General Question

srmorgan's avatar

There is supposed to be an error on the "How ignorant are our teenager's?" quiz. Anyone figured it out?

Asked by srmorgan (6768points) March 20th, 2008

On February 29, Common Core, an educational advocacy group, issued results of a test of general history and literature that it administered to 1200 high school students. The results were dismal with less than half knowing when the Civil War was fought and only 61% knowing what the Renaissance was.
However, in the New York Times last week, Dick Cavett posited the ironic comment that one of the “correct” mulitple choice answers shown on the Common Core website was itself WRONG. Anyone figured out which one it is? I have one likely candidate but I won’t mention it here and will post it in an answer.
The quiz is here http://commoncore.org/_docs/CCreport_stillatrisk_quiz.pdf and Cavett’s blog is here: http://cavett.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/14/uncommoner-than-thou-buckley-part-two/index.html?ref=opinion

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25 Answers

srmorgan's avatar

I think it’s number 11, but I wonder what the collective comes up with.

SRM

Perchik's avatar

I don’t know. I only missed a couple of the novel questions and the bible question.

jz1220's avatar

I think number 11 is debatable. I got that question wrong because I said those clauses were in the Constitution when the answer says they’re in the Bill of Rights. However, technically, the Bill of Rights is part of the Constitution. So it could go both ways.

The other questions I got wrong were 2 (when did Christopher Columbus sail to the New World – I looked it up and I was indeed wrong), 21 (what was 1984 about), and 27 (who is Job in the Bible).

I’m pretty confident that my other answers are truly correct. So I think the test author’s error could be in question 11, 21, or 27.

PupnTaco's avatar

Our teenager’s what?

srmorgan's avatar

@pupntaco —yeah, it was kind of hard squeezing that entire question into the little space given to us by Fluther. I missed deleting that apostrophe.
Mea culpa.

SRM

Perchik's avatar

I can understand the dificulty with number 11, as it’s kind of a technicality. 21 is definitely correct. As far as 27, I dont know.

0o_Niques_o0's avatar

27 is CORRECT… Job is indeed know for his patience in suffering

which would leave 11…

hope that helps

0o_Niques_o0's avatar

sorry for double posting ^^should say “known”

jz1220's avatar

One of the reader comments on the NYT blog mentioned that the answer to the question about the first English colony of North America could be incorrect because Jamestown failed as a colony, making Salem the first colony. Any thoughts/clarification on this?

PupnTaco's avatar

<—punctuation Nazi LOL

gailcalled's avatar

I found the mistake by cheating and reading Cavett’s blog comments. It is subtle and not about colonies or Job or documents written by the Founding Fathers. Otherwise, I did pretty well.

jz1220's avatar

@gail, it was subtle, indeed! Thanks for the lead. Does everyone else care to find out what it is?

0o_Niques_o0's avatar

i too have looked at the responses to the blog and found the answer… makes alot more sense now =)

gailcalled's avatar

However, if all of us smartie pants couldn’t find it w/o cheating, it was probably a bad question. Anyway, I vote for “bad question.”

gailcalled's avatar

Is anyone here a teenager, or are they too busy being dim bulbs?

jz1220's avatar

Not a teenager, but that quiz really brought me back to high school…

Perchik's avatar

Gail, I’m a teenager for three more days.

I made a B.

gailcalled's avatar

@Perchik; many happy returns. You did much better than the norm (or do I mean “mean” or average” ), which was below a D.

SRM. How about reposting a short version of the question w. a hook to attract the HS kids? (“My boyfreind got a A on this. Wat can u du?”)

srmorgan's avatar

The only conclusion that can be drawn here is that the creators of the exam could have and should have done a better job in the drafting of the various questions and answers. A lot of the answers are generalizations and not strictly on point. Question 11 is a good example of their imprecision.

One thing to point out however is this: on the link to the Common Core site that I put in my original question, see question 22.
In Cavett’s blog, he links over to an article on SLATE that was published on February 29th. The SLATE article “seems’ to have the test questions in a different format – they are also numbered differently for some reason – perhaps a copy ofthe actual pages as presented to their test-takers. One of the responses to question 22 (question 30 on the Slate link) – the “correct” answer as it turns out – is written differently. Here is the link http://www.slate.com/id/2185486/entry/2185490/

I would guess that the folks at Common Core might have rapidly corrected their own document once their error was pointed out to them.

SRM

Perchik's avatar

@gail, Thanks. Without trying to sound like an elitist, I consider myself much more well-read than my peers. I’d also be willing to bet that the test was given to younger “teenagers.” technically teenagers are 13 to 19, I’m the latter

gailcalled's avatar

@Perchik: not for long ;-) And sound like an elitist. What’s wrong with that?

dpena2009's avatar

I’m 16 and I got a B. I missed 24 and 30–32.

Perchik's avatar

congrats!

I dislike the term elitist because it conveys images of Nazis and racism.

Zaku's avatar

It does?

gailcalled's avatar

@Perchik: at 19 and 364/366 (leap year), you can call yourself intelligent, which is indeed a less-loaded word than elitist for some people. Or, if you like, I will label you “intelligent.” In Crawford, elitist seems to mean NE, white, male, Ivy League, and people who don’t drop their “g’s when they’re talkin’.

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