Friday, June 27, 2014

AP World History graders fall into trap of making unfunny shirt.

Advanced Placement graders get a little weird.  They are often cliquish and cult-like in their devotion to the subject, sometimes to the point of…….DUN..DUN..DUN…..making a t-shirt.

While hanging around in Kansas City you will see ridiculous t-shirts representing Statistics, Calculus, and Biology.  They are attempts at bringing forth a sense of AP Reader unity while at the same time showing that the serious subject matter can be made into something light and humorous.  It’s creepy.  You never see AP Comparative Government t-shirts.  Ever.  In the last four years someone always brings it up and the vets give them a look and a nice “we aren’t one of THEM” with a nod towards the grading sections of other subject areas.  T-shirts are weird, expensive, and they end up gobbling up money that could otherwise go toward drinking in the evenings. 

“At the 2014 grading of AP World History exams in Salt Lake City, conducted by high school and college educators specializing in topics related to world history, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and College Board leadership engaged in culturally insensitive and racist behavior toward Asians, particularly Chinese people.”

This is immediately amusing because AP Readers are quite the progressive lot, a least in the realm of Comp Gov.  They are high school teachers and college professors that often rank somewhere quite to the left of standard American political philosophy.  But, racism is racism.  So what’s the deal.

“The images above are from the front and back of a t-shirt designed for readers by the leaders of the AP World History exam grading.”

And the images?

THAT’S SO…….already done.

I’m fairly sure plenty of teachers have this t-shirt.  I know I do.  You know, the COMMUNIST PARTY.  And the German caricature….*shakes head*  

Look, another t-shirt that lots of teachers already have.  With wicked caricatures too!  Remember when Risk was awesome?

It’s obvious that the AP Test Readers tried to get creative with unoriginal ideas and came up with an unfunny t-shirt.  I mean come on, that group is OBVIOUSLY the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, and the Readers left that whole part out.  And the Maoist propaganda attempt?  Look, I actually have an assignment where kids make Maoist style propaganda in order to recruit for AP Comparative Government for the next year.  “Culturally Insensitive” it is not, and just because someone doesn’t like it doesn’t automatically mean the Al Sharpton ambulance pulls up to take you away to therapy.

The racist image on the front of the shirt, combined with the “comical” and stereotypically “Asian” font on the back of the shirt, implies that the World History community believes it is acceptable to mock Asian people and cultures for laughs. Certainly the t-shirt and events at the reading are violations of ETS work policies regarding harassment. They created a hostile work environment by singling out and mocking a single racial group.”

Guess what; it is acceptable to mock every culture and every “people” for laughs.  And the Readers where hardly mocking Chinese culture (notice that the blog Hyphen lazily calls it “Asian”) and clearly trying to make a casual joke about a government that doesn’t allow its people to make t-shirts poking fun at the CCP.  Hyphen, in an attempt to get someone to notice their existence, went after hard working teachers and professors while trying to score website hits and garner advertising.  And I had to watch Trevor Packer (College Board Pres of AP) throw his AP Readers under the bus on Twitter by basically saying that the t-shirt was equal to workplace harassment.  

The t-shirt was stupid.  The ETS rep in Salt Lake City was correct in not diving into the hype.  Hyphon needs to stop attacking teachers and professors to try and raise their Klout scores, and Mr. Packer needed to support his Readers instead of diving head first into the morass of “cultural insensitivity”. 

Or just stop allowing t-shirts. 

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