Wash. State Gives Patriotism Tests to Students?

Note: This now appears to be a bogus story. See below:

In Washington State, school kids are being asked to take patriotism tests that are unrelated to their coursework.

[The test] gauges whether or not the student shows fealty to the power of the state and whether the student believes in the right to overthrow a corrupt government.

Here's one of them, submitted by the mother of a 10th grader. [hat tip to Patriot Daily.]

Update: Commenters are very skeptical of this article and the source, Prison Planet. I've added a question mark to the title.

Update: Patriot Daily agrees the article is bogus and explains. Classy addition by Patriot Daily, which happens to be a very reliable news source.

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  • Re: Wash. State Gives Patriotism Tests to Students (none / 0) (#1)
    by roy on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 11:38:52 AM EST
    I notice the Prison Planet writeup mentions no effort to contact school officials. I did a little Googling, and it looks like these questions are taken from coursework designed to help discuss the politically-loaded play Julius Ceasar. If it really "has nothing to do with the materials they were studying", maybe there's something here. But, really, somebody needs to research these things before pushing the panic button.

    Re: Wash. State Gives Patriotism Tests to Students (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 12:40:51 PM EST
    Yeah, I think Roy is right on this one, unless it WAS unrelated to the course of study -- which, seeing as an English teacher apparently handed it out, fits with the curriculum of literature study the questions have come from. The "story" here doesn't seem to be what it appears.

    I agree: the original article seems quite sloppy. But I'm also kind of distressed that TalkLeft picked up on this, assigning it the alarming headline "Wash. State Gives Patriotism Tests to Students." Upon close reading, there's every reason to think that the questionnaire involved (a) isn't a test, (b) isn't about patriotism, (c) has no relation to the state of Washington apart from having been given out in a single classroom there, and finally (d) has nothing to do with "whether or not the student shows fealty to the power of the state." I thought this habit of accusing public school teachers of secret agendas was the business of the right, not our side.

    I, too, was surprised to see this on your "front page," Talkleft. I first saw this on a dKos diary and tried to find some sort of verification. I emailed "The Alex Jones Show" (tips@infowars.com) who had posted about this, asking where he got this information, in what school district was this done, public or private school? This is the reply I got:
    Thank you for your email and for your support. We appreciate all the news tips and comments that we receive and read them all.
    Although we might not respond to you directly, rest assured we appeciate your input and will make good use of the information you sent us.
    Thank you for all you do to help us fight the New World Order.
    "New World Order"? I don't like the smell of this one. I think you jumped too fast.

    Re: Wash. State Gives Patriotism Tests to Students (none / 0) (#5)
    by Lww on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 04:46:47 PM EST
    TL, when the site you Hat Tip isn't exactly kosher you get this kind of reaction... Patriot Daily looks like a nice site. Makin a list and checkin it twice...

    Re: Wash. State Gives Patriotism Tests to Students (none / 0) (#6)
    by Patriot Daily on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 08:50:09 PM EST
    Dear TalkLeft and readers: As the Editor of Patriot Daily, we are responsible for the “patriotism test” story submitted to TalkLeft. There is no question that the article should never have been submitted to TalkLeft, the error in the story is obvious, but nonetheless it slipped through the cracks. We are shocked, embarrassed and downright mortified. We offer our sincere apologies to TalkLeft and its readers. The rest of our commentary is for LWW, who stated: “TL, when the site you Hat Tip isn't exactly kosher you get this kind of reaction…” Dear LWW: We would like to explain to you the context of how this story slipped through the cracks. This story was submitted to me by a person who had a record of reliability. Therefore, in my holiday haste, I only read the first 5 items of the “patriotism test,” which mirrored positions that could have been taken from a right-wing playbook. No. 5 was a particular gem given the current events of Bush’s illegal surveillance of Americans: “In certain situations it may be justified for a political leader to bend or break the law for the good of the country.” My error was to not read the entire list, as # 9 (“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant taste of death but once.”) provided the dead giveaway of one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes. Even if I were not familiar with the quote, the “valiant taste of death but once” would clearly signal that this was a quote from a Greek or Roman play, and not contemporary discourse. My decision to post the story was based on the first 5 items, as well as 2 stories this month about US and British changes to citizenship tests to incorporate a patriotism test: (1) After the July bombings, Britain announced a new anti-terror measure to impose a “Britishness” test on “foreign-born imams.” This proposal was rejected just last week due to public opposition. link to story (2) A few weeks ago, Alfonso Aguilar, chief of the Office of Citizenship at the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, which is part of Department of Homeland Security, announced that a redesigned “naturalization test for immigrants who wish to become U.S. citizens will be in use by the end of January 2007” and the “redesigned test should encourage civic learning, patriotism, and attachment" to the US. link to story This patriotism test for immigrants was not defined, other than in reference to the “new test's goal” to “measure a prospective citizen's ‘'commitment' to the values of the United States.” Aguilar stated that the US wants “citizens to develop an attachment to the constitution'' to “encourage civic patriotism.'' link to story Given the current climate in which Bush’s civilian and military critics are denounced as unpatriotic, conservatives want to regulate the “liberal” content of college courses under the guise of an academic bill of rights to protect conservative views, and revising our naturalization test to incorporate an undefined element of patriotism, it just did not strike me as farfetched that someone would try to use a patriotism test at schools. Yes, I should have read the entire list in the test. And I will be knocking myself in the head for making such a silly mistake about such an obvious error. But, I would also appreciate it if you reviewed all or a good portion of our postings at Patriot Daily before rushing to judgment and impugning our credibility. We work very hard to surf the web to find major news stories, reviewing hundreds each day and do take our responsibility seriously. That is why this avoidable error is all the more frustrating.

    Re: Wash. State Gives Patriotism Tests to Students (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 31, 2005 at 09:41:30 PM EST
    Dear Patriot Daily, Thanks for your contrition. Still, the damage has been done. That's a major error to slip through. Try to make up for it as best you can. Honesty is always the best policy, and at least you offered that in your apology.