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Dinosaurs, birthdays banned from tests

NEW YORK, March 26 (UPI) -- Education officials in New York have limited available topics for city-issued tests to exclude such subjects as dinosaurs, birthdays, poverty and divorce.

The city Department of Education sent a request to companies bidding to create the city's English, math, science and social-studies tests asking them to avoid the topics, which also include diseases and dancing, because they "could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students," the New York Post reported Monday.

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"Some of these topics may be perfectly acceptable in other contexts but do not belong in a city- or statewide assessment," the request reads.

Officials said the request is not an attempt to censor the test makers.

"This is standard language that has been used by test publishers for many years and allows our students to complete practice exams without distraction," a Department of Education spokeswoman said.

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