Pine Tree Students Test Knowledge About Government - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/23/06-Longview

Pine Tree Students Test Knowledge About Government

Election day is two weeks away, but how much do you know about American politics? Some East Texas students wondered the same thing so they interviewed 140 people, asking 10 questions about our government. 

It started off as a simple assignment: interview 10 people you know and ask them 10 questions about government. 

"Then it took on a life of it's own," says Street Law teacher, Candee Collins.

That's because this class from Pine Tree High School decided to also interview complete strangers at the mall. 

"Once we did that we realized how many people didn't even know anything about the government today," says student Cortney Berryhill.

 The students asked questions like "Who is the First Lady?" Out of 140 people, 42 got it right. 

"Most people got the First Lady now confused with the first President Bush," says student Kyle Smith.

"It was surprising to see that people didn't know the First Lady and the Declaration, stuff about felonies, misdemeanors and the Bill of Rights," says Cortney.

Another surprising result, only 21 people out of the 140 could name all four candidates running for Texas Governor.

The class says their survey shows that not enough people are paying attention to current events.

"We need to study more and get in tune with what's going on around the country," says Kyle.

"Just to see that people now are more up to date with reality TV and just more into TV than they are with political stuff and stuff that is actually going on and happening in our world today," Cortney says.

So the next survey they're planning will be ten questions about pop culture. 

"Then we'll do some real tallying to see if people know more about TV...than they do politics and government," says their teacher.

"If you'd like to test your government knowledge, or see the results from the Pine Tree students' survey, click on the "Know More on 7 link" on the left and go to "Government Trivia."

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.

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