A New York City math teacher is in hot water after attempting to incorporate slavery into math homework. Aziza Harding, a graduate student at NY’s PS 59 came across the inflammatory math questions after being asked to photocopy them by a fourth grade teacher.
"In a slave ship, there can be 3,799 slaves. One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?" The second question got even more graphic, asking, "One slave got whipped five times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month (31 days)? Another slave got whipped nine times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month? How many times did the two slaves get whipped together in one month?"
Apparently, students from another class developed the questions during a lesson on slavery. It’s inexplicable how anyone could imagine that would be appropriate for any classroom setting. She clearly also didn’t ask or didn’t care how uncomfortable it would make minority students. What next? Teaching algebraic probablities with a live bullet and a round of Russian roulette?