Survey of college students and civics

Rush Limbaugh referred to this survey , “The Shaping of the American Mind: The Diverging Influences of the College Degree and Civic Learning on American Beliefs,” today during the second hour of his show today. Its hard to believe some of the findings:

Here are a few frightening figures certain to keep you up at night:

  • 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%.

So, while our nation’s most elite colleges are not imbuing our children with a knowledge of our history and our government, the study makes it clear that those universities are becoming round the clock factories churning out poorly instructed liberals with little civic knowledge and even less faith and less devotion to principles of liberty than those Americans who didn’t go to college.

I took the test too. Follow the link at the end of the story.  Sheepishly I’ll admit to missing 4 answers and getting an 87.8 on my exam. (no’s 7, 14, 30, 31) Even more shocking is the factoid that 55% of college professors failed! Philo??

One of Limbaugh’s callers, self-described as a conservative, said that she didn’t see the use of this information, that she was more concerned with day to day education, the civics knowledge did not affect her daily life. Limbaugh properly teed this up and drove it down the fairway. These are the basic tenets and foundations of our country.

I will agree with Rush again as he closed on this topic. This is why the Left targets young voters – they’re easy and they don’t know any better – and this study supports that conclusion.

5 thoughts on “Survey of college students and civics

  1. Hi, Radio Sentry! Welcome to the View!

    96.7! Yay! But it took me a couple of decades to undo the damage that college did to my civics knowledge.

  2. 100%, of course! But I’m not a typical college professor.

    I’m amazed that professors wouldn’t know basic things about the structure of the U.S. government. Apparently very few people get the business and economics questions right, which is shocking in a different way.

    The upshot is that we do a terrible job of teaching people the basics of business and government, not least because the teachers themselves are ignoramuses.

  3. I missed two, because I got hasty toward the end, and misread them. I said something to the home health aide where I work about my great-grandparents’ wedding in 1900, and she asked me how many slaves they owned. She had no idea when slavery ended, although she thinks it’s terribly important in her life, and blames slavery for her defaulted car note, and a host of other self-inflicted wounds. Of course she had no idea who the present or former Vice Presidents were, either.

    She chid me for sending my kids to private schools,and I said more than I should, that the public schools were bad and getting worse, and that I did not want the kids to grow up ignorant. Oops! “Do you mean I’m ignorant?” No answer would suffice, of course. Things are looking up, however. She is not speaking to me. That’s a serious improvement.

  4. Wow. I’m not even a US citizen, and I got 90.91% (I missed Government of/by/for, First Amendment, and the Linclon-Douglas debates). None of the questions required any special knowledge or expertise.

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