At Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, Wisconsin, an 11th grade US Government and Politics student was asked what political group would make the statement, “We should not help the poor, it’s a waste of money.” The student’s answer was that a fascist would make such a statement, but his answer was graded as incorrect.
The correct answer was conservatives, according to the test and teacher.
The 11th grade student could not imagine that conservatives or liberals would say such a thing, writes Kyle Olson of Education Action Group News. Heather Bronnson told EAG News that her son was bothered by the test, and she herself was shocked and angry.
“If a 16-year-old believes that a Republican or conservative doesn’t believe in helping the poor, they may view themselves as liberals at a young age … and incorrectly,” she says.
There were other questions the student got wrong, too. Bronnson says she wants other parents to know what their children are being taught in school, especially high school.
There is also a direction at the bottom of the test which instructs students to a website – gotoquiz.com – to discover where they fit on the political spectrum.
Fox News says Bronnson contacted the superintendent of West Allis-West Milwaukee School District last week to ask questions about the assignment, after which, the district released a statement saying students were:
“…required to take a political spectrum quiz, which is not a quiz in the traditional sense with right or wrong answers; instead, the quiz asks survey questions. The answers to the questions place students on the political spectrum. While the survey is completed online, no personal information is entered, including name, login, and student number.”
The district press release added that the spectrum quiz would not be given again. Fox News says the test was not designed to survey students’ political beliefs.
Ms. Bronnson, however, never received a reply from the district superintendent, says Blake Neff writing for The Daily Caller. The gotoquiz.com site is a platform for individuals to create quizzes that others may want to take.
In a blog written for the Huffington Post, Tanya Nadine Khan, a 16-year-old writer from Dubai, reinforces that political awareness is important. She says she and her friends spend their lunch breaks discussing current affairs. Khan spent her summer at Oxford University and says it was one of her most enriching experiences because she was able to ask all of the questions she has always wanted to ask about politics. She adds that every teen should have the opportunity to fully understand political events across the globe. In Khan’s words:
Understanding politics helps us develop a better understanding of the way the world works. Even scrolling through the headlines every morning before school can help you understand current affairs. As the future generations of change, we need to know about current affairs to help us make the world better tomorrow.
Another Huffington Post teen blogger, Julia Schemmer, wrote a letter urging newly elected House members to have the courage to look past their differences and to take “an honest look at the best solution for America.” She writes that change is not limited to the”mission statement of a political party, but rather in the bravery and adventure of celebrating different views.”