May 11, 2017

There is nothing sweeter than reading an essay prompt and instantly feeling inspired. For many of the more than 500,000 students who took the AP English Language and Composition exam this year, that 'a-ha' moment made them think of President Trump.

The third exam prompt came from the essay "America the Illiterate" by Chris Hedges, BuzzFeed News reports, and it asked the students to reflect on the statement: "The most essential skill in political theater and the consumer culture is artifice. Those who are best at artifice succeed. Those who have not mastered the art of artifice fail."

The hashtag #APLang quickly became a forum for teens skewering Trump:

Of course, not everyone wrote exactly the same essay:

The test administrators should not be surprised by the response — the name "Trump" has been proven to not especially inspire people to think of nice words. Jeva Lange

October 24, 2015
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President Obama called for capping standardized testing at 2 percent of classroom time in a video released on the White House's Facebook page Saturday.

"Learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble," he said. "So we're going to work with states, school districts, teachers, and parents to make sure that we're not obsessing about testing."

Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan plan to meet Monday with teachers and school officials who support less testing time, The Associated Press reports.

Watch Obama's comments here. Julie Kliegman

July 9, 2015
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India's Supreme Court has ordered an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into a "multimillion-dollar college admission and government job recruitment scandal" that has left close to 50 involved dead from mysterious circumstances, The Associated Press reports. Known as the "Vyapam scam," hundreds of parents and students in Madhya Pradesh state have been arrested for paying bribes or hiring proxies to take qualifying exams for top colleges and jobs as government teachers, doctors, bankers, and policemen. More than 2,500 have been accused in connection with the scam and 1,900 of that number have been arrested, according to NPR.

Nearly 50 witnesses or participants in the scam have died over the past five years. Last week, an investigative journalist who was interviewing witnesses in Madhya Pradesh died and the next day, the dean of a medical college was found dead in a hotel room. Many of the deaths have been ruled inconclusive in autopsies, with the home minister of the state claiming the deaths are due to "natural causes," despite many of the dead being under 40.

Though the Vyapam scam dates back to at least 2007, it took until Thursday for a CBI investigation to finally be ordered by the court. Jeva Lange