Posted 5 years ago on Oct. 5, 2011, 5:33 p.m. EST by mattjiggy
from Durham, NC
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Full disclosure: I am a math teacher from Durham, NC, and our (my wife and I) combined household income is $51,000. We have 2 daughters, aged 2 years and 11 weeks.
Is the income gap inherently evil?
To illustrate this point, I'll relay a story from my classroom. After my geometry students took a test (triangle congruence theorems, if you're really interested), I decided to perform an experiment. The class average on the test was somewhere in the upper 70s, with the highest grade being a 100 and the lowest grade in the low 40s. I adjusted all the scores so that the rank order was preserved, but that no student was more than 7 points above or below the class average (e.g., the student scoring a 100 now had an 85, and the student with a 42 now had a 71).
When the students got their tests back, the failing students were pleased to see that their grade had been "curved" up to a passing level, despite the plethora of red marks and comments on their paper. The students scoring in the 90-100 range were understandably confused and angry.
"I only got 1 question wrong! How did I get an 83?!", Moira asked.
"Well, I didn't think it was right that you scored so much higher than John," I replied. "So, I gave some of your points to him. Don't be upset, you still got an 85."
"What the hell?! I should've gotten a 100!"
"Moira, don't be that way. You had unfair advantages going into this test that John didn't have."
Moira was aghast. "Like what? I stayed awake in class? I did my homework?"
"Among other things. You have 2 parents at home, and a computer, and internet access, and a healthy diet," I explained.
"That dude is hardly ever here and when he's here he does NOTHING!!!" By this time, Moira had gone from perplexed to furious.
"But he's earnestly trying, and who are we to withhold basic rights from him?" I asked.
"HE'S SLEEPING RIGHT NOW!"
The conversation went on like this for a while, and of course, the grades were changed back to their original levels.
I'm sure this will anger a few people, and it's an open forum. Why would this analogy not hold water?