Skip to comments.Great news: Elected officials know less about the Constitution than the public
Posted on 01/14/2011 8:50:20 AM PST by Nachum
So claims the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which just concluded a five-year study on the American publics knowledge of its foundational legal document. The bad news: the general public gets an F, with just a 49% average on the 33-question civics test. The worse news: those who identified themselves as public officeholders scored an average of five points worse than the general public:
The survey asks 33 basic civics questions, many taken from other nationally recognized instruments like the U.S. Citizenship Exam. It also asks 10 questions related to the U.S. Constitution.
So what did we find? Well, to put it simply, the results are not pretty.
Elected officials at many levels of government, not just the federal government, swear an oath to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution.
But those elected officials who took the test scored an average 5 percentage points lower than the national average (49 percent vs. 54 percent), with ordinary citizens outscoring these elected officials on each constitutional question. Examples:
* Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.
(Excerpt) Read more at hotair.com ...
This has to be satire, joke, something like that right? This nation really is doomed.
Our alleged ‘representatives’ are serial violators of their oath of office. Why should they bother with the rule of law and the founding principles of this country? That might spoil their party.
Hang them all.
That’s really scary!
This is not a surprise. One is usually not very well informed on subjects in which he has little or no interest.
Liberals have been in control of the educational system in this country for over half a century.
This does not surprise me.
How can you not get 100% on that test?
quiz here [i think]
Elected officials know less about the Constitution than the public.And it shows it’s a good thing they didn’t give the test to members of the media.
Not the same test (this is only 10 questions, not 33), but I have little doubt that our elected crooks would largely fail it, as well.
FYI, I got 100%.
i got 9 of ten on that link... where is the 33 Q quiz???
thx ;) I dunno how i’m missing it....
I got 32 out of 33, missing only the question on the subject of the Lincoln-Douglas debates (I chose the option about slavery being morally wrong, when the right answer was that it was about the spread of slavery to new states).
Got a bit tripped up on some wording...but interesting test.
There is a trick to making a test like this, so that people who would normally know the right answers will err and look stupid. Often it is done by jamming a microphone in someone’s face while impatiently demanding that they recite the names of the Supreme Court justices, implied with a short time limit, or something like that. Importantly, people outside of the test should *think* that the test is easy, because some parts of it are.
Starting from the top. 10 questions means grading is easy. You can still miss one and make an ‘A’ with 90%. So throw in one question that almost nobody would typically get.
To start with, that would be question #6, about the phrase, “Wall of Separation”. Almost nobody would get this one right, because it is not “common knowledge”, not even typically taught in schools that teach government. How many people have read Thos. Jefferson’s papers?
Then the quiz has two or three difficult and/or confusing questions. My guesses for these are:
#3, a trick question. The question was not actually correct, because congress does *not* share foreign policy power with the president. The US senate does. But even this is not entirely right as a shared power, because all the US senate can do is approve or disapprove of treaties and agreements that the president has made, not make or conduct foreign policy either in the treaty or as a whole, conducted by the State Department.
#5 Asking for the impact of the anti-federalists on the US constitution. This is not knowledge about the constitution itself, but of the *process* that went in to *making* the constitution, which is another subject entirely.
#9 Enumerated powers. Most people are educated mostly about articles one and two of the Bill of Rights, what government is forbidden from doing, not the list of enumerated powers that the federal government is supposed to do. Technically, there are 18 enumerated powers, though several of them are compound powers involving two or more things. I doubt even constitutional scholars could name all 18 off the top of their heads. Most people, probably not even one or two.
Just with these four, you are down to a ‘D’ grade, with on 60% right.
Miss just one more, probably about the electoral college, and you are like an average American. Not stupid or uneducated, just taken advantage of by a test designed to make you appear stupid.
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