Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oklahoma students' civics knowledge is not OK

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs commissioned a study on the basis civics knowledge of Oklahoma public high school students in which 1000 students were asked 10 questions taken from the citizenship test required for candidates to become naturalized citizens of the United States. The actual test also contains 10 questions and requires that the candidate answer 6 of them correction. According to KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City, about 92% of candidates for citizenship pass on their first try.

The Oklahoma high school students' performance in the study contributes to my already-cynical view of our public education system. Only 3% of them would be allowed to become citizens if they hadn't been born here! Only 23% of them knew that George Washington was our first president, and only 28% knew that the President is the person in charge of the executive branch. Hell, only 61% of them correctly named the ocean bordering the US to the east!

Instead of basic useful knowledge like this, our citizens debate whether or not we should teach intelligent design and creationism. They're entitled to their opinions, but they probably wouldn't know that such entitlement is written into the Constitution if they hadn't heard it at a Teabagging Party.

UPDATE: Statistician and blogger Nate Silver is a bit suspicious about the pollster who put out the Oklahoma results, and has an article about it here.

1 comment:

Scott said...

I read the statistician response to the above. Statisticians are strange folks.