My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Regional Director Says A 6th Grader Can Work For The 2010 Census

Are you smarter than a fifth grader? If so, then you’re qualified to work for the 2010 Census according to Dennis Johnson, who heads the Kansas City Regional Census Office (one of 12 throughout America). H/t to Fox’s Kansas City affiliate for the following:

KANSAS CITY – Advertising for jobs with the 2010 Census has some taxpayers questioning just who the government is trying to hire to go door-to-door, as job applicants can essentially fail a qualification test multiple times, and drug users are apparently welcome to come work for the government.

“Thugs,” said taxpayer Angie Borges, when asked who the government seems to be recruiting for the 1,500 open positions. “Sorry, people that are just not worthy of having that job.”

Applicants for Census positions take a 28 question multiple-choice test, in which they only have to answer 10 correctly to pass and qualify for a job that pays $15 an hour. But if that proves too difficult, applicants can retake the test as many times as necessary to get 10 answers correct.

According to advertising for the positions, the Census wants applicants to know that there is also no drug testing for the jobs.

“You can take the test over and over and over again and fail multiple times until you pass it,” said Borges. “If you pass it, no drug testing required. Who is that going to appeal to?”

Other taxpayers said that they question how those being hired will impact the accuracy of the count.

“It looks like they’re appealing to almost anybody who wants some sort of a job that will pay $15 an hour,” said taxpayer Kim Kearny. “They’re not going after the best, most knowledgeable people, therefore the census may be askew.”

Census regional director Dennis Johnson concedes that testing is designed for sixth- or seventh-graders, so there will be available workers in every neighborhood.

“After a few years, some of that sixth- and seventh-grade knowledge may fade away, but most people are able to get through the test, do very well,” said Johnson. “And we’re seeing a lot of people who get all the questions right. That doesn’t exclude those that don’t. We need a lot of people.”

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