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Civics Americans don't know civics

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by eeyore, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. eeyore

    eeyore Monkey++

    Americans don't know civics

    By Michelle Healy, USA TODAY
    From high-school dropouts to college graduates to elected officials, Americans are "alarmingly uninformed" about the USA's history, founding principals and economy — knowledge needed to participate wisely in civic life, says a report scheduled to be released Thursday.
    The study, the third in a series by the non-profit Intercollegiate Studies Institute, finds that half of U.S. adults can name all three branches of government, and 54% know that the power to declare war belongs to Congress. Almost 40% incorrectly said that it belongs to the president.

    Those who have held elected office lack civic knowledge; 43% do not know the Electoral College is a constitutionally mandated assembly that elects the president. One in five thinks it "trains those aspiring for higher office" or "was established to supervise the first televised presidential debates."
    "Without knowledge of your country's history, key texts and institutions, you don't have a frame of reference to judge the politics and policies of today," says Richard Brake, head of the institute's American Civic Literacy Program.

    Earlier reports focused solely on college students; the new study expands the focus and concludes Americans across all economic, educational and political/social backgrounds are equally lacking. Among findings:
    • 71% earn an F; the average score was 49%. Ages 25 to 34 had an average score of 46%; ages 45 to 64 had a 52% average. Of 164 respondents who say they have held elected office, 44% was average.
    • Those with bachelor's degrees had an average score of 57% vs. 44% for those with a high-school diploma. The average score for advanced degree-holders inches up to 65%, or a D.
    • Civic knowledge declines in proportion to time spent using passive media, such as TV. Reading and talking about history and current events, using the Internet and being involved in political activities has a positive effect.

    <!-- m -->http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/ ... vics_N.htm
  2. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Why am I not the least bit suprised about these results!!
  3. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Ouch...telling numbers.

    For my part I am ensuring that my sister is insuring that her kid gets this kind of info at home to supplement what she's learning in school. My roommate is also ensuring that her nieces, who are home schooled, are also being taught more about the real history of our government and its creation.

    Hopefully reports like this will encourage change at the national level but I fear that, in the end, all we can do is insure that our families are aware and that they'll continue to pass the knowledge along.

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