Saturday, September 19, 2009

75% of Oklahoma Students Can't Name The First President

Seriously. That is the result of a new study conducted by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, which surveyed high school students in Oklahoma to measure their knowledge of civic affairs (by the way kids, the answer is George Washington - his picture is on money, and they named a bridge after him, and a state, and the nation's capital...).

And as the late Billy Mays use to say, but wait, there's more...The survey didn't just ask students to name the first President, they took ten questions at random from the test the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services gives to people applying to become naturalized citizens. Other questions included: "What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?" (only 26% of OK students got that one correct); "We elect a U.S. senator for how many years?" (11% correct); and "What are the two major political parities in the United States?" (43% correct).

On average, 92% of the immigrants who take the citizenship test pass; based on their responses to the ten sample questions though, only three percent of Oklahoma high school students would earn their citizenship if they had to take the full test. Three percent! And just to make it seem like we're not picking on Oklahoma here, Brandon Dutcher of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs said that Arizona reported similar results when they tested their high schoolers.
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