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OUR CIVIC IGNORANCE: A STUNNING FAILURE TO EDUCATE: It found a stunning ignorance:
ncpa.org ^ | January 18, 2007

Posted on 01/18/2007 8:05:35 AM PST by InvisibleChurch

Not only do American high schools fail to educate students about U.S. history and civics, but by the time many students finish college they know even less. That's the conclusion of the largest statistically valid survey ever conducted to determine what colleges and universities are teaching their students about America's history and institutions.

That study, conducted for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute by the University of Connecticut's Department of Public Policy, surveyed 14,094 college freshmen and seniors at 50 U.S. colleges and universities from Massachusetts to California. It found a stunning ignorance:

Seniors scored an average of 53.2 on the 60-question civics test. More than half of college seniors could not identify the correct century in which the Jamestown colony was founded or name the battle that ended the American Revolution. More than half also did not know that the Bill of Rights forbids the federal government from establishing a national religion. These are college seniors. Among the institutions whose students were surveyed: Dartmouth, Yale, Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Michigan.

In a republic, civic education is a fundamental necessity. If even our elite college graduates have no idea what the First Amendment does, the country is in trouble, says the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Source: Editorial, "Our civic ignorance: A stunning failure to educate," New Hampshire Union Leader, January 16, 2007.

For text:

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Our+civic+ignorance%

For more on Government Issues:

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_Category=33


TOPICS: News/Current Events
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To: norwaypinesavage

1. Seventeenth (1607 - this year is the four hundredth anniversary).
2. Yorktown.

Yes, names and dates are not the end all and be all, and it's too bad that history is taught that way. When done right, there's nothing more interesting. But the details come in handy, and now you have two that you were missing.


21 posted on 01/18/2007 8:30:47 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: mtbopfuyn
old men in the history books had been real live people.

They were quite radical for their time. What a legacy for our times. The new system finds it too hard to relate to them. First of all most were men and the other is they didn't have the inspiration of Karl Marx.

22 posted on 01/18/2007 8:31:13 AM PST by oyez (T)
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To: Teacher317

That's 53.2 PERCENT out of a 60-question test...more like 31-32 questions correct on average.


23 posted on 01/18/2007 8:31:15 AM PST by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
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To: AD from SpringBay

That's very useful! Now, could you teach that topic here on FR? Many posters could use it.


24 posted on 01/18/2007 8:32:08 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: msnimje; svcw; stainlessbanner
You might find this interesting:

Antebellum America Historical Literacy Test


1. Just before the Revolutionary War began, the city of Charleston, SC had the greatest population of slaves in the colonies. The city that had the next largest population of slaves was:

a. Mobile

b. New Orleans

c. New York


2. The first building at this University was built with slave labor:

a. College of Charleston

b. Brown University

c. William and Mary


3. South Carolina voted to end the importation of slaves into the state in:

a. 1787

b. 1861

c. 1866


4. In 1858 this was said, “There is a physical difference between whites and blacks that prohibits social and political equality.” Who said it?

a. Jefferson Davis

b. Robert E. Lee

c. Abraham Lincoln


5. Prior to the war, the state whose shippers transported more slaves than any other state was

a. South Carolina

b. Maryland

c. Rhode Island


6. The flag of the Confederacy flew over slaves ships:

a. In the Caribbean

b. Throughout the Eastern seaboard

c. Nowhere


7. In January of 1861, upon hearing the news that several Southern states had seceded from the Union, the Mayor of this town suggested that they also secede;

a. New York

b. Dallas

c. Nashville


8. In April of 1861, just hours before Confederate artillery began to fire on Fort Sumter, the Confederate Government, and the citizens of Charleston knew that United States Naval Warships were:

a. Waiting in New York harbor

b. Steaming for Charleston harbor

c. Lying outside and firing on a ship entering Charleston Harbor.


9. Before Lincoln had ordered the United States Navy to Charleston, he had been advised by most in his cabinet and key politicians from Virginia to not send warships. When pressed why he was doing so, he said to one:

a. “What would happen to the Negroes?”

b. “The Europeans will invade us”.

c. “What would become of my tariff?”


10. At the time that Abraham Lincoln first took office in 1861, he stated in his first inaugural speech that he supported an Amendment to the United States Constitution that

a. Would make slavery illegal in all the states

b. Would make slavery legal in all the states

c. Would free all slaves


11. In 1861, the United States Congress stated that the War Between the States

a. Was being waged to end slavery

b. Was not being waged to end slavery

c. Was being waged to ensure equality


12. In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in

a. The South

b. The North

c. All the states
25 posted on 01/18/2007 8:34:24 AM PST by PeaRidge
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To: DBrow
A failed democracy, and it will take radical democratic reform to return us to the democracy republic promised to us in the Constitution!

I don't know about this democracy stuff, but I'd like to see us return to the principles of a republic.
26 posted on 01/18/2007 8:34:31 AM PST by JamesP81 (If you have to ask permission from Uncle Sam, then it's not a right)
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To: InvisibleChurch

Thanks for Cal & Hob... our paper dropped it,(figures)
Hey,I say to young folk, join the Marines and stay away from the eggheads. Most folks in "higher" learning are over-educated dopes that don't have the brains to unplug a toilet.
And, after a stint in the Amercan Armed Service go back to school and go after the eggheads...(been there done that)


27 posted on 01/18/2007 8:35:33 AM PST by rusureitflies? (OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD! There, I said it. Prove me wrong.)
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To: Teacher317
53.2 out of 60 is almost 87%.

I'd guess they probably scored 53.2% on a 60 question test (which means they probably, on average, got 29-31 questions wrong) but I agree, that phrase was poorly written and misleading.
28 posted on 01/18/2007 8:37:08 AM PST by JamesP81 (If you have to ask permission from Uncle Sam, then it's not a right)
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To: InvisibleChurch

If ignorance were a crime, state capitol buildings would be maximum security prisons and Washington D.C. and Hollywood would be penal colonies.


29 posted on 01/18/2007 8:37:58 AM PST by The Great RJ ("Mir we bleiwen wat mir sin" or "We want to remain what we are." ..Luxembourg motto)
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To: norwaypinesavage
History classes, in my opinion, focus too much on the trivial details, and not enough on the concepts and fundamentals of success.

This is one reason why you will remain a savage.

30 posted on 01/18/2007 8:38:48 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: rusureitflies?

Are you sure your paper dropped Calvin and Hobbs? The strip's creator discontinued it himself, several years ago. It was one of the best ever. :)


31 posted on 01/18/2007 8:40:03 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: PeaRidge

Great test. I would expect most public educated youth today to receive a zero or at most get just one right on that test. Their educators and professors would all get zeroes


32 posted on 01/18/2007 8:40:21 AM PST by billbears (Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --Santayana)
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To: linda_22003

.... that's "Hobbes". My fingers are FREEZING this morning.


33 posted on 01/18/2007 8:41:30 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: billbears

I think that is why post 16 is so enlightening. A prime example of someone who thinks ignorance does not mask the truth, and fails to understand why knowledge is so important.


34 posted on 01/18/2007 8:43:14 AM PST by PeaRidge
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To: Peach

Maybe we need to add an American History test to the No Child Left Behind. Then cut off federal funds to schools that fail th achieve a passing grade. Also, the same for colleges and universities. They should lose their certification.


35 posted on 01/18/2007 8:44:08 AM PST by Eva
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To: Teacher317
53.2 out of 60 is almost 87%... how is that a "stunning failure"?

Just curious, but if you give a 60 question test to your students and you grade the test, what do you post as the "score" on the test -- the number of questions answered correctly or the percentage answered correctly? The article did not state the scored 53.2 out of 60; it stated they scored 53.2 on a 60-question test. When you score 53.2 on a 60-question test, or on a 30-question test, or on a 100-question test, a 53.2 score still amounts to a 53.2 score and a failing grade.

36 posted on 01/18/2007 8:45:09 AM PST by VRWCmember (Everyone is entitled to my opinion.)
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To: Teacher317

I would think, since the article was worded in this manner:"students scored 53.2" on a 60 question test that they meant 53.2 out of 100 points, which is a pretty piss poor showing for college students or ever high school, considering when I graduated high school we were required to pass a civics exam or we didn't graduate. This held true for the eight grade also, pass civics or don't advance to high school, of course that was back in the 1950s when we still valued the constitution and wanted the country to remain a Republic, before we let the communists gain power.


37 posted on 01/18/2007 8:45:12 AM PST by calex59
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To: InvisibleChurch
[ Not only do American high schools fail to educate students about U.S. history and civics, but by the time many students finish college they know even less. ]

BRILLIANT... the dumbing down of America is brilliant..

American students are almost as clueless as 10 to 30 million or MORE.. Legal and Illegal ALIENS (some of whom ARE) registered to VOTE democrat..

Worse almost all federal republican officials could CARE LESS..
Massive Voter fraud is a non issue in the RNC...
Wonder how many legal and illegal aliens VOTED in the 2006 elections.. Amazing that the civicly ignorant Americans(MOST americans) have no idea that you MUST be a citizen to vote..

Its a felony for a LEGAL or ILLEGAL alien to VOTE..
And most repubicans could care less..

The odds of a legal or illegal alien voting republican is extremely remote...

38 posted on 01/18/2007 8:46:41 AM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: norwaypinesavage; linda_22003
I haven't the slightest clue about what century in which the Jamestown colony was founded nor the name of the battle that ended the American Revolution.

But isn't it nice that my great...dad came over and helped settle Jamestowne or most of us wouldn't be here today.

39 posted on 01/18/2007 8:48:37 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: PeaRidge

Great quiz. Got the answers somewhere? I'd like to see how I did.


40 posted on 01/18/2007 8:50:30 AM PST by RKV ( He who has the guns, makes the rules.)
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