Rome superintendent: Concerning math question is tied to class reading assignment

A question on a fifth-grade math test has caused concerns for some Rome parents after detailing a child making a seemingly dangerous concoction for his grandmother to drink.

Posted: Oct 11, 2019 11:51 AM
Updated: Oct 11, 2019 11:54 AM

ROME, N.Y. – A question on a fifth-grade math test has caused concerns for some Rome parents after detailing a child making a seemingly dangerous concoction for his grandmother to drink.

The test question involves a child named George, who is mixing ‘medicine’ for his grandmother from ingredients like windshield washer fluid, bleach and detergent. The question was alarming for some parents, who didn’t think the content was appropriate. Some even took to social media to express their disapproval. 

Rome City School District Superintendent Peter Blake says the question was directly connected to a book the Bellamy Elementary School students are reading in English Language Arts, entitled “George’s Marvelous Medicine” by Roald Dahl. In the book, George attempts to make a ‘medicine’ for his grandmother to make her grow taller, using household items like shampoo, floor polish, engine oil and paint.

“The staff were attempting to connect the ELA work with the math work, which is appropriate and encouraged for all teachers,” said Blake.

Blake says he understands that on the surface the question seems alarming.

“In context of the classroom and what the kids were learning in totality, the question connects their units of study well,” he said.

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