The Decline in Civics

Another depressing story.
Just a third of Americans can pass a multiple choice "U.S. Citizenship Test," fumbling over such simple questions as the cause of the Cold War or naming just one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for.

And of Americans 45 and younger, the passing rate is a tiny 19 percent, according to a survey done for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Worse: The actual test only requires that 60 percent of the answers be correct. In the survey, just 36 percent passed.

Among the embarrassing errors uncovered in the survey of questions taken from the U.S. Citizenship Test and conducted by Lincoln Park Stragtegies:
* 72 percent of respondents either incorrectly identified or were unsure of which states were part of the 13 original states.
* 24 percent could correctly identify one thing Benjamin Franklin was famous for, with 37 percent believing he invented the lightbulb.
* 12 percent incorrectly thought WWII General Dwight Eisenhower led troops in the Civil War.
* 2 percent said the Cold War was caused by climate change.
The last one is a good guess if you didn't know, since Climate Change is frequently said to cause everything.

4 comments:

Gringo said...

Unfortunately, it is not easy to access the actual test. At least I was not able to do so.

raven said...

It is not an accidental omission of schooling-- to want to defend something, one must know and love it.

Krag said...

Slightly related, seven weeks into my youngest's 6th Grade U.S. History course, they are still "studying" the indians - which includes fours days of watching the film "On A Knife Edge", which is about indians protesting the Keystone pipeline. Haven't even reached the pilgrims yet, but somehow a movie about angry indians protesting stuff in 2017 is what these sixth graders need to learn about U.S. History....

Grim said...

It’s a mess. I’ve had similar complaints. “So, you know everything about Harriet Tubman, but have never heard of the Alamo?”