July 15, 2004

Mississippi drivers

When we lived in New Orleans, we always felt that no matter how bad the drivers in New Orleans were, they were worse in Mississippi. Now, thanks to Kimberly, I understand why: they were all cheating on the written portion of their driver tests!

Now that Mississippi has switched to a random, computerized test, from the much photocopied pencil and paper test, the percentage of failure has gone from 20% to nearly 60%.

But let me ask you this: Where is the outrage that fully 20% of the test takers failed a test that everybody in the state was cheating on anyway? How stupid (and I don't throw that word around lightly) were these 20 percenters? What does that say about education in the great state of Mississippi to begin with?

Posted by Random Penseur at July 15, 2004 10:05 AM

Just as cops rely heavily on the fact that criminals tend to be stupid (and thus aid cops in catching them), cheaters tend to be stupid as well.

There are, of course, the occasional brilliant cheaters who wouldn't need to cheat if they could put their energy into studying rather than trying to find a way to beat the system. But for the most part, people cheat because they're not smart enough to figure out a way to learn the material. Thus, it's a given that some percentage of them will cheat incorrectly and still fail.

Posted by: Kimberly at July 15, 2004 10:10 AM

I don't think those 20% are stupid... they just have too much integrity to cheat on the test and happen to fail - it's a risk of the game.

Posted by: Hannah at July 15, 2004 11:34 AM

...or they're too dim to memorize a list of twenty answers.

Posted by: Jim at July 15, 2004 01:45 PM

I don't know, Hannah, I'm not sure anyone ever bet on the integrity of Mississippi.

I think that I may be more persuaded by Jim's more cynical point of view.

Posted by: RP at July 15, 2004 04:02 PM

Kimberly, that is a very interesting observation.

Posted by: RP at July 15, 2004 04:03 PM


Glass houses, RP, glass houses. I've lived in Mississippi for 20 years (moved here to go to college) and we both know that the bad drivers in MS are speeding through here heading home to Louisiana. :-)

As for the 20%, think of how many people you knew growing up that failed the written portion of the driving test. I can think of several off the top of my head and that was years ago. The fact that most of the people taking the test were probably 15 or 16 year olds who hadn't cracked the manual.

Sure, the public education system in Mississippi is pretty bad, but can you really blame people not passing their driver's exam on the education system? I don't think so.

One more thing...could you sit down and pass the test right now?

Posted by: Howard at July 15, 2004 10:06 PM

Ah, ha! Someone has sprung up to defend the honor of Mississippi! And done so in a humorous way. Sorry, Howard, but at least you appreciate the Louisiana/Mississippi rivalry, right?

As for the test today, I think I'd probably do ok. Not to brag, but, I got a perfect score on the written test when I took it some 20 years ago. Skills like that just don't fade, you know. (nope, they straight out evaporate.)

Posted by: RP at July 16, 2004 08:16 AM

Yep, I appreciate the rivalry and enjoy participating. You try being an LSU fan in Ole Miss country. It's not easy, but National Championships do quiet them for a while.

A perfect score? Oh, dude, that's just wrong. :)

Posted by: Howard at July 17, 2004 10:30 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?