At first glance, this story looks like a hoax. An eighth-grade teacher in Alabama gave students a math quiz that contained this question: “Tyrone knocked up 4 girls in the gang. There are 20 girls in his gang. What is the exact percentage of girls Tyrone knocked up?”
OK, that was an easy one. Bet you can’t do this one in your head: “Dwayne pimps 3 ho’s. If the price is $85 per trick, how many tricks per day must each ho turn to support Dwayne’s $800-per-day crack habit?”
Of course, some parents didn’t appreciate the humor. The Washington Post reported that the school placed the teacher on administrative leave, declining to identify him/her and offering no more details. Privacy concerns related to personnel matters were cited.
More from the Post: “The quiz is an Internet meme that dates at least to the early 1990s and has been known as The L.A. Math Proficiency Test or The City of Los Angeles High School Math Proficiency Exam, according to the website Snopes, which has compiled a brief history of the quiz making appearances in American (and Canadian) classrooms.” Some of the questions are funnier than others. My favorites:
“Ramon has an AK-47 with a 30-round clip. He usually misses 6 out of 10 shots and he uses 13 rounds per drive-by shooting. How many drive-by shootings can Ramon attempt before he has to steal enough ammunition and reload?”
“Marvin steals Juan’s skateboard? As Marvin skates away at 15 mph, Juan loads his .357 magnum. If it takes Juan 20 seconds to load his piece, how far away will Marvin be when he gets whacked?” (My money would be on Marvin not getting whacked, because it’s unlikely Juan could hit a moving target 440 feet away.)
Some Internet commenters seized upon this story to preach about homeschooling, which I favor. In that venue, weightier math questions could be considered, such as “How much in government benefits will Tyrone’s baby mamas receive each year?” and “How much child support will Tyrone owe?”