The United States – along with the U.K and 42 other countries – has opted out of a standardized test designed, in part, to assess whether children can spot “biases” in news reports, the international Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development confirms to ABC News.
The “global competence test,” developed by OECD for 15-year-old students worldwide, aims to measure a student’s ability to identify “biases and gaps in information,” according to documents posted by the organization’s committee on student assessment.
A test handbook includes a sample question about a misleading article on global warming.
The hypothetical article, which presents global temperatures from 2001 to 2012, claims global warming isn’t real, because temperatures were lower in 2011 and 2012 than in 2008 and 2009. But the test key explains that the article’s argument “is not based on solid evidence” and should have included a longer time frame.
President Donald Trump recently used a cold snap on the East Coast to cast doubt on the concept of global warming.
Concern over “fake news” has intensified over the last few years, following repeated accusations by the president that mainstream media outlets are peddling fictitious stories.
A spokesperson for the federal Department of Education declined to respond to ABC News’ request for comment, but the department told Business Insider: “All schools are already required to teach pupils to have a mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs, so in order to not place additional burden on them, we will not be taking part in this smaller scale Global Competence assessment.”