A group of Miami-Dade Schools public teachers at a recent FCAT workshop were given a sample test that will not restore your faith that the finest minds are running our school district.
The teachers were asked to arrange synonyms for varying extremes of "fatness" from "most formal" to "most informal". This simulated a vocabulary question in the Language Arts/Reading component of the FCAT.
But hey, a picture is worth 28 words, all of them meaning "fat". See for yourself:
That photo comes from a teacher who was there, and who called the bizarre question "offensive". She does say that this sample test would have not been given to children, and was only for use by teachers to familiarize themselves with FCAT questions formats.
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Our problem with it is it's so damn hard. What is more formal-- tub-of-lard or elephantine? Rubenesque or whalelike?
I guess we'd start with corpulent as the most formal and put blimp as the least formal, since it's not even an adjective. Then again, we always sucked at standardized testing.
We're waiting for a response from Miami-Dade Public Schools-- although we couldn't really think of a question except: "Huh?"