Saturday, November 22, 2008

Are You Smarter Than a Politician?

Intercollegiate Studies Institute's American Civic Literary Program recently announced the results of a test given to random individuals:

Well most citizens are smarter than politicians but not by much. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute released the findings of its 2008 Civics Literacy Report and the findings are UGLY. Out of the 2,500 randomly selected individuals 1,700 failed to earn more than a 49% score on its 33-question multiple choice American civics/history quiz. Politicians who took the test averaged 44% about the same as respondents with a high school education.

This is a table of the results comparing politicians to the general public:

Like we are surprised? It's nice to know the people who monkey with our lives and liberty are more ignorant than us common folk, but that is pretty damning in and of itself as well:

The results reveal that Americans are alarmingly uninformed about our Constitution, the basic functions of our government, the key texts of our national history, and economic principles.

Americans from all age groups, income brackets, and political ideologies fail the test of civic literacy.

So, statistically speaking, there isn't any differences based on age, religion or politics. As a nation, we all suck. The average nationwide grade on the civic literary test is an "F." 49% is a failing grade, last time I checked. Do I find this disturbing? Are you kidding?

I could go on a diatribe about how our school system has failed us over time - but since older survey respondents fared just as poorly as younger ones, that argument is shot out of the saddle. One thing I didn't notice was the percentage of respondents who were registered voters. I'd like to hope that at least voters might have a bit more knowledge about our nation's foundations and laws, but honestly, I doubt that there would be any evidence to support that supposition.

There seems to be so many of us who want the government to rule their lives; to babysit us and take all risk away from us. Hopefully, there are enough of us stubborn curmudgeons who think the Founders might have had a clue to at least slow down the steady progression to socialism. I'm not even very optimistic about that idea, frankly.

Oh, and do you want to take the test? Clicky. It is thirty three questions long, and to my everlasting shame, I missed two for a score of 93.94%.

H/T SondraK


Earl said...

I missed four. Sigh, but I am not an expert in that field (government) am I?

Anonymous said...

Missed one. My excuse is that I've been out of school for 33 yrs.

Hatless in Hattiesburg said...


on the ones i missed, i had eliminated all but two answers...