77% of Oklahoma High School Students can't name the first President of the United States

  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 19, 2009 10:36 AM GMT
    Deep in the heart of the Creationist - Bible belt
    we are performing religious lobotomies on our children
    Red State Child neglect
    77 Percent Of Oklahoma High School Students Can't Name The First President Of The U.S.
    First Posted: 09-17-09 09:38 PM | Updated: 09-17-09 10:22 PM
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/17/75-percent-of-oklahoma-hi_n_290816.html

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    Sep 19, 2009 11:41 AM GMT
    icon_eek.gif That's sad.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2009 1:02 PM GMT
    You know GQ, why the anti-Southern rip the last few days? I mean, I've lived in quite a few areas of the country, and I can assure you that I've met stupid people everywhere.

    Just like I've met racist rednecks in a lot of different settings, not just the South.

    We get kicked by folks who either don't know or don't want to know that there are a lot of us down here who don't think the way the media would have folks believe. Sure, there's work to be done - but I say that's true in all corners of the country.

    I'm also betting a lot of students in all areas of the country would have fared poorly on quite a few of the questions cited in the original news story.
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    Sep 19, 2009 1:17 PM GMT
    I bet even less know who the actual first President was, than man Congress elected to be President way back in 1781, nine years before George Washington became president of the post consitutionalised United States of America.
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    Sep 19, 2009 1:19 PM GMT
    I'm not surprised. My last "English" /grammar or History class that challenged you to think & get results was in the 8th grade.College was even more lax. Many of my class mates did horribly, but were allowed to graduate because they could throw a football at an upright goal. Later, I learned that my 16 y/o nephew, who does not have a L.D...could not calculate how many rooms a new hotel under construction would likely have from counting the floors and multiplying by the number of windows, allowing 2 per room, times 2 for the back of the building.
    BUT! He knew how to roll a condom on a banana.
    I don't think creationism-VS- evolution really has much to do with it. That's comparing apples to oranges. I've known many religious scholars and lay people who believe in God and Creation, yet can add, subtract & multiply, have degrees higher than many on here and still name the first US president. Why? Because they were educated before the Dept of Ed. took control of the education system.
    George Carlin was right. The government has a vested interest in making our children dumb. Educated people are the ones that cause trouble and can't be controlled.
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    Sep 19, 2009 1:20 PM GMT
    Abraham Lincoln, right?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 19, 2009 1:30 PM GMT
    Well I tell the story of a college educated friend who couldn't tell me what happened in the US in 1861..... his comment was, "The Declaration of Independence"?? I jerked his ass for that.. I asked him if Lincoln was the first president of the United States if that was in fact true?

    The irony... he's from Norman, OK (not to brow beat Okies).. just a
    coincidence.
  • a2507

    Posts: 152

    Sep 19, 2009 1:37 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    As a native son of Oklahoma, you hardly need to tell me that my state has more than our share of yahoos and religious extremists. Let's consider State Rep. Sally Kern, or either of our US senators, Jim Inhofe or Dr. Tom Coburn.

    But there are progressives here. The 2nd or 1st largest Unitarian Universalist congregation in the US is here in Tulsa. Oklahoma progressives are doing all we can to balance those folks out.

    It's interesting that the group who conducted this survey is known as a right wing group with a definite political agenda. Brandon Dutcher has been associated with more extreme right wing Republicans for some time.

    My guess would be that this is part of a campaign against Oklahoma Dept. of Education which has traditionally been dominated by Democrats. The long serving current superintendent is retiring and this may be an effort to discredit (maybe legitimately) old leadership. And there's no love lost between the powerful OEA, Oklahoma Educational Association (teachers union) and Republicans here.

    No excuses for the kids not knowing the answers but like many things, there maybe more to this story.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 19, 2009 1:46 PM GMT
    a2507 saidHey guys,

    As a native son of Oklahoma, you hardly need to tell me that my state has more than our share of yahoos and religious extremists. Let's consider State Rep. Sally Kern, or either of our US senators, Jim Inhofe or Dr. Tom Coburn.



    Well I think something has to be said about Oklahoma and its founding/ inception as a state. Now again, living 50 miles from the state and having clients and friends in OK, I have an appreciation for it.

    Oklahoma wasn't even made a state until (I believe it was 1907... which was
    46 years after Kansas). Simplifying the conversation, there were many
    criminals, wackos and others that would run from Arkansas over to "Indian Territory" for years to escape prosecution. Indians were forced into reservations for years in the territory. The state itself is greatly varied from northwest to southeast (which is very hilly and rural)...

    All I'm pointing out (no excuses) is that the state has a very different history than many. I'm sure that background has some bearing on views even today.
  • a2507

    Posts: 152

    Sep 19, 2009 1:47 PM GMT
    http://www.ocpathink.org/publications/perspective-archives/september-2009-volume-16-number-9/?module=perspective&id=2321

    As I expected. Here's the link to the conservative political think tank.
    They clearly are targeting the Oklahoma Educational Association.

    I have issues with OEA too but this is as much about politics and power as with education.
  • a2507

    Posts: 152

    Sep 19, 2009 1:59 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    a2507 saidHey guys,

    As a native son of Oklahoma, you hardly need to tell me that my state has more than our share of yahoos and religious extremists. Let's consider State Rep. Sally Kern, or either of our US senators, Jim Inhofe or Dr. Tom Coburn.



    Well I think something has to be said about Oklahoma and its founding/ inception as a state. Now again, living 50 miles from the state and having clients and friends in OK, I have an appreciation for it.

    Oklahoma wasn't even made a state until (I believe it was 1907... which was
    46 years after Kansas). Simplifying the conversation, there were many
    criminals, wackos and others that would run from Arkansas over to "Indian Territory" for years to escape prosecution. Indians were forced into reservations for years in the territory. The state itself is greatly varied from northwest to southeast (which is very hilly and rural)...

    All I'm pointing out (no excuses) is that the state has a very different history than many. I'm sure that background has some bearing on views even today.


    Hey neighbor,

    I think you're on to something. We're a very strange mix of hundreds of tribal groups from Plains to even northern Iroquois groups as well as the "Five Civilized Tribes" from the southeast. Confederate and Yankee. At statehood in 1907, progressive, almost socialist but also heavily Klan but with independent Black towns. Protestant but also much more Catholic than ones would assume and from the 1890's early on. Small but significant Jewish immigration first as merchants and then, especially in the oil and gas business. The greatest donors to charity now in Tulsa are the old Jewish families, followed by the Catholic ones.

    Don't know how this explains how we get where we do but for those looking in from outside, consider that the loons who represent us are usually just getting about 55%, that means there's a significant group of more sensible folks....just not quite enough of us.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2009 2:30 PM GMT
    Your headline should read 77% cannot name...

    or only 23% can name
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    Sep 19, 2009 2:53 PM GMT
    Reports like this come out every so often. Frankly, I can't see how this could be true. There has got to be some kind of story behind the story.

    I'm just throwing out conjecture, but I can see reasons why these results could be skewed. Let's say the sample size was very small and included an overly large amount of high schools on Native American reservations. In many reservations, their studies are much more focused on Native American history and not the Founding Fathers of the revolution.

    I'm always skeptical when reports like this come out. It seems to be driven by an agenda and typically when you dig a little deeper you find the real story isn't nearly as sensational.
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Sep 19, 2009 3:26 PM GMT
    This was on another site, related to this study in Oklahoma:

    Give us your poor...

    Candidates for citizenship in the US must, in part, pass a quiz - a written test - for which they must score a minimum of 60% correct to pass.

    Statistics show that 96% of citizen candidates pass on their first attempt.


    How well do our beloved children score on the same test?

    Well, a study conducted in Oklahoma with 1000 high-school students has not proven so respectable.

    Yes, 8 years after Bush ushered in his infamous "Leave no child behind" policy, only 3% of those students passed the test. That wasn't a typo - 3%!!!!!!!!

    The question that received the highest ranking correct answer:
    Q. What is the name of the ocean on the east coast of the US?

    Percentage of student answering correctly? 61%

    390 of 1000 students in the study did not know the Atlantic Ocean borders the east coast.

    It gets better (worse?):

    Q. What is the term of office for a US Senator?

    Q. How many justices serve on the Supreme Court?

    Percentage of students correctly answering those two questions? 11%

    Thank God for immigrants. They're obviously skewing our numbers upward.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2009 3:43 PM GMT
    The problem with statistics is they can be easily manipulated. I take them lightly.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Sep 19, 2009 3:59 PM GMT
    But to be fair, AbFab1, the candidates for US citizenship are given the actual test questions beforehand on a study guide. Not all of the questions appear on the test, but those that do are pulled from that list. I've had some college courses where the final exams were administered similarly — it's an easy pass.

    But I agree with your sentiment about the failing education system in America. One of my former classmates is a teacher and she was explaining to us about "No Child Left Behind." She said that program does more harm than good. Instead of teaching kids to learn, they are being taught to test.
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    Sep 19, 2009 4:07 PM GMT
    Global_Citizen saidReports like this come out every so often. Frankly, I can't see how this could be true. There has got to be some kind of story behind the story.

    I'm just throwing out conjecture, but I can see reasons why these results could be skewed. Let's say the sample size was very small and included an overly large amount of high schools on Native American reservations. In many reservations, their studies are much more focused on Native American history and not the Founding Fathers of the revolution.

    I'm always skeptical when reports like this come out. It seems to be driven by an agenda and typically when you dig a little deeper you find the real story isn't nearly as sensational.


    The article says:

    "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."

    But then the title of the article says "75%" and HuffPost says "77%"
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    Sep 19, 2009 4:13 PM GMT
    Oklahoma is the fifth most impoverished state in the country. I am sure this has less to do with bible-beltery than it does with students not having food, clothing, or shelter.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 19, 2009 4:15 PM GMT
    As always, I recommend taking these sorts of surveys about what high school students know with a huge grain of salt. Students have to take a whole lot of tests these days, and will be told that surveys like this one are not graded. What do you want to bet that a large number of students deliberately get the answer wrong on the survey just to have fun messing with the results?

    I'd take it a lot more seriously if these questions were on some sort of state-wide final exam in a history or government class.
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    Sep 19, 2009 4:55 PM GMT
    Here is the group that commissioned the survey. They have an agenda that clearly shows they would like to diss public education.

    "In accordance with the mission statement, the OCPA applies its philosophy to a variety of issues facing Oklahoma today. Some of the leading issues currently being promoted are an increased freedom for school choice initiatives, health care reform, fiscal responsibility, and government transparency." [my emphasis]


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_Council_of_Public_Affairs
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Sep 19, 2009 5:03 PM GMT
    MSUBioNerd saidAs always, I recommend taking these sorts of surveys about what high school students know with a huge grain of salt. Students have to take a whole lot of tests these days, and will be told that surveys like this one are not graded. What do you want to bet that a large number of students deliberately get the answer wrong on the survey just to have fun messing with the results?

    I'd take it a lot more seriously if these questions were on some sort of state-wide final exam in a history or government class.


    I think that's a valid point. In my fraternty life, it was only once that I was able to rattle off the entire greek alphabet, then I forgot it, but I can still read ancient greek and about a 2nd or 3rd grade level. that really conufsed our alumni.

    So here's a question: If you can phonetically read ancient greek, because you know what each letter means and the sound it makes, is it really that important to be able to rattle off alpha through omega?

    There's a lot of useful knowlege in the universe, but lots of it doens't pertain to our daily lives, and I for one am not too embarrased that I don't know it all, like the difference among Canadian Govenors and Priemers, or how to pronounce the name of Iran's president correctly. I'm not proud to be ignorant in those things, but it's hardly knowlege that I need and use on a regular day.
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Sep 19, 2009 5:34 PM GMT
    I'm surprised the percentage is that high.
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    Sep 19, 2009 5:45 PM GMT
    Your headline is wrong. The reality is even worse. The Huffington Post article says that 77% of the Oklahoma students CAN'T name the first President.

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    Sep 19, 2009 6:00 PM GMT
    They have this type of stuff at almost every High School.
    Kids usually don't take them seriously, its really fun to act like a dumbass.

    This article is funny because the kids just messed around and now the grown-ups are taking ti so seriously. I'd bet my tuition on it.

    Questions other than who our first president was are more difficult because kids don't really care, but more than you'd expect know the answers.
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    Sep 19, 2009 6:05 PM GMT
    GQjock saidDeep in the heart of the Creationist - Bible belt
    we are performing religious lobotomies on our children
    Red State Child neglect
    77 Percent Of Oklahoma High School Students Can't Name The First President Of The U.S.
    First Posted: 09-17-09 09:38 PM | Updated: 09-17-09 10:22 PM
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/17/75-percent-of-oklahoma-hi_n_290816.html



    This would would be typical of the southern states. It's not a secret that literacy is low in the southern states. Understand, it's not just about the indoctrination to the false belief systems, but, also to not permitting the open teaching and discussion of science, and world affairs. Ignorant folks often pride themselves in their ignorance.