Daily Archives: May 23, 2012

What grade level Congressmen speak to us at. A message from America’s teachers (sort of). And the criminal who was caught by his homework.

This is one of those studies that won’t get a lot of attention, but that says a lot about our elected leaders.

A group called the Sunlight Foundation has again analyzed the grade level at which each member of Congress speaks to the public.

The results? Congress now speaks at almost a full grade level lower than it did just seven years ago, with the most conservative members of Congress speaking on average at the lowest grade level.

Today’s Congress speaks at about a 10.6 grade level, down from 11.5 in 2005.

So yes, just as many of us suspected, our leaders are dumbing things down to speak to the least educated among us. That’s partly how we get a Tea Party movement in America; leaders speak simple, hateful, easy to digest words, pit one side against the other, and fear-monger until they get what they want. (If you think it’s not just a GOP thing, how about this: The lowest 14 scores were all from Republicans.)

I can see the argument some might make, that our leaders should speak to a level  the majority of people can understand (the average American speaks at a 9th grade level, which is very sad).
But is it too much to ask for our elected officials to be better than that?

Apparently so. The whole list from the Sunlight Foundation is here.

**This was from Jimmy Kimmel’s show two weeks ago, but I just saw it now (hat tip to my father on this one). It’s about National Teacher Appreciation Day, which of course should be every day but isn’t. And it contains some NSFW language, but it also is hilarious. Here’s what teachers wish we could say to parents.

**Finally, a story that will warm the heart of any parent of a teenager. An 18-year-old Utah boy was arrested for burglary last week. How was he caught?
He left his homework at the crime scene.

Police in Orem, Utah tracked a USB drive found at the home Dallas Naljahih had allegedly just robbed. When they put it in, Dallas’ homework was on it, with his name on it, of course.

Ah, Dallas. Always remember to take your homework home from school before starting a crime spree. It’s a lesson my Dad always taught me.