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 Teacher in trouble 
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Thought this was interesting....should this teacher be punished?

Teacher in trouble over meth math test question

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* February 16, 2007

A HIGH school teacher is in trouble over an algebra test for his students that incorporated a question about a drug dealer.

Local news reports said the principal at Moriarty High School in New Mexico believes the teacher "made a misjudgment" when he posed this question to his students:

"Smoky J. sells meth (methamphetamine, a stimulant). Smoky's source says he has to sell a G's (thousand dollars') worth of meth by the end of the month.

"If Smoky sold $240 the first week and $532 the second week, how much money must Smoky make if he wants to avoid the beat down from his connection?"
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Katie Stephens


Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:56 pm
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That's really interesting. I'm not sure I can really say whether the teacher should be punished or not, but I'm not sure what there really is to punish him about. It's not like his students don't know about drugs/drug dealers and I doubt that his math question is going to inspire all his students to begin drug dealing. If anything, the question probably woke up a few kids who were nodding off or actually made some laugh during a test- something I always appreciate.

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Leah Brown


Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:24 am
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I agree with Leah. Kids are not stupid, they know what is going on. I always loved those teacher who threw out weird word problems, they are much better then sally ate two jellybeans, tommy ate five how many did they eat? That is boring!! I believe that question was more humerous and did not promote drug dealing. Granted this is a society where everything has to be politically correct and not everyone thinks alike. Anyways I don't think he should be punished, maybe tone it down a little next time.

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Emily Hartnett


Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:43 am
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For what it's worth, I have a friend who learned his math through figuring out drug/money calculations as a small child. He is now a successful professional.

Doesn't this take us back to the discussion regarding protecting children in ways that don't acknowledge the personhood and humanity of our kids? Didn't we conclude that children who are quite young understand the difference between right and wrong, legal and illegal, imagination and what's real?

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Gayle Turner


Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:15 am
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This is a very interesting topic. I agree with what you guys have said. I do think that some kids may pay more attention to a math problem that relates to something a little different rather than something a little more ordinary.

I think this question might me pushing it a little though. Im sure this teacher was trying to spice of his lesson a little with this question. There are many different things that he could have used in place of this drug question. Then again, kids in high school are not oblivious to drugs and many other things that go on outside of school. Like Leah said, Im sure that this question woke a few kids up and caught there attention. There is a limit that teachers must not pass, why is it that most of the great teachers do pass that limit? I think that it sometimes takes a stronger and more brave kind of teacher to step out of the box a little.

I do not think that this teacher should be punished, after all the attention he has gotten from this I think he will know to stay away from using topics like that in class. Hopefully he will still use creative topics that will still be interesting though.

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Meredith Kemper


Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:21 pm
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Seeing as how the teacher was in a high school setting i can see how he would think this was simply an amusing way to use math. Most likely the teacher just thought the students would get a kick out of it but i can also see what the administration is thinking. The question almost makes it sound like selling drugs is ok, especially because it was used as a question in a math class. I don't think the teacher should be punished this time because every one has errors in judgement ever so often. He should take this as a learning experience though.

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Dustin Hull


Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:55 pm
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to me this is kinda like how if we dont talk about sex to students then they wont do it, well i feel it would be better to just tell them about drug and stuff so they know...they arent dumb they know when things like that are goin on at school...i say good job for making math interesting to the students and being a creative teacher...to many are stuck in a rut, and just staying in the old ways...i mean who would you rather you8r child learn that drugs exist from the guy trying to sell them to him or there teacher would i hope would say something to the effect that they are bad


Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:54 pm
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I think someone should talk to the teacher about maybe using different subject matter for their math problems. I think it's one thing to try to get kids to apply math to the real world, I think it's quite another issue to have them use inappropriate situations for math problems. You wouldn't see a teacher put something about making money by pimping or prostutition on a test, and I don't think that drugs are really any more suitable. I do think the issue is a bit funny though, and applaud the teacher for at least using something a bit more creative than "how many crayons can jill buy if she has $5 and the crayons are 10 cents each?"

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-Allison Sawicki


Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:00 pm
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I think that for some instances that math question would be fine to use. If it is something that the students understand and are exposed to, then why not use a subject that relates to their real lives, helping them to better understand and learn math!

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Susanne M Olson


Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:47 pm
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Its a math problem not a job interview, who cares. I think that it could be a good question. Maybe use more than one question on the test relating drugs into the problem. Have one problem that talks about profit from selling drugs. Then have another problem that relates to fines per charge. this could easily show the students that the payoff from drugs is not worth the risk. I think the teacher should definitely not be punished. He is tryin what he can to get his students more interested in the problem so they will better understand the math involved not the benefits of drug dealing.

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Adam Moore


Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:14 pm
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Adam had a good idea! I don't think the teacher should be punished either. I think in high school it is ok to use this question. Elementary students probably have not heard about Meth yet. I can just hear it now, 20 parents calling to ask why you put a word problem about meth on their 3rd graders test! But this is appropriate for this age. Its not like the kids are going to go out and do meth because they had a math problem about it, infact, bringing these topics out in the open may make them seem less appealing to kids!

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Lauren Cagle


Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:47 pm
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tough topic! i def agree with the majority of thoughts on the idea that students pay attention more to problems that have abnormal topics. i think that this teacher should be allowed a chance to explain her rationale behind the problem and show potential increase in the students exam scores before recieving a punishment

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Amanda Nicole Ricketts


Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:52 pm
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