PoliTech asks college students basic history questions…

… the results of which are very disheartening. Granted, this is in Texas where there’s an effort to have textbooks rewritten to push a Conservative slant on all topics, but these aren’t even politically fraught questions. These are basic facts that it’s stunning to think anyone with an IQ larger than their shoe size doesn’t know.

Check it:

headdeskBut, hey, if you want to know what show Snooki was on or who Brad Pitt is/was married to then these kids have got you covered!

To be fair, I can’t recall the last time knowing who won the civil war was critical to my day to day life and knowing that the Vice President is Joe Biden doesn’t help me fix a client’s computer any faster. In the interest of being completely honest I’ll admit that while I do know who we gained our independence from, I wasn’t entirely certain what year it was as it’s a bit of a vague question. My knee-jerk response is 1776, but that’s the year we declared independence. The war itself didn’t actually end until 1783. You could argue we didn’t actually gain it until the war ended. The really sad part is that I do know what show Snooki was on in spite of NEVER HAVING WATCHED THE FUCKING SHOW. I also know who Brad Pitt is/was married to because it’s all anyone talked about back when he dumped one to go to the other.

These people don’t strike me as stupid. They’re just ignorant about the history of their country. I suppose we could debate over how important knowledge of these questions really is, but the point is that you have to work hard at being that ignorant given these are basic facts first taught in elementary school and repeated throughout the years. Given how many times this was covered in my time in public schools I find it hard to imagine there’s any way you could finish K-12 and not know these facts by heart. OK, the Joe Biden one doesn’t really count. I can understand not knowing the dates of important historical events because I was pretty crappy at remembering dates myself, but I at least have a general idea of the time period they happened in.

Are they just not teaching these things in school anymore?

4 thoughts on “PoliTech asks college students basic history questions…

  1. A few years ago, a political science professor that I am very familiar with gave a 20 question quiz to his class on the first day, asking questions very similar to these. The average score was 4.

    Grading of questions was very liberal–the US became a country in any of 1776 (Declaration of Independence), 1783 (end of the revolutionary war) or 1787 (the signing of the Constitution) or frankly any date in that general area. Similar for the civil war (any 1860’s answer was accepted.)

    I got 20 out of 20; my elementary age children got just under half.

  2. Texas state law requires 6 hours of American history, and 6 hours of government as part of the core curricula. Guess the ones they interviewed either hadn’t taken the courses yet, or are on the flunk track.

  3. Holy shit, I’m Australian and I was able to answer all of them except for the year that America gained independence. I imagine that a similar survey in this country about our own history might yield similar results.

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