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High School Congress

Sunlight Foundation

A new report shows that members of Congress speak more like high school sophomores than college graduates.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, freshman Republicans speak at the lowest grade level. The worst offender: South Carolina Republican Mick Mulvaney, a Georgetown and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill grad, who speaks at a seventh grade level. He reportedly says that he was taught to write in a "clear and concise fashion."

Researchers came up with the determination by using something called the Flesch-Kincaid test, which assigns grade levels based on word and sentence length. A person who uses longer words and longer sentences is found to speak at a higher grade level. In other words, the test doesn't look at the accuracy of lawmakers' thoughts -- just the amount of words they're using to express them.

The report also says politicians may be speaking in simpler terms to get their quotes on YouTube. Whatever it is, the sophistication with which lawmakers express their opinions has been on the decline for the last several years, according to this chart compiled by the Sunlight Foundation.

Sunlight Foundation