Second Caption Contest Finalists!

[For those who haven't voted yet, there's still time!]

Thanks to every one who came up with captions for our Second Caption Contest. We had close to 200 entries this time, which makes narrowing it down to a few finalists pretty challenging. So instead of 6, we're going with 10 this time.

Now the fun really begins: it's up to YOU to pick the winner. As with last time, each finalist is labeled with a letter. All you have to do is decide which is the best (whatever your definition of "best" is), and drop your ballot in the comments below.

Remember: only one vote per person. We don't expect any hanky-panky, but I thought I'd remind you just in case you think we're not watching.

And the finalists are"¦

a) Brent entered: "And I thought all that evolution stuff was hogwash!"
b) Lisa H entered: "Alright Wilbur I will agree this is Neat, but I'm still against animal experimentation as a whole."
c) Casey entered: "Hey Wilbur, we're a regular pair of pork choppers!"
d) Christina entered: "No, not stressed but just a little wound up and not feeling grounded."
e) Erm entered: "What do you MEAN they told you these propellers will fail when pigs fly?!"
f) Sherry entered: "So I was watching President Colbert's State of the Union address last night "¦"
g) Andrew entered: "And he says to me he says, "˜when hell freezes over!'"
h) Lorna entered: "Gives a whole new meaning to "swine flu", doesn't it?
i) Allan entered: "Okay"¦I didn't mind playing second fiddle to Charlotte, and I didn't complain when those singing mice upstaged me in Babe"¦ But Aporkalypse Now?!?! My agent's gonna hear about this!"
j) Charlene entered: "Next time, those scientists need guinea pigs for these experiments."

And remember, you can always click on the cartoon if you want to enlarge the image. We'll leave the voting open through the weekend and roll out the winner next week.

College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

North America: East or West Coast?


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