Skip to comments.OUR CIVIC IGNORANCE: A STUNNING FAILURE TO EDUCATE: It found a stunning ignorance:
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.
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FNC reported a few days ago that while most college students knew who Martin Luther King was, they thought he ended slavery!!
No wonder the left wants to keep our failing schools intact. It wins them votes year after year.
The percentage of college students who thought MLK ended slavery was 80-something percent. I couldn't even speak for about 5 minutes after that report.
Wasn't that in the chapter before Gore invented the internet?
Sadly, I hadn't learned much until I got into genealogy many years after college. It didn't click until I realized those old men in the history books had been real live people. Of course having nothing but coaches teach history didn't help either.
But I was taught that the USA was a democracy!
A failed democracy, and it will take radical democratic reform to return us to the democracy promised to us in the Constitution!
My civics prof was wrong?
Interesting but what was the test these "college?" students took?
"The percentage of college students who thought MLK ended slavery was 80-something percent."
And the remaining 20% probably guessed Lincoln.
Hell, most of our elite appellate court judges (at least those appointed by Carter, Ford, and Clinton) have no idea what the First Amendment does.
>FNC reported a few days ago that while most college students knew who Martin Luther King was, they thought he ended slavery!! <
If you wish to truly befuddle young skulls full of mush, ask them, "Who was Martin Luther and what did he Reform?".
I'll bet they say, he reformed civil rights (chuckle).
And George Bush Senior, has no idea at all what the 5th Amendment was about, when he subjected the cops in the Rodney King case to DOUBLE JEPORDEY. Unless you happen to be from the school that thinks that the framers of the Constitution intended for every crime to be defined multiple ways, to bypass the intention of the prevention, of Double Jeopardy.
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. My lack of knowledge of either fact has not seemed to influence my productivity in the last six decades. But I do know this about the American Revolution: we won. To me, the names and dates are unimportant. It is the ideals and goals that count. History classes, in my opinion, focus too much on the trivial details, and not enough on the concepts and fundamentals of success.
53.2 out of 60 is almost 87%... how is that a "stunning failure"? If it were 35.2, I'd understand the article's tone. Heck, I was stunned that the scores were so high.
No excuses, plenty of reasons. It's not just Civics. I teach at a community college. In my Composition II course (for many of them the final writing course they'll ever take in their lives) I give them a document called 'Need to Knows..." This document outlines twenty basics of writing (sentence fragments, apostrophes, run spell checker, etc...). I tell them that teachers have been trying to teach them these things since third grade and if they don't know it's their fault and that they need to go out, on their own, and fill in the gaps in their knowledge. There are always students who literally wail and gnash their teeth at the thought that something is their fault. Then there are students (college Sophomores) who whine and tell me things like grammar are stupid and and will never be used in 'real' life. I'd say fifty percent of the students are ok with it (not that they know the information, but they don't buck at the notions) - the others are adamantly against it and many drop the course.
Or did they mean 53.2% of the 60 questions, meaning the average student got just under 32 correct?
(Maybe the writers should check on the communication skills of Journalism School majors.)
We have strayed so far from what our Forefathers gave us that I think they would condemn most of what we've done in the past 100 years (and especially they'd condemn our sham of a court system where dishonest DAs and judges will chuck people into prison they ought to leave alone and let real criminals get off light). I also think if any of the Forefathers were around and one ran for president that nobody would vote for them. Not even republicans, not after hearing what they had to say (I think republicans would vote for them more than dems would, but the turn out in favor would be pretty dismal in both camps).
1. Seventeenth (1607 - this year is the four hundredth anniversary).
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.
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.
That's 53.2 PERCENT out of a 60-question test...more like 31-32 questions correct on average.
That's very useful! Now, could you teach that topic here on FR? Many posters could use it.
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)
If ignorance were a crime, state capitol buildings would be maximum security prisons and Washington D.C. and Hollywood would be penal colonies.
This is one reason why you will remain a savage.
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. :)
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
.... that's "Hobbes". My fingers are FREEZING this morning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
But isn't it nice that my great...dad came over and helped settle Jamestowne or most of us wouldn't be here today.
Great quiz. Got the answers somewhere? I'd like to see how I did.
Which question would you think the posters here would answer incorrectly most often?
Sure. Post your choices and the answers will be marked and sent confidentially (in order to preserve the fun for others).
4 or 11. I think some though deep down may know the answer but not want to admit it.
One morning as I sat down, one of the jocks tapped me on the shoulder and "told" me to give him my prep sheets for the upcoming test. I unleashed a loud "Mama" lecture on him for 3 minutes...concerning the importance of class participation. He hunkered down in his seat saying "Yes'm, Yes'm". After class the Prof said, "Can I take you to ALL my classes?" *chuckle*
Great questions. I wonder how many freepers can pass this test.
"I would expect most public educated youth today to receive a zero or at most get just one right on that test."
But grades don't matter. As long as the child tried he will have high self esteem. That's what really matters, isn't it? And diversity. High self esteem and diversity. Those things are what really matter, right? Those white people in the history books were all racists, anyway. Nothing worse than that! Oh...they hated gays, too! We shouldn't study history because those evil white men will make us feel bad about ourselves, which would give us low self esteem. How counterproductive to a modern education! We should burn all history books before someone becomes offended by one of them. /libspeak
Do you also write Zogby push polling questionaires?
It may be a "stunning failure to educate", but it's an equally stunning success at stifling intellectual curiosity and conditioning children to accept arbitrary authority, which are the primary functions of public schools.
"Popular Vote Movement Makes Headway"
Now they're trying to junk the electoral college. So much
for the Republic.
From the article:
[However, Jacobs said dissatisfaction with the Electoral College system is growing, even in states that may benefit from the current setup.
A lot of Americans "don't like the Electoral College system. They find it to be out of step with expectations about democracy, expectations that our founding fathers did not necessarily share," he said.
"I think time has seen an evolution of a different way of seeing things, a different norm, in which we expect the president to be popularly elected." ]
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