Georgia High School Graduation Test: “The Daily Show” version

Here is a new “revised” Georgia High School Graduation Test. It’s a very well done spoof of the current budget mess. In this version, GHSGT stands for Government Hinders Student Growth & Teachers.

Here’s one of the questions on the test:

You are building a foundation for your home. Which of the following choices demonstrates the most appropriate action?

a. Tell the contractor that although you think she is the best you just don’t think you should pay
them what they are worth.

b. Tell them that you want the best possible foundation, but you want them to make it from sand
and water.

c. Give them the freedom, funding and resources to do the job you hired them to do.

d. Stand in their way and block them from doing their job and blame it on your neighbor.

The creators don’t want credit, but they are teachers. (No school time was involved in creating the piece.)

38 comments Add your comment

Christie S.

March 19th, 2010
1:58 pm

Maureen, check the link?

Old School

March 19th, 2010
2:30 pm

“a. Tell the contractor that although you think she is the best you just don’t think you should pay
them what they are worth.”

contractor: singular
she: singular
them: plural
they: plural

The creators are teachers! And Maureen is calling it “…a very well done spoof….”

Chris Murphy

March 19th, 2010
3:14 pm

@ Old School: the usage is correct: when you hire a contractor to do foundation work, they have a crew, and may be referred to as “them.”

Kira Willis

March 19th, 2010
3:34 pm

Actually, the contractor and the crew crew are both singular, unless the people in the crew are acting as individuals.

Kira Willis

March 19th, 2010
3:35 pm

bah. crew only once. I LOVE grammar, so I got a little excited.

Chris Murphy

March 19th, 2010
3:47 pm

I find the analogy particularly apt at this time, as I am a contractor, and people have been very aggressive in price shopping. They want the work, but want to pay like they would an illegal alien who does not earn enough to the pay taxes, insurance, tools and supplies or ‘normal’ expenses of a legal, middle-class contractor (mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc.). The Great Recession is allowing a lot of people to pull power-plays. If you don’t pay for a ‘good job,’ you’re not going to get one.

Travis Rice

March 19th, 2010
3:48 pm

My fellow teachers should be careful about using contractors as an analogy. Contractors were the first ones wiped out by this recession. If you extend the analogy it only shows how insulated from market forces teachers really are.
People get to choose their contractors and pick the one they want based on his reputation and how well he meets the needs of the job. But teachers generally oppose letting parents choose their child’s teacher. (Even though we teachers reserve this right for ourselves)
Contractors have very little job security. Bad contractors go out of business, but good ones get “merit pay” in the form of more business.
Teachers have tremendous job security (relative to the rest of the workforce) and the good and bad are paid equally.
In fact the contractor doesn’t get to decide what “they are worth.” The person paying for the job gets to decide that. A contractor has their “worth” tested everyday in the marketplace. Teachers use all the political clout they can muster to prevent that from happening to them.
Yes, these cuts are painful. And perhaps raising taxes would have been worth it to avoid some of the cuts. But the “woe is me” teacher mentality has got to stop. With 10.5 percent unemployment, maybe we should back off the griping about our taxpayer-funded, government-determined salaries.


March 19th, 2010
3:52 pm

Old School is correct. You cannot have both singular and plural pronouns in a sentence referring to the same noun. Contractor= singular. Contractors= plural. All pronouns must be singular or plural depending on the noun to which they refer. It isn’t about whether the contractor has a crew– it is about the pronoun agreeing with the noun it refers to– in grammar it is stated as the pronoun agreeing with the antecedent ( noun or pronoun it refers to). Contractor is singular, so every pronoun in that sentence that refers to contractor MUST be singular. Thank goodness there is an Old School person like me who still knows the rules of correct grammar and syntax. Few do these days. It is just another example of dumbing down the curriculum.

That being said, the test is hilarious and oh so true. it IS a great spoof!

Old School

March 19th, 2010
5:34 pm

Thanks, Elizabeth. And thanks to all who commented regardless of their take on the issue. This has been one of the most intelligent series of posts I’ve read. I’m not actually very skilled with grammar and in the above incidence I was going by the pronoun, she, being singular.

The greatest skill possessed by this old female shop teacher (yes, really- Industrial Arts and Drafting) is my uncanny ability to use far too many commas and ellipses in totally inappropriate ways. . . and not care.


March 19th, 2010
5:41 pm

I’ve read several people on this blog refer to “fully funding education” but I’m not sure what that means. Is there something in the Georgia constitution that stipulates a specific amount of funding?

Answer C is nonsensical. No hiring manager, supervisor, or CEO in their right mind would ever tell a prospective employee or contractor “Your budget is as much as you think you need to get the job done; and your pay is as much as you think you deserve, and you can hire as many people as you think you need and feel free to oversee yourself since I am not 100% qualified to do everything that you are doing better than you are.”


March 19th, 2010
8:04 pm

Probably because I’m a science teacher, I like the third question best.

On the other hand, I think I’d like the third question best even if I were an English teacher.


March 19th, 2010
8:07 pm

James, there is a formula in state law, the Quality Basic Education act. QBE has not been fully funded and in the Perdue years $2 BILLION, yes billion with a B, has been cut from QBE in “austerity cuts”. I guess the recession started the day Perdue was sworn in for the children of this state and their schools.


March 19th, 2010
10:02 pm

James: Your analysis of answer C is different than mine. I have always had to operate within a budget, focused on my boss’s goals, and as I have mature, I have insisted on being able to insist on reasonable freedom. That is consistent with answer C. As a boss I also insist on validating these same issues with my staff. With senior, well educated people, I also understand that if I restrict any of these areas, the results may suffer so it is not an easy decision.

Ole Guy

March 19th, 2010
11:36 pm

No school time was involved? Perhaps this spoof should have been designed in the classroom…with student involvement. It is, perhaps, the most profound piece of literature many students will ever come across in their education.

Teaching in FL is worse

March 20th, 2010
8:43 am

In times of budget woes, our leaders seem to conisistently look in the wrong places.

Whatever happened to buying out teachers close to retirement? They can be replaced by a younger, cheaper teacher. That teacher will likely miss less days since they are healthier. They will also be less likely to cause trouble by thinking for themselves (happy to have a job)

And why do we pay so much for books? I thought this was a free market?

I know labor is a major cost, but there are so many places that can be cut.


March 20th, 2010
8:51 am

Travis Rice you hit the nail on the head. I don’t want teachers cut and I want them to have the freedom to teach however they feel fit. I want goals set for each child and that teacher will have to meet that goal for the child. Stop all the paperwork, stop all the testing and just teach the children. Teachers should not have 10-year, they should be hired just like contractors.

Get rid of the non-teaching people, the people who make the schedule, who have to spend endless hours tracking down who said what in every instances, the person at each school whose job is to track attendence, the people in central office and keep changing things and making the teachers do more paperwork. Quit changing things – the central office is not making things better, but making them worse.

Bottom line: get rid of non-teaching positions first.


March 20th, 2010
8:59 am

Taxpayers are obligated to provide quality education in math, science, English, history and languages. We should focus on these priorities. The rest is extra and can be cut or at least not considered until core subjects are at the highest level. No wonder the creators of this fake test “don’t want credit.”


March 20th, 2010
9:31 am

@paulfromatlanta: I’m sorry, you’re wrong on this. I teach one of the core subjects you mentioned. My best students have a well-rounded education and you forgot the arts and physical education. Why did you not mention tech ed as well? This is the 21st century. If students are not prepared for the technological challenges that they will face in the 21st century, we will have failed them.


March 20th, 2010
9:40 am

Teaching in FL is worse, the problem with the “younger, cheaper teachers” is that they are frequently more likely to have to stay home with small children who get ill, and also more likely to take maternity leave.

That said, I do know of counties which are trying to force out the teachers who are close to retirement.


March 20th, 2010
9:47 am

@d I included Tech ed under science – the school I volunteer at runs its tech labs and computer science under the science department and that seems to work pretty well. But I agree with you I should have included physical education.

Tech Ed

March 20th, 2010
10:21 am

Actually, technology ought to be integrated in almost every subject (probably not PE or band or something, but certainly in all academic classes). If we get rid of “the people who make the schedule, who have to spend endless hours tracking down who said what in every instances, the person at each school whose job is to track attendence,” who do you think is going to do all of this? Yep….teachers.

math teacher

March 20th, 2010
10:28 am

I teach high school math and have the safest job security because so few can do what I do (or at least want to do my job) and I know it. So I will ignore the politics promoting questionable data-driven initiatives (just so we can get the GE and Bill Gates $$ in APS), shut my door and teach these kids some math. I have seen very few initiatives the districts tries to make us do that actually helps impact student performance. And I will bite the bullet for now because APS is not as in dire straits as other locals (we were furloughed two days next year with no pay increase). But I warn you, mess with me anyone and I will not go down quietly. I already deal with enough students who are too self centered to really make much of a difference no matter how hard I try so I play the game like everyone else.

ALSO, EOCT’s are coming up for core subjects. Keep a close eye on those Math I,II scores coming up and question EVERYTHING.

Free Market Educator

March 20th, 2010
12:07 pm


A congressional thief makes a true confession. Watch Democrat Rep. Tom Perriello of Virginia rat out his profession.

And you foolish teachers wonder why your funding is being cut? You never had the money in the first place! Property taxes have never fully funded government education. The Feds pretend that they are funding govt. schools, but they are NOT! It is all “borrowed” money folks! Our primary lenders are China, Japan, and ultimately the private Federal Reserve Bank. They don’t loan just to be nice, THEY LOAN AT INTEREST! Our nation has currently racked up a debt of $12.5 TRILLION. We are no longer able to make our INTEREST payment with taxes. WE ARE INSOLVENT! FOOLISH, FOOLISH CITIZENS THAT THINK THERE IS SOMETHING CALLED A FREE LUNCH. You deserve every layoff and budget cut to pay for your IGNORANCE.


March 20th, 2010
8:27 pm

Purdue will go down as one of the worst governors we ever had….He has wrecked the educational process for Georgia Schools with all the cuts and no 2% or 3% tax to help education through this crisis…Sonny Perdue actually campaigned as being a friend of the teachers, well, we all know the real truth now….Tell me who in their right mind would mind paying 3 cents on each dollar spent to keep our educational system, which has been rated the 48th or 49th, from bottoming completely out….Then tourists coming through and all of Georgians could share in helping our educational process when they bought items in the state of Georgia…Instead of only the people who own property and homes paying all the tax money….


March 20th, 2010
8:34 pm


Mike Firesmith

March 21st, 2010
6:20 am

Odd, the teachers have time, energy and money to make up fake tests yet they seem to lack the skills in teaching students how to pass the real ones. Georgia ranks consistently in the very bottom of the nation in education and yet each year passes and more students fail.

I see no solutions here. The finger pointing and whining will continue, as will the state of Georgia’s race to the bottom of the educational dung heap.

Home school your children, parents, because the state of Georgia cannot provide your kids with an education.

But isn’t that fake test so cute!


March 21st, 2010
8:13 am

My neighbor (a Gwinnett school teacher) chose D when it came to building her house. (True story) Blamed me because she didn’t do her homework before purchasing property. Didn’t realize she didn’t have the setback from my horse barn on her “dream piece” of land. Two years later and she is still harassing and trying to get the county to make me tear down the barn. You get what you pay for and that includes teachers.

Georgia schools are some of the worse in the nation. I don’t fault the teachers, or at least the teachers who are in it for the love of teaching and wanting to make a difference. When the government chooses to under fund, under pay, and stand in the way of teachers, what do you expect of the brightest, most talented? They leave and I don’t blame them.

This is the future of our nation we are so carelessly under funding. How can you expect to make great leaders, when you rip the funds right out of the schools? You can’t build a strong foundation with a hand full of sand and a bucket of water and that people is what Georgia is giving teachers to work with.


March 21st, 2010
9:58 pm

Mike Firesmith, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”


March 22nd, 2010
8:53 am

“Whatever happened to buying out teachers close to retirement? They can be replaced by a younger, cheaper teacher. That teacher will likely miss less days since they are healthier. They will also be less likely to cause trouble by thinking for themselves (happy to have a job)”

Why do you think older teachers are worse and sould be bought out? Would you rather have a doctor or a lawyer right out of school or one with experience? Yong teachers are so overwhe,med their first 3 or 3 years that they are not as effective as expreienced teachers. We pay for and encourage experience in every other profession, yet older teachers get slammed for not being as effective. As for heath– younger teachers not used to germs get everything they are exposed to their first few years. I have been out sick only one half day this school year and I will retire with 180 days of sick leave which will give me an extra year of credit for retirement benefits. That is NOT sick leave abuse. However these comments about older teachers do make me want to remind you that there are laws against age discrimination in this country.

The real reason you want us out is that we DO “think for ourselves”. You see, we remember when education meant TEACHING, not administering a process to pass a standardized test. We know what works and we know what does not. We expect discipline and appropriate behavior from our students. And we get harrassed every day for expecting things that younger teachers think are “no big deal”. We were taught to think and to teach. We were taught to make certain that students could think and reason. Helping students to pass a multiple choice test is NOT teaching. But that is all young teachers today are tuaght to do. Administer the process, be cookie cutters of each other, follow the text, teach the test. An d that is why education is dumbed down from when I started teaching,. And that is why I am retiring–because I REFUSE to cheat my students any longer.

Been there done that

March 22nd, 2010
9:24 am

You tell ‘em Elizabeth! I retired two years ago after 31 years in the classroom. I couldn’t handle shortchanging my students anymore as I tried to juggle real teaching with jumping through bureaucratic hoops for the sake of a ridiculous test.

It Starts in the HOME!

March 22nd, 2010
10:59 am

You can blame the teachers all you want, but it starts in the home. If the child is not afraid or does not want to make the parent proud of their accomplishments, what in the world can a teacher do but try. The majority of the test scores has NOTHING to do with the TEACHING, but with kids NOT WANTING to actually learn during the school year and believing that the answers are going to somehow appear in their silly little heads for the test. When kids are failing it’s somehow the teacher’s fault (I’m not taking up for all teachers), but the parent NEVER thinks that they are the problem. A prime example: A sports meeting at school – over 300 parents, a PTSA meeting at school – 20 parents…hmmmmm.

David S

March 22nd, 2010
11:51 am

It is truly depressing to think that the same people who put this together are actually pretending to educate the future leaders of tomorrow. In ever question and every answer, the clear and obvious tone of whiny socialists who know they could never have the courage or the skills to succeed in a free market comes screaming through.

How disgusting.

David S

March 22nd, 2010
12:14 pm

Here are some alternate answers that would have been nice to see:

Question 1:

e. When times get tough you look to find the real root causes of your problems. If those lie with government control of the process, you work to get the government out of process and restore ownership to customers and service providers through the wonderful free market, no matter how much it goes against your socialist worldview.


e. You find another higher paying job or consider working with your fellow teachers to eliminate government control of education because you know that your skills are worth far more in a free market than the political system will ever pay you.


e. You realize that it is not the business of the government to either make production demands upon or subsidize any industry with money that is forcibly taken out of the mouths of other citizens. You realize that the private company needs to decide for itself just how much money needs to be spent on R&D to achieve its future goals. If it decides poorly, it may very well go out of business. If it decides well, it may force one of its competitors out of business. Socializing risk and privatizing profit are the hallmarks of fascism and corporate cronyism and are at the root of some of the biggest problems this country now faces. All responsibility must lie with the individual or the company.


e. Realize that you can only afford the size home that you can pay for with your own money. It is not moral or appropriate to steal from your neighbor or to get the government to do it for you just so that you can have the home you think you deserve. Recognize that government licensure of your contractor doesn’t mean that he knows what he is doing, but rather that he has jumped through all of the government-mandated hoops. Get recommendations from friends and neighbors and other independent certifying agencies and then let the contractor you choose build your house as he sees fit, always watching him like a hawk because you are the customer and must never forget that.


March 22nd, 2010
5:41 pm

I am sick to my stomach with some of your comments. We know where the money comes from. We know! Do you want us to stop educating our children. Give us more kids. Give us fewer resources, but after that, leave us the HE@@ alone so we can do our jobs. I would have MUCH more time if I could focus on my content and my kids. I am an educator who knows how to teach. I can teach any content you throw my way (even out of my field) because teaching is my gift that I hone every day!

Hot For Teacher

March 22nd, 2010
8:16 pm

There are clearly some problems inherently with David S’s options…..
e. The problem with this option is that there is no Socialist Worldview with the idea of Public Education. It is a Free-Market, if you are capable of producing offspring and actually do, then you absolutely have the right to send them to private school, or home school them in your bomb shelter.
e. Assuming that once again, you can produce offspring and wish to take advantage of the Public School option, one would hope you would want your children taught by the most highly qualified individuals who actually care about their profession, and the children they teach. If you choose to elect to opt into the Private System, feel free to take that up with your leaders there.
e. If we do not learn from the past, then we are destined to repeat it. Had you completed a proper education yourself, you would know that. No society can be too great or too big that it can forget about taking care of the future generations and do what is right by them. If you think the future of our country resides solely on the individual, then please feel free to create your own great society in the woods, or wood shed, wherever your pleasures lie, and leave the real future of our country to the people that actually care and take the time to make a difference.
e. Education is affordable, and according to the LAW, constitutionally mandated to be funded by the State of Georgia. Again, if you prefer Lawlessness or deride the people that have educated EVERY leader of this country, past and present, then once again, this is America, Love it or Leave it. Instead of doing exactly as was stated, blaming everyone else for your problems, and only looking out for yourself, maybe you should realize that we are a SOCIETY and as HUMANS, have a responsibility to each other.

Overall, it is the people like you who think that their needs and wants outweigh everyone else, and that it wasn’t the current policies of letting the “free-market” deal with it that got us into this whole mess in the first place. Econ & Gov’t 101….. Maybe you should be the one going back to school (But then again, you know better than the educators themselves, don’t you….)

[...] aerospace engineering, taught Post AP Aerospace and Robotics. (He is also on of the creators of  a parody  Georgia High School Graduation Test that I posted in [...]

[...] aerospace engineering, taught Post AP Aerospace and Robotics. (He is also on of the creators of  a parody  Georgia High School Graduation Test that I posted in [...]


May 29th, 2010
3:39 am

Hot for Teacher said ” . . . deride the people that have educated EVERY leader of this country, past and present”

I hope you are not a history teacher. Few, if any, presidents up to and including Woodrow Wilson went to school before college.