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From: "Douglas/Ungaro" <>
Subject: History Test, from Derrick Jackson, Boston Globe
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 07:56:38 +0200


"If You Think the MCAS History Test is Relevant, Try this Exam"


By Derrick Z. Jackson, Globe Columnist

"For my annual alternative to the "Fourth of July" [U.S. independence
day] column, get out your No. 2 pencils again.

Recently I published questions from the MCAS 10th-grade history
test, criticizing them as being grossly Eurocentric and of questionable
relevance for today's job seekers.

Of course, many readers saw nothing wrong with the questions.
One wrote that surgeons, construction workers, and software designers
may not need to know about the Edict of Nantes or the Treaty of
Tordesillas at work but that such events ''are not trivia - they are part
of the framework within which we try to evaluate our own nation's
attempts to shape the world.''

Let us be nice and assume the reader is correct. But if you are going
to be correct about how our own nation shaped itself, you have to have
other questions that are not on the MCAS tests:

1.
According to Goree Island's slave museum, the number
of stolen Africans is the equivalent of emptying out the
current metropolitan areas of:

(a) Milwaukee;
(b) Tokyo;
(c) Los Angeles;
(d) New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, San
Francisco, and Philadelphia combined.

2.
According to most histories, the number of stolen
Africans who actually made it alive to the Americas
is the equivalent of:

(a) New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, San
Francisco, and Philadelphia combined;
(b) New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined;
(c) Los Angeles and Chicago combined;
(d) just San Francisco and Philadelphia.

3.
The conservative value of slave labor to the American
economy, when it was analyzed in 1983, is nearly the
equivalent of the 1999 spending budget for:

(a) Wisconsin;
(b) The Rolling Stones Tour;
(c) The New York Yankees;
(d) The United States.

4.
The high estimate of the value of slave labor to the
American economy is 21/2 times that of the 1999 budget for:

(a) France;
(b) Japan;
(c) The New York Yankees;
(d) The United States.

5.
The World War II generation will bequeath $8 trillion
to its children. In the years 1929 to 1969, wages lost
by African-Americans to discrimination were:

(a) nothing, because we are now a color-blind society;
(b) $1.6 billion;
(c) irrelevant because Michael Jordan owns part of the
Washington Wizards and Magic Johnson owns part of the
Los Angeles Lakers;
(d) $1.6 trillion, nearly equal to 1999 federal budget of
$1.7 trillion.

6.
One result of postslavery discrimination is that the
average white baby boomer and the average black baby
boomer will respectively inherit:

(a) $50,000 and $42,000;
(b) $80,000 and $50,000;
(c) $20,000 and $15,000;
(d) $65,000 and $8,000.

7.
The term ''40 Acres and a Mule'' traces its roots to:

(a) Spike Lee movies;
(b) an overly optimistic Mississippi racetrack owner;
(c) Thomas Jefferson's heartfelt wish to free the slaves;
(d) General Sherman's Field Order 15.

8.
Under ''40 Acres and a Mule,'' about 40,000 newly
freed slaves were given Southern coastal land that had been
abandoned by unpardoned Confederate families. These black
people held the land for two years before angry white people
stole it through beatings, torture, and legal chicanery.
During those two years, the black occupants were known for:

(a) being lazy and shiftless;
(b) being top local athletes;
(c) wanting back the good old days, where you could depend
on a bowl of gruel and a watermelon from massa;
(d) fine crops and self-governance.

9.
New England is far from cotton fields and sugar
plantations. Thus it is interesting that Brown University:

(a) created a chair in honor of abolitionist John Brown;
(b) named its music department after James Brown;
(c) named its graduate school of business after Ron Brown;
(d) was founded by the Browns of Rhode Island, who profited
from the triangular slave trade.

10.
The largest taxpayer in the colony of Rhode Island in
1775 made his money through:

(a) whaling;
(b) online trading;
(c) cranberries;
(d) slave trading.

11.
New England's exports to the West Indies in 1772
amounted to:

(a) very little because New Englanders were appalled by
slave sugar plantations;
(b) very little because Federal Express did not exist yet;
(c) very little because of an explosion of free trade with
England;
(d) two-thirds of New England's exports.

12.
In Lowell, Mass., in 1835, politicians, law enforcement,
lawyers, doctors, and shopkeepers signed petitions to:

(a) call for the end of slavery;
(b) volunteer to go south for a Freedom Summer to understand
the plight of the slaves;
(c) build a new Fenway Park for the Red Sox;
(d) oppose abolition because the textile mills depended on
slave-picked cotton.

13.
African-Americans fought in every US war, hoping their
participation would result in equality. After the Civil War,
World War I, and World War II, black sacrifice for America
and the world was rewarded with:

(a) full voting rights;
(b) free tickets to Jack Johnson and Joe Louis fights;
(c) free coupons for watermelon;
(d) lynchings and white race riots.

By the way, the answer is (d) on all questions."
by Derrick Z. Jackson

Derrick Z. Jackson is a Globe columnist.
Copyright (c) 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.
___________________






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