75 Percent of Oklahoma High School Students Can’t Name the First President of the U.S.

Posted:
Sep 16, 2009 12:17 PM CDT

<em>Wednesday, September 16, 2009 1:17 PM EST</em>Updated:
Oct 06, 2009 9:54 AM CDT

<em>Tuesday, October 6, 2009 10:54 AM EST</em>

 News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Only one in four Oklahoma public high school students can name the first President of the United States, according to a survey released today.

The survey was commissioned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in observance of Constitution Day on Thursday.

The Oklahoma City-based group enlisted national research firm, Strategic Vision, to access students’ basic civic knowledge.

Brandon Dutcher is with the conservative think tank and said the organization wanted to find out how much civic knowledge Oklahoma high school students know.

“They’re questions taken from the actual exam that you have to take to become a U.S. citizen,” Dutcher said.

A thousand students were surveyed by telephone and 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.

“Jefferson later said that a nation can’t expect to be ignorant and free,” Dutcher said. “It points to a real serious problem. We’re not going to remain ignorant and free.”

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