Thursday, July 02, 2009

96.5% of public high school kids would not pass U.S. citizenship test

Good grief:

only 3.5 percent of traditional public high school students would be able to pass a U.S. citizenship test— bombing out on questions such as who was America's first president, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and what do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution


The results come as teachers focus less on the memorization of discrete facts, given that information is so readily available at the stroke of a key, and more on the application of knowledge.

Ladner said that philosophy "is entirely wrongheaded. It's very much like learning to compose music. You have to learn your scales before you compose a symphony — and you need some foundation of facts before you can do higher-level thinking."
But John Wright, the head of the state teachers union, the Arizona Education Association, dismissed the report as a "gotcha piece of writing."

"I think there's already an ongoing discussion of standards and assessment, but it is not informed by this kind of survey," he said, adding that for all of its shock value, he didn't find it very analytical.

Ronald Marx, the dean of the University of Arizona's College of Education, said he wasn't pleased to hear the findings but said he was more concerned than alarmed.
"You don't develop a deep understanding of how government works by knowing the name of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution," he said.
I understand the point about mere memorization of facts; however, if you don't know the most basic, rudimentary facts, like what are the two major political parties (less than half answered correctly), should those of voting age really be participating in the election of our future leaders? I mean, sure it's the right of every citizen; but when you can't even pass the basics of a citizenship test.....



Blogger Chuck said...

Kind of like being an accountant without knowing your basic multiplication table.

I agree that we need to look at the fact that they are voting with concern.

Thursday, July 02, 2009 1:21:00 PM  
Blogger Average American said...

No wonder we got stuck with that kenyan in the White House!

Thursday, July 02, 2009 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Z said...

This is SO no laughing matter, Sparky. What kind of country has that low a percentage of kids knowing about it? ANY OTHER?
When the 'progressives' came in and felt that WOMEN'S STUDIES and learning about slavery at 8 was more important than memorizing, studying, learning the FACTS, we started the downhill tumble. How else could this country have elected THE ONE, indeed? Happy Fourth.
this was DEPRESSING!!

Friday, July 03, 2009 5:47:00 AM  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Hey, those tests are hard!

Happy 4th of July, Wordsmith!!

Friday, July 03, 2009 8:19:00 AM  
Blogger RaDena said...

It truly is depressing! Good grief. We have historical illiterates choosing our elected representatives! If we don't get a chance to turn this around we are really going to be in deep doo-doo. Oh yeah, we already are! :(

Friday, July 03, 2009 8:20:00 AM  
Blogger christian soldier said...

HOMESCHOOL--- Anyone?!!!
26 years ago --- decided to do it...
Never looked back even w/ the 'heat' from those around me...

Friday, July 03, 2009 8:12:00 PM  
Anonymous SouthernRoots said...

If you don't even know what the Bill of Rights are, then how can you tell if government is abusing them - and you?

Without thorough knowledge of our founding and its documents, how would you know how different our form of government is (was) from all others?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 8:01:00 AM  

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