The Len Bias

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After a very long post yesterday, today a very short one:

Grading season is upon us.  This brings to mind my favorite final exam answer that a student ever gave, and the one that I had the most difficulty grading.  I was the Teaching Assistant for Drugs and Alcohol in America.  For the final exam, there were a series of ID questions, each of which would be graded on a scale from 0-5.  For the ID question “Len Bias” a student wrote the following:

“The len bias is the name given to the unfair drug sentencing practices that arose in the wake of the 1980s powder and crack cocaine epidemic.  The bias arose from a series of federal laws proposed by Congressman Tip O’Neil after a famous basketball player died from a drug overdose (I can’t remember his name).”

The answer is in one sense absolutely wrong.  But in another sense she demonstrated that she had remembered every real important idea that the Len Bias story was, in the context of this class, supposed to convey.  So, on a scale from 0-5, with 5 being perfect and  0 being no credit, what would you give?

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