Citizens and public officials earned an F, on average, in the most recent annual report on Civic Literacy, released by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute last week.
More than 2,500 randomly selected Americans took the test on Civic Literacy, and more than 1,700 of them failed. The average score was a 49%. More shocking, the average score of elected officials was 44%, meaning that our public officials performed worse than citizens selected at random. Less than 1% of those surveyed (21 of 2,508) earned an A on the test (90% or higher).
This report builds on ISI’s report last year on the woeful ineptitude among colleges and universities in providing students with an education in American government, history, and political ideas.
The report is a warning that K-12 public education, colleges and universities need to get back to basics, and provide every student with the foundation that is needed to exercise responsible citizenship. It is appalling that as we pour more and more money into education in America, our schools are producing citizens with declining knowledge of their own government.
Feel free to take the exam online at www.americancivicliteracy.org. I’m betting that readers of this blog would perform well above the national average.