Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the College Board, the administrators behind the SAT's and high school Advanced Placement exams, are apologizing for a "culturally and racially insensitive" t-shirt distributed at one of their meetings.
Each June, a group of educators gather to grade the Advanced Placement exams taken by hundreds of thousands of high school students across the country. Traditionally, a t-shirt is created and sold commemorating the grading, which was held this year in Salt Lake City, Utah. The shirt sold at this year’s World History exam grading featured exaggerated caricatures of figures in Chinese history and mock Chinese script.
Late last week the College Board and the Educational Testing Service released a statement apologizing for the offensive design and the general atmosphere during the grading.
“It is unacceptable that one of the AP Exam Readers created a t-shirt that mocked historical events that were the cause of great pain and suffering, and promulgated racist stereotypes that further marginalize a racial minority,” the statement read. “Furthermore, it is entirely inappropriate that references to the AP Program were combined with language and images that make light of a deeply tumultuous period in Chinese history.”
The joint statement also notes that several, initial complaints about the design were dismissed and that “some comments made at the AP World History Reading were both culturally and racially insensitive.” The educators behind the offensive design will be disciplined.
Over 230,000 high schoolers took the AP World History exam in 2013 according to the latest data available from the College Board. Over 2 million students take an AP test annually.