Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lĭt / uh / ruh / sē Äw / fĭs

Are You Smarter Than . . . . .

Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their Hist
ory and Institutions is the third major study conducted by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

In 2006 and 2007, ISI published the first surveys of civic learning among college students. Fourteen thousand freshmen and seniors at 50 schools nationwide were given a 60-question, multiple-choice exam on basic knowledge of America’s heritage.

Both years, the students failed.
The average freshman scored 51.7% the first year and 51.4% the next. The average senior scored 53.2%, then 54.2%.

First, a random sampling of 2,508 American adults of all backgrounds was surveyed, allowing comparisons to be made between the college- and non-college educated. They were asked 33 straightforward civics questions, many of which high school graduates and new citizens are expected to know.

Of the 2,508 Americans - 71% failed. The average score on the test is only 49%.
A: 21 people (8%) answered 90-100% correctly
B: 66 people (2.6%) answered 80-89% correctly
C: 185 people (7.4%) answered 70-79% correctly
D: 445 people (17.8%) answered 60-69% correctly
F: 1,791 people (71.4%) answered below 59% correctly

57%: Bachelor’s degree
49%: General Public
44%: Elected Officials
52%: Republicans
49%: Liberals
48%: Conservatives
45%: Democrats

Americans from all age groups, income brackets,
and political ideologies fail the test of civic literacy!

Only 24% of college graduates know the First Amendment prohibits establishing an official religion for the United States.

Only 49% of Elected Officials and the General Public can name the three branches of government.

Thirty percent of elected officials do not know that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence.


Anonymous said...

I got 28 out of 33 correct. 85% [and a couple of "well duh's" when I looked at what I missed!

Lee said...

I scored the 80's and it's been years since I've had a US government class.

I really do not remember discussing most of these topics in a US History course. I remember them from a civics course.

As for the philosophy question, I have no recollection at all of ever having discussed that in any class.

So...I'm wondering just who decided that these questions were "basic knowledge" of our heritage?