Half of the Class Misses Gimmie Question
My tests are usually devilishly difficult, so when I write my weekly quizzes, I throw in a gimmie or two to help their grade. Apparently, this gimmie was bizarrely hard.
5. The president does not want to sign a bill into law. Which option would he not choose?
a. Signing the bill.
b. Vetoing the bill.
c. Trying a pocket veto.
d. Having a press conference.
You could miss three weeks of school and, not knowing anything about American government, still infer the correct answer. I didn’t even bother to hide the correct answer in a bunch of mostly correct-looking answers.
The president does not want to sign a bill. What would he not want to do? Sign the bill. It’s an exercise in parsing that I thought wouldn’t trip up the class, but at least half of my students answered this question incorrectly.
Even if “holding a press conference” wrongly tripped them up — even after we covered the importance of press releases and press conferences in politics more than a month ago — I still had students who believed, somehow, that vetoing the bill was an option our chief executive would not consider.
I figure it’s an exercise in reading carefully. As a skill that’ll actually end up being important in their daily lives, I should ask more of these questions.
Moral of the story? Throw the the class a bone and half of them will choke on it.