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Exhibitions: On The Use Of Knowledge

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Following is an example of the "exhibitions'' that Horace's school would use in lieu of traditional standardized tests to assess student progress.

A. From American History

"In the eye of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.... If evils will result from the commingling of the two races upon public highways established for the benefit of all, they will be infinitely less than those that will surely come from state legislation regulating the enjoyment of civil rights upon the basis of race. We boast of the freedom enjoyed by our people above all other peoples. But it is difficult to reconcile that boast with a state of the law which, practically, puts the brand of servitude and degradation upon a large class of our fellow-citizens, our equals before the law. The thin disguise of 'equal' accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead any one, nor atone for the wrong this day done.'' [From Justice John Marshall Harlan's dissent in Plessy vs. Ferguson, 163, U.S. 537 (1896)]

Please explain what this segment from a decision of the United States Supreme Court says.

Speculate on the subject of the case represented here and on the period of American history during which it was rendered. Give reasons for your opinions.

Extract from this segment its enduring constitutional principle, cast it in the form of a hypothetical case that might reach the Supreme Court today--a case arising from today's particular social realities--and express how you personally would act on such a case if you were an associate justice of the Court.

B. From Science

Act as the school's nutritionist: The cafeteria has $3.56 to spend per full serving for lunch. Design three menus, each of which is (1) within that budget allowance, (2) maximally nutritious, and (3) maximally attractive to students in your school. You will have to consult the various tables and data displayed in the current nutritionist's guide available in the library and the cafeteria office. Be prepared to defend your definitions of "nutritious'' and "attractive'' and your particular menus. You will submit your entries to an all-school poll, and the winning six menus will be served during the next term.

C. From Mathematics

1. By triangulation, compute the height of the following seven buildings, flagpoles, and trees. Be prepared to explain to us why your calculations "work.'' 2. Determine the costs of purchasing a four-door 1987 Ford Tempo and operating it for one year. 3. Estimate the number of rubber molecules peeled off a tire at each revolution on an asphalt surface. Be prepared to explain both the procedures you selected and the variables attendant on your solution.

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