Recent news tells the world how little the average kid in a US high school actually knows about the country. The results in itself are a major disgrace. As we can see on this results page, none of the 1000 kids could answer all 10 questions, taken from the US citizen test, correctly. Something is wrong there. Looking further, none of the 1000 kids could even answer 8 questions correctly. That is bad, really bad. By adding up a little, we quickly see that only 108 of the 1000 students had five or more (7 being the max) questions correct. That is a disgrace; especially for a country that emphasizes that it is the best country in the world. Even I, non-American, European, had eight of the questions correct (I failed the number of judges, and thought George Washington wrote the Declaration of Independence). However, if this was not bad enough, it actually gets worse!
The story as described above was also featured on ‘News9′. This TV station, which should be educated and smart enough to be worth listening to, and be trustable when it comes to news, quickly tops the Oklahoma results. Kelly Ogle rounds up the story with the line “now in all fairness to the local students: they were not allowed to study these questions, we just hit them with ’em, unlike those taking the US citizen test”. I do not blame Kelly Ogle for this, as he very likely read this from the auto-cue; this is on the account of the TV network.
Something is so wrong in that line. It should read “in all fairness, we do allow people taking the US citizen test to study these questions”. If you are a US citizen by birth, and grew up in the United States, you have absolutely no excuse to not know this stuff. Not knowing these basic things is like not being able to read or write, or to not be able to speak English. People immigrating to the US, and thus born and raised in another country, get the benefit of studying the questions. They did not take history lessons in a US class. They did not watch the USA TV networks for the past 10+ years. The kids in Oklahoma did. In addition, if it was just one kid, or a couple of kids, who could not answer all the questions correct, hey, that is allowed. Not everybody is good in remembering stuff, or taking tests (pressure), or maybe they just had other stuff on their mind. But 992 not being able to answer up to five of the questions correctly? Honestly, I would expect results like these from a high school in a foreign, for example European, country. Then they would be acceptable. Not for a US country. Moreover, if a US news channel is honestly convinced it is not mandatory knowledge for any born & raised US citizen, they should get their license revoked.
It has always been somewhat of a dream of me to at least visit the US. Maybe I need to reconsider. I might get rejected for knowing a lot of stuff about the US that the average American does not know.
Filed Under: Two Cents
Released: on Sep 19, 2009 under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs (CC-BY-ND) license