Thursday, December 4, 2008

America Gets an F?

The "civic literacy report" by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute gives America an "F" in what people know.

According to the site, which I've only started exploring, 71 percent of Americans failed a test on "America's heritage." Now that's a loaded term and I'll take some time, and another post, getting into what they asked. Instead I provide their key findings below:
  • Americans fail the test.
  • Americans agree colleges should teach "America's heritage."
  • College adds little to civic knowledge.
  • TV, especially TV news, dumbs down America.
  • College grads aren't all that smart either.
  • Elected officials score lower than regular, everyday people.

Again, I want to dig deeper into this one. I'm always suspicious when we talk about "heritage" and what it means, and whether it means the same thing to the people who put out this report that it does to others. Some of the sample questions are too esoteric to be considered "heritage" and to be honest have a certain ideological ring to them. No wonder people failed it.

btw, I got an 85, probably because I ran out of time and put "C" on some questions rather than think them through. Then again, I always was a "B" student.

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