And look like a fool.
Political Scientist James Joyner flunks a 17 year old Kuwaiti student at a California Community College for not to responding to the question.
I must say, I'd have given the exam a failing grade, too. It is an incredibly poorly written, error-ridden, pabulum-filled, essay that essentially ignores the question put forth by the instructor.
Said question being:
Dye and Zeigler contend that the constitution of the United States was not “ordained and established” by “the people” as we have so often been led to believe. They contend instead that it was written by a small educated and wealthy elite in America who representative of powerful economic and political interests. Analyze the US constitution (original document), and show how its formulation excluded majority of the people living in America at that time, and how it was dominated by America’s elite interest.
Joyner tells us:
The assignment is to give examples from the text of the Constitution supporting the Dye-Zeigler thesis, not refute it by talking about how the Constitution has evolved over time.
The FLUBA Committee on Examples of Poor Reading Comprehension has this to say about that: No, it isn't that.
It clearly says: Analyze the US constitution (original document), and show how its formulation...
We repeat, with emphasis: its formulation. Meaning, show how the results of its formula for government: excluded majority of the people living in America at that time, and how it was dominated by America’s elite interest.
It says nothing at all about examples, it asks for analysis of its formula's results. Which is exactly what the young man did in his answer. Except he disagreed with the premise of the question (ahem, he showed an ability to think for himself, rather than regurgitate pabulum). The student instructed his instructor that the results of the formula demonstrated the falsity of the textbook's theory.
What Prof. Joyner (and several of the commenters to the post) are grading the young man on, is his attitude; he likes America. That's what got him in trouble with his instructor, and that's what is driving his grade in Joyner's blog: