Friday, September 18, 2009

George Who?

This is the kind of survey answer I always have trouble believing:
Only one in four Oklahoma public high school students can name the first President of the United States, according to a survey released today.
I usually think that the question was strangely worded, or some other potential misdirection was included. But no, the question, from the US test for citizenship, was:
Who was the first president of the United States?
Answers to the other questions are equally depressing, especially this one:
What ocean is on the east coast of the United States?
Only 61% of high school students knew the answer. 4 in 10 did not. Not 4 in 10 2nd graders -- high school students.

And they wonder why Oklahoma is considered flyover country. What an abomination.


Hank Roberts said...

Well, yeah, but if you go to Massachusetts and ask who the first president of Mexico was, and what bodies of water are immediately south of any part of the US, how do you think they'll do?

Yes, I'm being a bit ironic, but kids are first members of their own families, not citizens of nations.

Anonymous said...

There's also some dispute over whether the survey results were fraudulent: see

(the key point being that not one out of a thousand kids answered even 8 out of 10 right, and you know that there is always a studious geek somewhere who can't help but take these tests seriously)