We completed day 1 here at Houston Christian for the 2010-2011 academic year; I met with sections of American Studies, European History, and US Government & Politics. Today I have my other section of US Government & Politics. I will have them, as I did yesterday, complete a quiz that was conducted to see how much (or little) students know about the historical and political nature of the United States. I will admit that not all of the questions were great. Better yet, I am not sure all were relevant in that if you did not know something, it would hamper your academic or professional growth in life. Here is what was noted about this survey:
- 71% of Americans failed the civics knowledge test;
- 51% of Americans could not name the three branches of government;
- The average score for college seniors on the civics knowledge test was 54.2% (an “F” by any standard);
- The average student’s test score improved only 3.8 points from freshman to senior year;
- Freshmen at Cornell, Yale, Princeton, and Duke scored better than seniors on the civics knowledge test.
- 79% of elected officials that took the civics knowledge quiz did not know the Bill of Rights expressly prohibits the government from establishing a religion.
- 30% of office holders did not know that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence.
- 27% of politicians could not name even one right or freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment.
- 43% did not know the purpose of the Electoral College.
- 39% of lawmakers believe the power of declaring war belongs to the president.
- The average score for college professors who took the civics knowledge quiz was 55%.
You can find this particular quiz here.