Today, I have the honor of being the Constitution Day Speaker for the Kent Gardens Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. A recent poll in Oklahoma City, however, suggests that before we celebrate the Constitution, we may have to explain what it is. This includes gaps in such basis knowledge as “who was the first president of the United States?” Only 23 percent could name George Washington.
In a survey commissioned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in observance of Constitution Day Oklahoma students showed an astonishing lack of knowledge about their government — flunking the basic questions needed to become a citizen of the United States.
The students were given 10 questions drawn from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services item bank. In order to become a citizen, you must answer six questions correctly in order to become citizens.
About 92 percent of immigrants who take the citizenship test pass on their first try, but only about 3 percent of the students would have passed. Here is the questions and the percentage of correct answers:
What is the supreme law of the land? 28 percent correct.
What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? 26 percent correct.
What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? 27 percent correct.
How many justices are there on the Supreme Court? 10 percent correct.
Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? 14 percent correct.
What ocean is on the east coast of the United States? 61 percent correct.
What are the two major political parities in the United States? 43 percent correct.
We elect a U.S. senator for how many years? 11 percent correct.
Who is in charge of the executive branch? 29 percent correct.
Similar results have been found in other cities.
For the full story, click here.
For the report, click here.