A hue and a cry was let out across the nation a few months ago when a survey that cast doubt on the future of Oklahoma was released, after the results showed not a single student could get more than 7 out of 10 right on a basic civics test.
Fortunately, several folks started looking at the results more closely and justifiably began to call BS on the survey company, the think tank that spread the news, the methodology, and, of course, the results.
One of the people who cast a skeptical eye on the test was in an excellent position to test things out himself - a Democratic state representative who's also a retired educator.
Read about my friend Ed below the fold...
Rep. Ed Cannaday, a Democrat from the Eastern Oklahoma town of Porum, has devoted many years of his life to making sure children get a quality education - first as a social studies teacher, then as a school administrator, and now as a legislator. When he heard about the dismal civics survey results released by OCPA, a conservative Oklahoma think tank, I think it hit him pretty close to home.
So Rep. Cannaday took the ten-question test back to students in his House District 15 and decided to administer the test to every high school senior in the district. He wrote:
Another interesting bit of data they shared was that 1 out of 10 of our students said that the two major political parties in the U.S. are Republican and Communist. Having taught Social Studies to Oklahoma high school students for many years, I became very suspicious of their facts and chose to spend time giving the same test to every high school senior in District 15. These totaled 325 students from our 10 secondary schools.
Here are his results:
I should note that the students who took Ed's test were not necessarily exceptional, nor does his district put smart powder in the water - these are typical Oklahoma high schoolers, and they got nearly 8 in 10 questions correct.
I guess that from now on, OCPA and their Republican cronies will have to find new ways to try to embarrass our state - like failing to fund senior nutrition programs. You know. Little things like that.