23 Nov 2008

Elected Officials Bomb Test on American Heritage

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From MR, via Mark Steckbeck who (if it’s the same guy) was my colleague at Hillsdale College, and note that the regular indentation refers to Tyler’s words, while the indents are his quotes from a news story:

—–US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.

—–Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

Here’s one detail:

—–Asked about the electoral college, 20 percent of elected officials incorrectly said it was established to “supervise the first televised presidential debates.”

Here is the clincher:

—–The question that received the fewest correct responses, just 16 percent, tested respondents’ basic understanding of economic principles, asking why “free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government’s centralized planning?”

This one is a little tricky:

—–Forty percent of respondents, meanwhile, incorrectly believed that the US president has the power to declare war, while 54 percent correctly answered that that power rests with Congress.

For those who are curious, I got 32/33. I will post my reactions to the quiz in the comments, so as not to spoil anything for those who want to take it.

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