won't say what the "triggering content" is, just like they never say what an alleged slur someone said is, or won't tell you what joke someone made that was allegedly transphobic.
We're now free to assume what we like. And the reality is likely to be even stupider.