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Questions pulled from Chicago test after complaints of political bias

Joe Arpaio
Joe Arpaio
Maricopa County Sheriff's Department

Two popular liberal pastimes — claiming falsely to have been the victim of bigotry and poisoning the minds of the nation’s schoolchildren through biased curricula — are joined at the hip in a story out of ultra-liberal Chicago.

Inquistr reports that Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district, included questions on an online REACH performance test based on putative anti-immigrant comments by a fictitious George W. Bush administration official and by a faux conservative writer named Arie Payo.

The test asked students to compare and contrast the “authority of differing opinions” on immigration.

Arie Payo, whose names combine to form the surname of controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is quoted in one question opining:

I think it’s best to keep America for Americans and those who know how to speak English properly. Save America for those of us who know how to behave in law-abiding ways.

Arpaio, asked about what district officials are now calling a misunderstanding, said simply, “Sounds like my name. Why didn’t they have the guts to use my real name?” Arpaio is no stranger to the Windy City. He started his law enforcement career there as a federal narcotics agent.

Chicago Public Schools representative Joel Hood denies that the Arie Payo character was created with the Maricopa County sheriff in mind. But Bob Dane, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, isn’t buying it: “They either had him [Arpaio] in mind, or it’s the world’s greatest coincidence.” Dane went on to add:

It’s an incendiary and politically charged way to frame a question about a subject that students should consider in a balanced way with a historical perspective. This is the antithesis of what kids ought to be taught. It’s biggest sin is interjecting a deliberately partisan perspective on immigration. We need a bipartisan approach and we’ll never get there like this.

The American Civil Liberties Union is inclined to agree, calling the question “fairly misguided.”

In the meantime, the questions have been scrubbed.

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