The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has some bad news. Most people are civically illiterate. And elected officials know even less! Before you read further, why don't you check your civics knowledge? Click on this link to take the test - It will only take about 10 minutes. (I already have and we can compare grades at the end of this post.)
If you would like to read the full report of their findings, click this link. Here are some comments on their process: The "more than 2,500 random selected Americans," were interviewed by phone. So the results do not reflect the level of knowledge of "phone-less" Americans. I suspect that the results might be even more alarming if this group was included. Among those responding by telephone interview, there is a small margin of error (+/- 2% at 95% confidence level). I might have used a few different questions reflecting my personal quirks about civic literacy. But the list of questions was prepared from multiple reputable sources. The bottom line is that this survey is not producing merely anecdotal evidence.
If you were tracking with me in the previous post, then you already know I have doubts about the effectiveness of "education by the state." The ISI report only elevates my level of doubt. Here's my reason: Since the state has appointed itself to be the educator of our children, you would think that there is one topic about which it is an expert. Surely the state ought to be able to teach students about ITSELF! Alas, 68% of all respondents (9 out of 10, presumably, coming from public education) failed the test! If the state won't be honest about itself or cannot teach children about itself, how successful will it be in other subjects?
If you have not already done so, please take the test. I missed four of the questions (two were stupid mistakes, two were clear markers of my ignorance) and received a "B." Tomorrow, I will give you an opportunity to log your results (anonymously) at L-W. Will doing so reveal something astonishing about those in the L-W clubhouse or betray us as unremarkable? Don't wonder about it - Click this link to take the test, have it scored, and come back tomorrow.