Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) bragged about his college entrance test scores on Thursday as he also acknowledged that some “people think I’m the dumbest guy in Congress.”
Gohmert may have earned that reputation by doing things like claiming his face mask likely gave him COVID-19 (on the extremely rare occasions he wore one) and then taking the failed Donald Trump “cure” hydroxychloroquine to fight it. He has said that caribou love to “date” over oil pipelines and nominated Republican Newt Gingrich to be speaker of the House 13 years after Gingrich left Congress.
The Republican from Texas nonetheless insisted that he tested “very well” on the SAT college entrance exam. Gohmert, 67, also claimed — without offering any evidence — that young people scored higher on the SAT before the advent of the Department of Education under President Jimmy Carter 42 years ago, but that’s not quite correct.
“When I took it, did very well. It got me into the honors program at [Texas] A&M,” Gohmert said in a speech on the House floor. “I’m sure that shocks people that think I’m the dumbest guy in Congress.”
Average SAT scores began to flag in 1975, four years before the Education Department was created. The math/critical reading scores were 494/507 in 1978, the year before the department was created. Scores were 500/509 in 1985 and 1986, and 501/507 in 1987. Math scores have generally risen over the years to 2020, while critical reading has slipped over the same time. There’s no apparent correlation to when the Department of Education was created.
The SAT, which does not measure IQ, has come under increasing criticism as a biased test weighted toward white and affluent students and one that has questionable utility in determining who’s a strong college candidate. Many colleges, including the entire University of California system, are dropping the test requirement after managing to choose students without it due to COVID-19 restrictions.