America’s best teachers got a B on this quiz


The Martin Luther King memorial is visible through cherry blossoms at peak bloom around the Tidal Basin in April 2014. (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

The 62-year-old National Teacher of the Year Program is the oldest national honors program that focuses on teaching excellence, and this week, the 2014 winners from each state, the District and U.S. territories are in the nation’s capital’s for the annual celebration.

(You can read about the 2014 National Teacher of the Year, Sean McComb of Maryland, here and here.)

The teachers have been touring the capital and meeting with various dignitaries. On Monday, for example, they visited the Vice President’s Residence and met with Jill Biden, the educator wife of Vice President Joe Biden (who wasn’t at home at the time). On Thursday, all of the teachers will go to the White House where the 2014 National Teacher of the Year will be honored in a ceremony with President Obama.

As part of the program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers, many of the state winners took a tour Sunday evening of some historical monuments in the District. The organization that sponsored the tour, the People to People Ambassador Programs, created a quiz for the teachers to take to test them on what they had just learned. When the quiz was announced on one of the buses ferrying the teachers around, some  shouted out, “Is it multiple choice?” and “Is it open response?”

As it turned out, the questions were open response, but we’ve turned them into multiple choice questions for you. Take the quiz and see how you do. Following the quiz are the results showing how well the teachers did.

The quiz:

 

Take Our Survey

 

Here is a tabulation of how many Teachers of the Year took the test and how well they did on each question. The questions that gave the teachers the most trouble involved the Washington Monument.  Also, note for #9 that several different answers were accepted.

There were 38 State Teachers of the Year who participated in the quiz. Out of a total of 456 questions answered, 63 were incorrect, for a collective grade of 86.2 percent.

How did you do?

Question 1: How tall is the Washington Monument? 10 incorrect

Question 2: What is the top of the Washington Monument called? 9 Incorrect

Question 3: Why is the Washington Monument two different colors? 2 Incorrect

Question 4: What do the Freedom Wall gold stars represent? 1 Incorrect

Question 5: How many pillars are there and what do they represent? 12 Incorrect

Question 6: Why are the stone pillars at the WWII Memorial connected by a bronze, sculpted rope? 4 Incorrect

Question 7: What do the Mountain of Despair and Stone of Hope represent? 5Incorrect

Question 8: What was MLK’s message to the world as inscribed by his 16 quotes on the granite wall? 3 Incorrect

Question 9: What two documents are engraved on the side walls of the memorial?9 Incorrect

Question 10: Why are there 36 Doric columns surrounding Lincoln’s Memorial? 4 Incorrect

Question 11 (BONUS Q): Bonus: How are all 50 states represented here? 2 Incorrect

Question 12: What happened on the 100th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial? 2 Incorrect.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
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Valerie Strauss · April 30