They Might As Well Adopt Them, We’re Barely Using Them Ourselves

From the LA Times, “China complains SAT may impose American values on its best students“:

Chinese students have shown an insatiable appetite for attending U.S. colleges — last year alone, more than 235,000 were enrolled at American institutions of higher education. But now, some in China are grousing that the SAT may impose American values on its best and brightest, who in preparation for the exam might be studying the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights instead of “The Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung.”…

The U.S. College Board in March announced plans to redesign the SAT to include key U.S. historical documents in one portion of the test, known as the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, by spring 2016.

“The vital issues central to these documents — freedom, justice, and human dignity among them — have motivated numerous people in the United States and around the globe,” the College Board said in a statement.

But those are the exact values that the Chinese Communist Party has deemed as threatening to its rule; Chinese activists who have tried to promote such values have been silenced or jailed. Human rights advocate Xu Zhiyong, who initiated the New Citizens Movement to promote such values, was sentenced in January to four years in prison….

Meanwhile, in another place, James R. Grossman in the NYTimes on “The New History Wars“:

… Last month, the College Board released a revised “curriculum framework” to help high school teachers prepare students for the Advanced Placement test in United States history. Like the college courses the test is supposed to mirror, the A.P. course calls for a dialogue with the past — learning how to ask historical questions, interpret documents and reflect both appreciatively and critically on history.

Navigating the tension between patriotic inspiration and historical thinking, between respectful veneration and critical engagement, is an especially difficult task, made even more complicated by a marked shift in the very composition of “we the people.” This fall, whites will constitute a minority of public-school students in the United States. “Our” past is now more diverse than we once thought, whether we like it or not.

It turns out that some Americans don’t like it. A member of the Texas State Board of Education has accused the College Board of “promoting among our students a disdain for American principles and a lack of knowledge of major American achievements,” like those of the founding fathers and of the generals who fought in the Civil War and World War II. The Republican National Committee says the framework offers “a radically revisionist view” that “emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history.” Stanley Kurtz, in National Review, called it “an attempt to hijack the teaching of U.S. history on behalf of a leftist political and ideological perspective.”…

130 replies
  1. 1
    Roger Moore says:

    Once again, the Republicans aren’t upset that there’s ideology going on in History, just that their own Lost Cause and American Exceptionalism aren’t given exclusive billing.

  2. 2
    KG says:

    like those of the founding fathers and of the generals who fought in the Civil War and World War II.

    you know, for someone on the losing side of the Civil War, you’d think they’d want to kinda ignore and explain away that part. though, i suppose that’s what they already do, with the whole “the War of Northern AggressionWar of Southern Treason wasn’t really about slavery.”

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    Shorter Republicans: Students should not think about history; they should just memorize the facts.

    You know why very few of these people are teachers? They suck at it. And what’s worse, they are terrified that if anyone thinks about something they might start to question it.

    In the 1770s, these people were called Loyalists. The original Un-Americans.

  4. 4
    Garbo says:

    Sorry to be OT, but some good news:

    Shanesha (she who left her kids in the car during job interview) has gotten custody back.

  5. 5
    Warren Terra says:

    I’d be eager to hear from anyone with actual knowledge, but my suspicion would be that the Chinese state and its education system likely pay ample lip service to “freedom, justice, and human dignity” whatever the actual rules people have to live by, and that if anything the Chinese students should be especially well prepared for the hypocrisy of extolling freedom while imposing conformity.

  6. 6
    Mike in NC says:

    Clearly the indoctrination of public school children to appreciate American Exceptionalism means their delicate minds must be protected from such things as the genocide of the native population and hundreds of years of African slavery.

    I can’t imagine what sort of bullshit goes into those textbooks they churn out in Texas.

  7. 7
    Keith G says:

    I suspect that we will be hearing more about this and other such issues, since healthcare and teh Gays are diminishing as rallying points.

  8. 8
    John N says:

    Anyone else think its funny that we revere the founding fathers, when the first constitution they wrote had to be abandoned almost immediately because it didn’t work at all, and the second one they wrote led to a civil war within one generation?

    Can we stop treating these guys like they had some kind of special prescience? The only thing that has held what they did together for so long is the process they provided in the document to correct their mistakes.

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    @John N: Fat Tony would spin in his grave if he read your comment.

  10. 10
    John N says:

    @BGinCHI: Oh, if only!

  11. 11
    Eric U. says:

    @John N: I think history has made them look pretty smart, although the slavery issue was something they couldn’t solve. They also screwed up on religion, because they should have put, “no state religion, we really mean it maaaaan!” in there a batch of times instead of in the amendments.

  12. 12
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    “an attempt to hijack the teaching of U.S. history on behalf of a leftist political and ideological perspective.”

    Translated; they are teaching history and not mythology.

  13. 13
    Cervantes says:

    @Warren Terra:

    I’d be eager to hear from anyone with actual knowledge, but my suspicion would be that the Chinese state and its education system likely pay ample lip service to “freedom, justice, and human dignity” whatever the actual rules people have to live by, and that if anything the Chinese students should be especially well prepared for the hypocrisy of extolling freedom while imposing conformity.

    Here’s the Chinese Constitution.

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    @Eric U.: How about some clarity on Amendment #2.

    Something like, “DO not grossly enable people to shoot other people….”

  15. 15
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @KG: They’re talking about Robert E. Lee.

  16. 16
    Darkrose says:

    @Garbo: Very good news–thanks for the update.

  17. 17
    Linnaeus says:

    Isn’t history one of those useless fields that the Chinese are ignoring in favor of becoming engineers and technicians?

  18. 18
    Robert M. says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    It’s cliche at this point, but the problem is that facts have a well-known liberal bias. Factual history is, accordingly, ideologically suspect from the point of view of a movement conservative.

  19. 19
    RaflW says:

    Do the morons in Texas understand that the College Board is a nonprofit and not the damn gubmit?

  20. 20
    Linnaeus says:

    @John N:

    Can we stop treating these guys like they had some kind of special prescience?

    Something the Framers themselves would say today, methinks.

  21. 21
    Crusty Dem says:

    Funny, if the SATs are anything like the GREs in China, everyone will cheat and end up with near-perfect scores, making honest evaluation by American Universities completely impossible…

  22. 22
    Linnaeus says:

    @BGinCHI:

    In the 1770s, these people were called Loyalists. The original Un-Americans.

    To be fair, the Patriots in the 1770s could be called the original traitors.

  23. 23
    Hobbes says:

    @Eric U.: Plenty of other places had solved the slavery issue by then.

  24. 24
    John N says:

    @Eric U.: If they seem smart because our country later rose to world prominence, then I think the credit should more correctly go to those people who were actually at the helm when that happened. If they seem smart because later actors were able to bend the words of the Constitution to fit more modern policies, then we should be giving credit to the clever lawyers who were able to do that, not to the poorly drafted document.

    Fuck, the credit for everything should REALLY go to John Marshall.

  25. 25
    Keith G says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I can’t imagine what sort of bullshit goes into those textbooks they churn out in Texas

    Having spent 20 + years teaching government and related courses in Texas public schools, let me assure you that textbooks in that state are not an impediment to a useful, inquiry-based education. Before the move to Texas, I taught in Ohio. Textbooks are pretty much standard commodities that play a role, but are not as important as the curriculum or the ingenuity of a good classroom teacher. Even in the face of some sort-sighted curriculum choices, a motivated instructor can do a lot to see that other important ideas are presented.

    The good news is that the College Board in not the servant of some inbred Tennessean legislator.

  26. 26
    John N says:

    @Linnaeus: At least they knew that if they failed, they would be executed for treason, so they were brave, at least. Unlike today’s cowardly loser brigade, who want to have their cake and eat it, too.

  27. 27
    Trollhattan says:

    This post reminded me to update my copy of the Texas Republican Party Platform.

    The Republican Party of Texas supports the historic concept, established by our nation’s founders, of limited civil government jurisdiction under the natural laws of God, and repudiates the humanistic doctrine that the state is sovereign over the affairs of men, the family, and the church.

    We oppose use of national or international standards in the State of Texas (i.e. Common Core, CSCOPE, United Nations Inclusion, etc.) We also oppose the modification of college entrance exams to reflect any national core philosophies. Furthermore, any independent school district that violates state law banning the use of a national core curriculum or standards shall lose all state funding until said curriculum or standards are removed and no longer being utilized in the classroom.

    Students should pledge allegiance to the United States and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism. Students have the right to display patriotic items on school property. Students should have the right to read the Bible on public school property.

    We urge school administrators and officials to inform Texas school students and district personnel specifically of their 1st Amendment rights to pray and engage in religious speech, individually or in groups, on school property without government interference. We urge the legislature to end censorship of discussion of religion in our founding documents and encourage discussing those documents, including the Bible as their basis. Students and district personnel have the right to display Christian items on school property.

    We oppose any sex education other than the biology of reproduction and abstinence until marriage.

    We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.

    We believe that parents are best suited to train their children in their early development, and oppose mandatory pre-school and kindergarten.

    Since education is not an enumerated power of the federal government, we believe the Department of Education (DOE) should be abolished, and prohibit the transfer of any of its functions to any other federal agency.

    And so forth.

    ETA whoops, forgot the Most Importantest Thing:

    We collectively urge the legislature to pass “constitutional carry” legislation, whereby law-abiding citizens that possess firearms can legally exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well. Until such time, we urge the state to re-introduce and pass legislation easing current restrictions on firearms such as open carry and campus carry. Stiff penalties shall be imposed for frivolous litigation against legitimate firearm manufacturers. All federal acts, laws, executive orders, and court orders which restrict or infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Texas, not be recognized by Texas, shall be specifically rejected by Texas, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Texas. We urge the Texas Legislature to enact legislation to protect law-abiding firearms owners from having their right to bear arms infringed by federal agencies due to such minor mental health diagnoses as non-severe PTS (post-traumatic stress), seeking counseling for minor depression or other minor mental health diagnoses.

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @Garbo: I googled and say a headline something like “Shenesha catches a break”. I would hardly describe 5 months without her children as catching a break. Geez.

    Still I am glad to see that she got her kids back. I hope she can find a good job and make a good life. I think the “break” she caught was when her story went viral on the internet and enough people cared about her to donate 114,000.

    P.S. I must be having an angry day, because I was about to write “those fuckers would have locked her up and thrown away the key”. Giving myself a self-imposed time out.

  29. 29
    Schlemizel says:

    SAT claims to predict the success of a student during their first year at university. Women & minorities score lower on average than white males but women and minorities tend to out perform their SAT scores while white males underperform.

    F[orget] the Chinese! Why the F[ool] does any university give any credence to the F[lipping] SAT score?

  30. 30
    BGinCHI says:

    @Linnaeus: Pistols at dawn!

    Wait, make that 9:30. I have a meeting.

  31. 31
    Keith G says:

    @Keith G: Note: I cite the issue in Tennessee because the story that I read earlier today about this mentioned a legislator there raising the same issue.

  32. 32
    Schlemizel says:

    @Garbo:
    I hope the money raised for her sets a base that she can build on. Nobody deserves to have gone through that for the reason she did. I hope they all can grow a happy home from here on out.

  33. 33
    MomSense says:

    @John N:

    It also took us a long time to write the first constitution, hold elections, and deal with some of our original sins (many are still unaddressed!) but we certainly do freak out when it takes Libya or Egypt, etc. longer than we deem necessary to do the same things.

  34. 34
    efgoldman says:

    @Robert M.:

    facts have a well-known liberal bias

    Hey, that’s my refrain!
    @RaflW:

    Do the morons in Texas understand that the College Board is a nonprofit and not the damn gubmit?

    Hell, they don’t even know the world isn’t flat.

  35. 35
    Schlemizel says:

    @MomSense:
    It is ‘funny’ how few Americans can detail Shays Rebellion or the Whiskey Rebellion or describe why the original Articles of Confederation failed. Those are topics all these mouth-breathing morans should have to do a term paper on before they are allowed to discuss the founders and their plan of the nation.

  36. 36
    Liberty60 says:

    @Linnaeus:
    Can you imagine the screams of outrage if Obama took a pair of scissors to the Bible and cut out parts he didn’t agree with, like Thomas Jefferson did?

  37. 37
    Keith G says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Students should pledge allegiance to the United States and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism.

    Again in Texas, I told my HS Government students that reciting the pledge was an optional ceremony that they could not be compelled to do.

    One morning a roaming asst. principal walked by my class and at the end of the pledge asked me to step out of the door for a word. He was told by me, respectfully, that my students were very proud to live in a country that in the normal run of life one could not be compelled to say things that they did not at that moment feel like saying.

    The kids enjoyed that teachable moment.

    My score at bucking the system was not perfect, but it was always fun.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    The Republican National Committee says the framework offers “a radically revisionist view” that “emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history.”

    You would think the RNC would have supported teaching kids about Reagan’s impact on America.

  39. 39
    Mike J says:

    @Hobbes: England didn’t really until 1841, and America was part of their empire until 1781.

  40. 40
    John N says:

    @MomSense: They may be an inferior race of people, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still expect more of them then we do of ourselves!

  41. 41
    bemused says:

    These conservatives are dictatorial and terrified, scared stupid that they are being marginalized as the top dogs and hell-bent on having their way no matter how quickly their caucasian, christianist, conservatives numbers are dropping. They’re fighting a losing battle.

  42. 42
    KG says:

    @John N: in fairness to the Founders/Framers, they were essentially flying blind as they built our system of government. There wasn’t much of anything that existed at the time that looked like democracy or representative government.

    It’s probably more amazing that the basic system stayed in place until the 1930s when the nature of interstate commerce really started to change and the administrative “branch” was developed. It wasn’t the constitution that led to the Civil War, it was the fact that nobody could “solve” slavery and its related issues in a way that created a consensus (which is why we had half a century of “compromises” about it).

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @RaflW:

    Do the morons in Texas understand

    No.

    SATSQ.

  44. 44
    JaneE says:

    I can remember telling my mother that George Washington didn’t really chop down a cherry tree, apparently she remembered it as factual. Then again, little more than a decade later I had to explain to her what “fellatio” meant.

    I hope they expose children to the original source material as much as possible. And from as many points of view as possible. I have just started reading “12 Years a Slave”, but it is exactly the sort of history that was glossed over when I was a kid. There have always been good and bad parts of our society and culture, and we really need to understand both of them.

  45. 45
    Ripley says:

    American Exceptionalism: “Every developed nation has universal healthcare EXCEPT America!”

    Add your own, it’s depressing fun.

  46. 46
    Cervantes says:

    @JaneE: I hope your mother appreciated the information.

    Re slavery, have you read Toni Morrison’s Beloved? It’s fiction, but not really.

  47. 47
    Botsplainer says:

    @John N:

    Can we stop treating these guys like they had some kind of special prescience? The only thing that has held what they did together for so long is the process they provided in the document to correct their mistakes.

    Thank you. I quit calling them reverential names years ago for the very reasons you cite.

    The American Revolution was one of opportunity, and for every lofty-languaged pundit of enlightenment in the movement, there were 10 Teabagging shopkeepers and small tradesmen acting at the beck and call of wealthier finance and farm players who wanted to be a new aristocracy to supplant the British nobility. A massive ocean and limited technology were the final necessary ingredients.

  48. 48
    El Caganer says:

    @Keith G: That article is great! I never knew Einstein was an American icon; always thought he did most of the work he was famous for before he came here. And how could any study of American History overlook that watershed event in 20th-century America, the Holocaust? Mix this with veneration for the Declaration and the Founders, and you have the makings of a pretty bizarre curriculum.

  49. 49
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @JaneE: too easy, but…

    Which source material do you recommend when covering fellatio?

  50. 50
    PurpleGirl says:

    @BGinCHI: Not memorize the facts (which have a liberal bias). Just memorize the dates, names, and place names. No need to understand the actions, just know when it happened.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    BJ, of course!

  52. 52
    Botsplainer says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    They’re talking about Robert E. Lee.

    They should have hung his traitorous ass like a common criminal. Fucker ran the population the size of a city around in the boondocks pillaging supplies just to prolong the conflict from 1863 on. There was no strategy – he was simply terrorizing on a scale greater than Quantrill, all to make the planter aristocrats happy by gaining an attrition/fatigue peace, and helping them realize their filthy dream.

  53. 53
    Roger Moore says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Isn’t history one of those useless fields that the Chinese are ignoring in favor of becoming engineers and technicians?

    No, it’s a field that Marx was extremely interested in, and consequently one that Marxists of all stripes have taken extremely seriously. That’s not to say, of course, that they treat it honestly, but they do care a lot about it.

    FWIW, I think the Chinese are missing the plot. A little bit of familiarity with American history the way AP wants it taught is going to have a negligible influence on Chinese students compared to spending four years at an American university.

  54. 54
    Botsplainer says:

    @JaneE:

    I have just started reading “12 Years a Slave”, but it is exactly the sort of history that was glossed over when I was a kid.

    My recollection was that every American history book I had included an image of some disgusting Confederate officer praying next to a horse.

  55. 55
    Dog On Porch says:

    Those wily Chinese always have all the angles figured. They take the best, most successful accomplishments of the Texas GOP and turn them to their invariably devious ends. Wily indeed.

  56. 56
    D58826 says:

    @El Caganer: Only slightly OT. The fact that the average American knows next to nothing about US history and less than nothing about world history is not really new. This lack of knowledge is reflected in the quality of our political leaders, esp. those in Washington. To suggest that they are dumber than a bag of doorknobs only insults the doorknobs.

    We are seeing the on full display over the events in the middle east, esp. the rise of ISIS. Rand Paul wants an immediate military solution. Ben Nelson wants ISIS destroyed immediately. Mccain/Graham want to bomb something anything as long as it has a funny Arabic name. The list goes on and on and on.

    I don’t know if the path that Obama is on is the best one but I suspect it is no worse than all of the others. What these critics seem to think is that ISIS just popped out of nowhere. They seem total oblivious that there is at least 1500 years of Sunni/Shia religious history running thru this conflict/
    Just because Bush 43 didn’t know there were two main branches in Islam in 2003 is no excuse for Congress critters not having learned that fact by now. When this religious conflict started there was no Europe as we know it today. Europe was settling down to the Dark Ages with local lords fighting over scraps of land. The Eastern portion of the Roman Empire still controlled a large area of the Mediterranean.

    After Vietnam, Cambodia, various misadventures in Lebanon and Iraq we haven’t learned that you can’t bomb an idea out of existence. All it does is grow back usually more extreme than before. Just ask the Israeli’s how successful they have been in bombing Hamas out of existence.

    Unless we understand that the history of the people in the Middle East (or anywhere else for that matter) long predates ours and that we simply can’t swop in and fix it with a little American exceptional pixie dust. As long as we have a major portion of the political elite pushing to dummy down the teaching of history then we will continue to have leaders like Rand Paul and Louie Gohmert and we will lurch from one foreign policy swamp to another.. It’s rather amazing that we have stayed on the top of the heap for as long as we have given our ignorance of the world beyond where Kim K is spending her latest vacation.

  57. 57
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Trollhattan:

    We collectively urge the legislature to pass “constitutional carry” legislation, whereby law-abiding citizens that possess firearms can legally exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well.

    What ‘God-given’ right is there to carry a firearm? Hell, if they’re going to go down that road, might as well bring back the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

  58. 58

    @Roger Moore: pretty sure these are 2 unrelated testing/college prep stories.

    To the 2nd point: I’m delighted by the new US History & Art History AP curricula. We struggle to find materials for our homeschooled teen that are rigorous in expectations but don’t have quite so much white supremacy baked into the cake. My wife’s field is post-Civil War Constitutional history and when she got a sample of the previous AP materials/test she was steamed for a month.

  59. 59
    JaneE says:

    @Cervantes: Have not read that yet.

    I made the mistake of letting my mother read my sociology class reading list unsupervised. (back in the 60’s). She already knew most of what I was explaining, but the Latin terminology was new to her. I just thank God that my dad wasn’t there when she asked me what it meant.

  60. 60
    skerry says:

    @Botsplainer: I’m still looking for someone to explain to me why there is a city park in Baltimore named “Robert E. Lee Park”.

    I don’t get it.

  61. 61
    D58826 says:

    And the latest example of American patriotism

    Gazprombank GPB (OJSC), a Russian bank targeted with sanctions by President Obama over the Ukraine crisis, has hired two former U.S. senators to lobby against those sanctions, according to a new disclosure filed with the Senate.
    Gazprombank is controlled by Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom, the country’s largest gas producer; it supplies about a third of Europe’s natural gas.
    In a filing submitted Friday and effective that day, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and former Senator John Breaux, D-La., are listed as the main lobbyists under the Gazprombank account for the firm Squire Patton Boggs, lobbying on “banking laws and regulations including applicable sanctions.”

    Lotts name is especially outrageous given the number of times the GOP has accused Obama of being a traitor.

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:

    @MomSense:
    OTOH, we were really making things up as we went along. Ours was actually the first formal, written constitution as we now understand the concept, so we were genuinely breaking new ground and had no strong reason to think it was going to work. In contrast, a country that’s writing a constitution today can pick from dozens of established ones to use as a basis. They also don’t have to worry about slow transportation and communications. It’s still silly to expect one to be written overnight, but it’s not unreasonable to expect people writing one today to do it a lot faster than we did.

  63. 63
    Mike in NC says:

    @skerry:

    I’m still looking for someone to explain to me why there is a city park in Baltimore named “Robert E. Lee Park”.

    Having spent a lot of time in Baltimore, I wasn’t aware of that, but it was one of the border states where roughly half the population leaned Confederate.

  64. 64
    Mike in NC says:

    @D58826:

    Lotts name is especially outrageous given the number of times the GOP has accused Obama of being a traitor.

    Trent Lott was a teabagger before the term was even coined. He infamously declared one time that America wouldn’t have any problems had Strom Thurmond been elected president in the 50s. That statement seemed to be one of the reasons he returned to the “private sector” to whore for money.

  65. 65

    @Roger Moore:

    a country that’s writing a constitution today can pick from dozens of established ones to use as a basis

    Seconded. I interviewed the person who did the prep work for Japan’s current constitution. She was a 24 year old graduate of a small women’s college in CA where she majored in Japanese and political science at the time. It was a cut and paste job, basically.

  66. 66
    efgoldman says:

    @D58826:

    Lotts name is especially outrageous given the number of times the GOP has accused Obama of being a traitor.

    Third plank of the GOBP RWNJ platform: “Do as we say….”

  67. 67
    skerry says:

    @Mike in NC: It has a nice off-leash dog park. It is really a great park, I just don’t like the name.

    Officially, it is in Baltimore County, just north of the city line but inside the beltway. I lived in the metro area for over 20 years before I heard about it.

    I’ve tried to find the history of the place, to see how it was named, but have been unsuccessful. I find it odd.

  68. 68
    El Caganer says:

    @D58826: The US isn’t uniquely evil, which some of my fellow lefties believe; what it is is uniquely powerful. The country spent the latter part of the 19th century and most of the 20th whacking on other countries around the world and usually getting away with it. That didn’t require any actual knowledge, and little was learned (although much was supposedly learned) from dubious adventures in Korea and Vietnam. The whole thing is running out of gas as those parts of the world that have been on the receiving end of American exceptionalism have started to join together and resist. It will be a few more years before American imperialism dies out, and unfortunately the whole planet may die out with it.

    Whatever. We’ll still always have something the wogs don’t: http://youtu.be/_W-fIn2QZgg

  69. 69
    Hobbes says:

    @D58826: You may find the ISI Civic Literacy Exam (from the 2008 survey) interesting. There’s 33 multi-choice questions, and after you’re done you can look at a table to see how others did on each question. I got 29 out of 33(and felt a bit embarrassed about 2 of the 4 I messed up), and I’m sure most of the people who comment here would do at least as well.

  70. 70
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @D58826:

    In a filing submitted Friday and effective that day, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and former Senator John Breaux, D-La., are listed as the main lobbyists under the Gazprombank account for the firm Squire Patton Boggs, lobbying on “banking laws and regulations including applicable sanctions.”

    One leetle issue: if SWIFT decides to lock out Russia these hires won’t be able to do squat, as SWIFT is (nominally) beyond the US’s reach.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Hobbes: 32/33. I missed one on the tenets of capitalism.

  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:

    @Hobbes:
    I got 32 of 33, missing the definition of a public good. I found it interesting that the average citizen scored better on the exam than the average elected official.

  73. 73
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I missed one on the tenets of capitalism.

    Say what you will about the tenets of capitalism, at least it’s an ethos.

  74. 74
    justawriter says:

    Up here in North Dakota we have already done our part to infect the Godless Red Chinese with Good Old Murican Values by taking their money and giving them something worthless in return. https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/02/13/dickinson-state-faces-report-bogus-degrees-suicide

  75. 75
    Anne Laurie says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Shorter Republicans: Students should not think about history; they should just memorize the facts.

    “Why can’t they just memorize the approved list of our Great General-Kings, and learn to properly revere their ancestors, the way Confucius Jeebus intended?”

  76. 76
    D58826 says:

    @El Caganer: I don’t think we are uniquely evil. On balance we probably have done better by most of the world than other super powers have but we really aren’t God’s chosen, no matter what Hucklebee and pat Robertson say

  77. 77
    El Caganer says:

    @Anne Laurie: If it’s not in a David Barton book, I’m not gonna believe it.

  78. 78
    skerry says:

    @Hobbes: Woo Hoo. I got them all right.

    What’s my prize?

  79. 79
    Linnaeus says:

    @Roger Moore:

    No, it’s a field that Marx was extremely interested in, and consequently one that Marxists of all stripes have taken extremely seriously. That’s not to say, of course, that they treat it honestly, but they do care a lot about it.

    Oh, I get that. I was being a little tongue-in-cheek with my prior comment; it’s not uncommon these days to hear something along the lines of “The Chinese are kicking our asses because they’re teaching their young people subjects that matter and not stupid liberal arts crap.”

  80. 80
    Hobbes says:

    @skerry: I’m blowing you a kiss now. Allow 3-8 days for delivery.

  81. 81
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @D58826:

    but we really aren’t God’s chosen, no matter what Hucklebee and pat Robertson say

    Surprisingly enough, uncle Pat has gotten a few clues as of late; moreso than Hackabee has.

  82. 82
    WaterGirl says:

    @Hobbes: Thanks for the link to the quiz.

    Beyond all the obvious things, I really enjoyed the composition of the incorrect answers!

  83. 83
    docg says:

    Dear China,

    How are you? I am fine. And please feel free to educate your own students.

    Bye

    PS: Please leave Tibet alone.

  84. 84
    Cervantes says:

    @El Caganer:

    The US isn’t uniquely evil, which some of my fellow lefties believe;

    That wouldn’t be straw, would it?

  85. 85
    skerry says:

    @Hobbes: Thanks!

    I sent the link to my kids. It will be interesting to see how they do. One is political science major, so I expect her to do well. The others…we’ll see.

    Neat link.

  86. 86
    efgoldman says:

    @docg:

    How are you? I am fine. And please feel free to educate your own students.

    Certain universities (my alma mater among them) recruit as many foreign students as they can, because they pay full non-discounted tuition and fees. It’s a major revenue source. The sticker it is not shocked.

  87. 87
    Anoniminous says:

    @Hobbes:

    Crap. Missed the one about the Public Good.

  88. 88
    Anoniminous says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    What is Huckabee up to these days? (Besides grifting along like they all do.)

  89. 89
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @D58826: Well said.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  90. 90
    priscianus jr says:

    @John N: “Anyone else think its funny that we revere the founding fathers, when the first constitution they wrote had to be abandoned almost immediately because it didn’t work at all, and the second one they wrote led to a civil war within one generation?”

    No. You try it some time.

  91. 91
    Mike J says:

    @Anoniminous: The public good question was badly worded, but I got ém all right anyway. Two or three of them required rereading the alternatives to see the best fit.

  92. 92
    KS in MA says:

    @John N:

    “The only thing that has held what they did together for so long is the process they provided in the document to correct their mistakes.”

    A rather important thing, no?

  93. 93
    efgoldman says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Crap. Missed the one about the Public Good.

    Me, too. I guessed at (and got) the one about Socrates and Aquinas. What the hell does that have to do with anything?

  94. 94
    Anoniminous says:

    @Mike J:

    Their answer was asinine. IMNSHO

    @efgoldman:

    Who the heck knows why they picked that one. Better would have been a question about Tacitus’ political ramblings since he was a major influence on the Founding White Males.

  95. 95
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Anoniminous:

    What is Huckabee up to these days? (Besides grifting along like they all do.)

    Hackabee is still on Fox News’s payroll.

  96. 96
    Roger Moore says:

    @KS in MA:
    I always say that Article V proves that the framers knew they weren’t infallible, which leaves an interesting dilemma for people who want to behave as if the Constitution was perfect as drafted. If the Constitution was so perfect and the framers were such geniuses, why did they include- and promptly start to use- instructions on how to change it? You can either believe that they knew what they were doing, in which case you have to accept their own admission of fallibility, or that they didn’t, in which case you’ve already accepted their fallibility. Either way, it’s hard to see them as divinely inspired geniuses.

  97. 97
    RaflW says:

    Here’s two Republican patriots:
    (Via WSJ blog)

    Much of Washington is up in arms over Moscow’s interference in Ukraine, but that doesn’t mean Russia doesn’t have some well-placed defenders.

    The former Senate majority leader, Trent Lott of Mississippi, as well as John Breaux, a former senator from Louisiana, were hired to lobbying on sanctions and other matters by a Russian bank that the Obama administration punished in July, according to a recent filing.

    If Democrat’s don’t hammer the GOP for this, I swear I’m gonna freak out.

  98. 98
    Baud says:

    @RaflW:

    Breaux is a Dem.

  99. 99
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Hobbes: 33/33 Woot! Though I had to think long and hard on a few, and guess on at least one.

    A neat quiz. Thanks for the linky!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  100. 100
    efgoldman says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You can either believe that they knew what they were doing, in which case you have to accept their own admission of fallibility, or that they didn’t, in which case you’ve already accepted their fallibility.

    Damn Jesuits and their “logic.”

  101. 101
    Cervantes says:

    @Baud: Conservative Democrat, New Democrat, etc., but yes, a Democrat.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @efgoldman: All were writers that a well-educated gentleman of the Enlightenment would have read. You know, influences on Enlightenment thought.

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    @Cervantes:

    We’re a rich tapestry.

  104. 104
    Cervantes says:

    @Baud: Emphasis on “rich.”

  105. 105
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Hobbes:

    I got 31 out of 33. Need to reread the Bill of Rights and study up on the national debt.

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Baud: I would have gone with “In my Father’s Party’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” But yours works.

  107. 107
    Baud says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    I got 0 out of 33. Then I realized I wasn’t on Balloon Juice and cynical responses didn’t count. Took it again and got a perfect score.

  108. 108
    RaflW says:

    @Baud: Ah, well, a LA Dem is practically a Republican. Anyway, hammer the former Senate majority leader none the less. He’s the bigger fish (and maybe the bigger grifter, though Louisiana is pretty famous for graft, corruption and shenanigans).

  109. 109
    PurpleGirl says:

    @efgoldman: At some point in the late 1970s NYU tried to recruit undergrads from Germany. I typed hundreds of addresses on envelopes to send information to officials in German schools. We didn’t get a good response from the campaign, as I recall.

  110. 110
    Shrillhouse says:

    I scored 32/33.

    Missed the question about the Gettysburg address as the source of the “by the people, for the people” quote.

    Not bad, considering I’m Canadian.

  111. 111
    drkrick says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s still silly to expect [a constitution] to be written overnight, but it’s not unreasonable to expect people writing one today to do it a lot faster than we did.

    Writing one isn’t really the trick, although it’s possible to screw that up. The hard part is getting people to consider it legitimate enough to continue to live under when they lose on something they consider important. Failure to do that is what led to the Civil War – the country elected a President the South wouldn’t accept. It’s the same failure that’s causing the government of Iraq to struggle. It isn’t a legislative drafting problem.

  112. 112
    Bitter Scribe says:

    These are college-level courses intended for the brightest and most accomplished high school seniors, who are advanced (just like it says in the name of the course!) beyond the most basic characters and concepts of American history. Complaining that this or that iconic American figure isn’t included in an AP course is almost exactly as stupid as complaining that a college course on precolonial American history doesn’t include the story of George Washington not lying about chopping down the cherry tree.

  113. 113
    Anoniminous says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Thanks.

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Pendent Alert!

    Socrates didn’t write anything. Plato certainly, if only “The Republic” and “The Laws;” although I have a vague memory of running across a Jefferson quote from “Phaedo.” Aquinas and that whole Scholastic crowd were the thinkers the Enlightenment were (verbally) violently rejecting (“Let us strangle the last king with the guts of the last priest.” — Diderot attributed) and hardly someone heir to the English bigotry against Catholicism would pour over; I would have chosen Seneca.

  114. 114
    KS in MA says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Yes, exactly!

  115. 115
    Cervantes says:

    @efgoldman:

    Me, too. I guessed at (and got) the one about Socrates and Aquinas. What the hell does that have to do with anything?

    ISI’s first president was William F. Buckley. Its current Board Chair is Al Regnery. Ed Meese is a trustee. Need I say more?

  116. 116
    Anoniminous says:

    And I just noticed the link to a quiz on Things Political was given by Hobbes.

    A goodly jest, methinks.

  117. 117
    efgoldman says:

    @Cervantes:

    Need I say more?

    Ahh. Had no idea. That explains the capitalism, balanced budget, and international trade questions, which I thought were out of place (along with the aforementioned philosophers.)

  118. 118
    dmsilev says:

    @Cervantes: Even without knowing that, it was pretty clear that the quiz-writers had an axe to grind. See, for example, the question about international trade.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Anoniminous: Fair enough on Socrates. I would argue that Aquinas would have been read – no longer as near gospel, but read nonetheless. One has to have an idea of what came before to react against it.

    @efgoldman: Yeah, I read some bias in some o the questions. That actually lead me to get my “wrong” answer. I chose what I thought they wanted, but they went with something a bit more subtle. Out-thought myself.

  120. 120
    El Caganer says:

    @Cervantes: No, some of them actually do believe it, although they’re a pretty small minority as far as I can tell. I think most lefties try to have a realistic view of the world.

  121. 121
    Cacti says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Shorter Republicans: Students should not think about history; they should just memorize the facts.

    It’s not even that. They want students to memorize a hagiography of famous white people.

  122. 122
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Cacti:

    Shorter Republicans

    Heightist!

  123. 123
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Heightist!

    Hey! Down here! I’m a shorter Democrat.

  124. 124
    Melissa says:

    @BGinCHI: Hey, Loyalists are most complicated than that. Look at history.

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Melissa:

    Look at history.

    All of it? I do need to get some sleep tonight.

  126. 126
    danielx says:

    Stanley Kurtz, in National Review, called it “an attempt to hijack the teaching of U.S. history on behalf of a leftist political and ideological perspective.”…

    Sort of makes you wonder how ol’ Stan will place this hot little item on the ideology scale….

    Eric Cantor, guest starring in yet another thrilling episode of C.R.E.A.M.!

    Got it. I mean, I know they’re for sale, but goddamn, do they have to make it so obvious?

  127. 127
    Perfect Tommy says:

    An example of the state of education in this country.

    The author has a Masters of Education from an accredited university:

    The Perils of the Absorption of knowledge before developing an approach to the Commonality of Education

  128. 128
    J R in WV says:

    @skerry:

    Maryland is south of the Mason-Dixon Line. and would have joined South Carolina if they had not been north of Washington DC. They were occupied by the Union Army in overwhelming force on day one of the Civil war, and civil rights were pretty much canceled in Maryland for the duration of the war.

    SATSQ….

  129. 129
    workworkwork says:

    @Hobbes:
    31/33 – I missed two of the tax questions.

    Interesting quiz!

  130. 130
    workworkwork says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I graduated from a Jesuit university (Comp. Sci. major) so we had to read Aquinas. (As well as Plato and St. Augustine, among others.) So I got that question right.

    I do agree that the quiz had a certain bent to it. I’m not sure what free market capitalism has to do with civics. Capitalism and democracy are not necessarily compatible. (See China, for example, to bring us back to the topic of this discussion.)

Comments are closed.