11/18/13. School interrogates seventh graders over their political views.
A Colorado school gave an extremely leading political quiz to seventh graders that asked them to describe their views on a host of issues—from abortion to healthcare—and implied that the liberal positions were kinder than the conservative ones.
The “Righty or Lefty?” quiz was given to 12-year-olds in the Aurora Public School District. It began by providing a cookie-cutter description of the conservative, liberal and moderate political philosophies in general, and then on specific issues. Students were asked to indicate on a scale from 1-10 the extent to which they agreed with a given position, and then told whether they were liberal, conservative or moderate, based on their score.
At least one parent took issue with the quiz, and passed it along to a Christian radio show, Stand Up For The Truth. She said her son had little idea what to make of the political questions.
“I am appalled by the ‘Righty or Lefty’ poll,” wrote the parent. “First of all it is nobody’s business what mine or my 12-year-old son’s political views are. Secondly, my own son does not even know what half of these issues mean until after discussing them with him. His answers vary greatly during discussion. His views will always change as he grows and as new issues arise and he learns that these things have an effect on his life.”
The quiz also appeared to advance a subtle pro-liberal perspective. Compare the quiz’s given healthcare positions for liberals vs. conservatives:
Liberals believe that all Americans are entitled to health care when they need it. Since health insurance is very expensive, liberals believe that the government should help those who cannot afford it. Liberals believe that taxes should be increased, if necessary, to pay for health care.
Conservatives do not believe that Americans are entitled to health care. Conservatives believe that it is the responsibility of individuals to pay for their own health insurance. Conservatives do not believe taxes should be increased to pay for health care.
There is no explanation for why conservatives might have good reason to think that government involvement in the healthcare sector would result in worse medical coverage for Americans.
“The entire thing is pro-Liberal and con-Conservative, being completely skewed towards ‘Lefty-nicey/meany conservatives’ ideology, which I do not approve of,” wrote the parent. “The entire thing is unbalanced and an unfair and inaccurate representation.”
The parent also noted that she and her family do not consider themselves liberals or conservatives.
Stand Up For The Truth could not determine whether the quiz was given as part of a Common Core requirement. Pearson, a textbook company handling many of the instructional materials for states under the new national curriculum guidelines, has already drawn criticism for incorporating pro-government perspectives into its workbooks.
The school district did not immediately respond to a request for comment.