Given the state of civics education in K-12 public schools as well as the lack of attention to civics and/or social studies in America's college and university system, the results of the survey are not surprising. A few items from the report: The average score was 49%. Only .8% had an “A” (90% +) as a result on the survey, while 71% had a failing score of 59% and below. Politicians scored lower on almost every question of the survey than the general public, with an average score of 45%. Fewer than half of all Americans can name all three branches of government.
Another unsurprising discovery:
“ISI examined whether other factors add to or subtract from civic literacy and
how they compare with the impact of college. The survey revealed that in today’s
technological age, all else remaining equal, a person’s test score drops in proportion to the time he or she spends using certain types of passive electronic media. Talking on the phone, watching owned or rented movies, and monitoring TV news broadcasts and documentaries diminish a respondent’s civic literacy.”
“After all the time, effort, and money spent on college, students emerge no
better off in understanding the fundamental features of American
Essential question: How do the results of this survey impact what we do in our classrooms?