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75% HS Students Can’t Name First Prez

From Oklahoma City’s TV affiliate News9:

75 Percent of Oklahoma High School Students Can’t Name the First President of the U.S.

September 16, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY — Only one in four Oklahoma public high school students can name the first President of the United States, according to a survey released today.

The survey was commissioned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in observance of Constitution Day on Thursday.

Brandon Dutcher is with the conservative think tank and said the group wanted to find out how much civic knowledge Oklahoma high school students know.

The Oklahoma City-based think tank enlisted national research firm, Strategic Vision, to access students’ basic civic knowledge.

"They’re questions taken from the actual exam that you have to take to become a U.S. citizen," Dutcher said.

A thousand students were given 10 questions drawn from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services item bank. Candidates for U.S. citizenship must answer six questions correctly in order to become citizens.

About 92 percent of the people who take the citizenship test pass on their first try, according to immigration service data. However, Oklahoma students did not fare as well. Only about 3 percent of the students surveyed would have passed the citizenship test.

Dutcher said this is not just a problem in Oklahoma. He said Arizona had similar results, which left him concerned for the entire country.

"Jefferson later said that a nation can’t expect to be ignorant and free," Dutcher said. "It points to a real serious problem. We’re not going to remain ignorant and free."

Here is the questionnaire – with answers, and the percentage of those answering correctly :

Citizenship Test Answers

Question Answer % of Students Who Answered Correctly

What is the supreme law of the land? The Constitution 28

What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? The Bill of Rights 26

What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? The House and the Senate 27

How many justices are there on the Supreme Court? Nine 10

Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson 14

What ocean is on the east coast of the United States? Atlantic 61

What are the two major political parities in the United States? Democratic and Republican 43

We elect a U.S. senator for how many years? Six 11

Who was the first President of the United States? George Washington 23

Who is in charge of the executive branch? The President 29

What a triumph of our educational system – for the Democrats.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 17th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “75% HS Students Can’t Name First Prez”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Maybe the money spent (hand over fist) isn’t quite enough. Mo’ money will be needed to head this off.
    (sarc off)

    Anymore ….. school is a gangland breeding ground and a babysitting service.
    Shame the government has tied the hands of our educators teaching homosexuality, socialism, hate and discontent, Mary has two mommies and Donnie has two daddies!

  2. proreason says:

    Also deliberate.

    Educated people are people who will fight for their freeedom.

    I’m not saying that every or any teacher sets out to keep students in the dark about American history.

    But that is CERTAINLY what Bill Ayers has advocated his entire life. For him, the purpose of school is political indoctrination.

    And he and his like-minded intellectual terrorists have had their way with huge swaths of the American educational system.

  3. Petronius says:

    Despite the enormous wealth that the American taxpayers have poured into their public schools, it has not removed ignorance. Rather––as we see here––it has actually increased ignorance. The result of teaching students to read has been to open their minds to leftist propaganda and indoctrination as much as to truth––and when it comes to the subjects of literature, history, politics, economics, and other social studies, it is the leftist propaganda and indoctrination that are clearly in the ascendancy.

    Liberals, in their approach to education, adamantly reject any education in the time-honored traditions, heroes, history (i.e., the true, glorious, and uplifting history), hallowed beliefs, institutions, manners and principles of conduct that our children get from home, family, and church––all of those really important things that instill cohesion, pride, and loyalty in the social order. Indeed, these things are treated as errors and prejudices, which it is the duty of the public schools to ferret out and eradicate.

    Thus we see that every modern dictator of every two-bit country will have a program to establish public schools and universal education.

    The universities of the Americas, Europe, India, and the Arab world have bred more communists and terrorists than all of the slums, sweat-shops, back alleys, hovels, and impoverished rural villages of the entire world.

    It is time to abolish the public school system and replace it once and for all with private schools.

  4. beautyofreason says:

    In studies such as these I feel that small private schools – hell, most private schools – would probably fare better than public education. At least there is competition in the private sector. No wonder the Constitution doesn’t seem to matter anymore. No wonder socialism is the undisclosed value of the Democratic party. So few people know the proper limitations of government, and only a quarter recognize the Constitution as the law.

    I went to a private Catholic school nine years as a kid and it was pretty good.Then I went to a public high school and one of my first days in class was marked by two teen guys who started a fist fight at the front of the room, after the teacher had walked out. The janitor moped up the blood on the floor after the fight was over. There were several good teachers and programs in this school – and I later transferred to an excellent public alternative school for troubled kids (perhaps because anyone who bullied or fought would be summarily expelled) but I suspect most public education is inferior to what someone could obtain through private means.

  5. GL0120 says:

    Ooh, ooh, Mister Kott-tear; I found a mistake.

    Who is in charge of the executive branch? The President
    The correct answer is George Soros.

  6. TadCF says:

    Rather than putting a nebulous Democratic twist of this story, I think it’s most significant that the two states in the study were Red States, and it speaks volumes about the conservative voters in those states.

    • proreason says:

      Let me get this right, Tad. It appears you are suggesting that public education in Oklahoma is worse than, oh let’s pick some REALLY blue-state examples say, Washington DC or Detroit, and that it somehow demonstrates the superiority of Washington DC and Detroit to Oklahoma. Do I have that right, or aren’t you willing to be specific?

      Not that I think public education is particularly good anywhere, but I’d be curious to see any data you have to make that “nebulous” claim.

    • Liberals Demise says:


    • I don’t know about you guys, but the farther into education I got, the more teachers I was taught by who had liberal views and values. I know that not all teachers are liberal, but I think a good percentage of them are. That too could speak volumes about these results. Of course, I have no facts concerning this, just assumption.

    • Petronius says:

      Pro, you’re at a serious disadvantage in comparison to Hercules.

      The disadvantage being that the Augean stables were at least empty of the animals who used to live there. Whereas the stables that you are cleaning out are continually visited by new ones like Tad, who leave fresh deposits every day.

      Lucky thing you’ve got a big shovel.

  7. crosspatch says:

    First President? Easy. John Hansen elected unanimously by Congress in 1781.

  8. TwilightZoned says:

    I have said for y-e-a-r-s civics classes need to be reinstated.

    Petronius, I couldn’t agree more.

    I also have no issue with private schools.

    Yes, the public schools have gone down hill.

    These are my own personal observations as to some of the reasons why:

    1) Students are not allowed to be ability grouped. Why? Too many minority students are
    not in the higher academic groupings.
    2) The IQ to qualify for special education has been lowered, while expectations have gone
    up. In most states the IQ has been lowered by 10 points since the mid 80’s. Instead of 79
    being borderline retarded, it’s now 69. So in all actuality inclusion of educable mentally
    handicapped students has been going on for at least 25 years; they’re just not considered
    ESE. Those that could achieve more, don’t because they have a teacher, who is under
    pressure, to lift those lower students and spends a disproportionate amount of time with
    them. Why the lowering of IQ? Too many minority students in ESE.
    3) More inclusion is underway. Students with IQ’s in the mid 40’s, even lower are making their
    way threw general education classrooms under differentiated curriculum.
    4) An unintended consequence of lawsuits is zero liability for accountability. It’s
    never a student’s fault for misbehaving or lack of performing. Nor is it the parents. The
    general philosophy is “The kid screws up, punish the teacher.” How’s that been working for
    everyone? (sarcasm)
    5) Crap curriculum. Most teachers never have a say in what they think would be the best. It’s
    the school board’s bottom line ($) making that decision. Also, when the most liberal states
    begin using garbage, i.e. California, New York, Wisconsin, etc. every other state seems to
    fall in line. Even when it’s proven NOT to work. Which is how the indoctrination begins.
    6) Education is not a top priority with certain ethic groups. You can lead a horse to water, but
    but you can’t make it drink.
    7) Allowing college students to graduate in education who never should.
    8) Allowing poor teachers to remain when they shouldn’t. It’s not just the union’s fault on this
    either. Too many times it boils down to principals who are too lazy to document or
    intimidated by being called…wait for it..a racist. Not that all minority teachers are poor; I’ve
    seen many who were excellent.
    9) How about using a professor’s judgment when the “teacher” can’t pass
    the state exam after several attempts. I witnessed one such occurrence. This doesn’t
    happen with anyone but minorities because…wait for it…you’re a racist if they’re turned

    I could go on and on, but my head hurts…

  9. BillK says:

    Civics class, nothing.

    Ask most people born between 1965 and 1970 or so where they learned about Government, history and math and you’ll get the unanimous answer:

    ABC’s Schoolhouse Rock.

    Back when they cared more about education than indoctrination.


    the one that resulted in audible humming in most every test on the Constitution:


    and the one that simply horrifies educators and other PC-types today:


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