Take the American Civic Literacy Test … Sad State of Affairs with Nations Ignorance & Being Informed
How incredibly sad that Americans fail to know the basics when it comes to history and civics, yet they know who the judges are on American Idol and the past winners. They know “Survivor” but do not know what are the three branches of government. How is it possible that so many people can be and have become so ignorant to so simple and basic questions regarding the United States civics? It brings up the obvious question of how can one make an informed decision when they are not informed.
“The nation’s ignorance of the kind of knowledge necessary for informed and responsible citizenship — and the failure of our nation’s colleges to effectively address and fix this problem — would certainly be unacceptable to our founding fathers, who believed that the university would create leaders to preserve liberty,” asserts Dr. Brake. “Our report demonstrates that Americans today expect no less from our colleges than our founders did.”
How badly are our schools failing us and our children when the most common and simple civics questions cannot be answered? An uninformed public is an easily deceived public and easily manipulated by government.
Press Release from The American Civic Literacy Program
Washington, D.C., November 20, 2008 – Are most people, including college graduates, civically illiterate? Do elected officials know even less than most citizens about civic topics such as history, government, and economics? The answer is yes on both counts according to a new study by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). More than 2,500 randomly selected Americans took ISI’s basic 33-question test on civic literacy and more than 1,700 people failed, with the average score 49 percent, or an “F.” Elected officials scored even lower than the general public with an average score of 44 percent and only 0.8 percent (or 21) of all surveyed earned an “A.” Even more startling is the fact that over twice as many people know Paula Abdul was a judge on American Idol than know that the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” comes from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.