23 November 2008

Elected Officials Seem To Score Worse On Civics Test Than The Public

Could You Possibly Be Surprised?


The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) administered a 33 question basic civics test to 2,500 randomly-selected people. Included were some who identified themselves as “elected officials”, although the story does not say how many elected officials there were, or what offices they held. The elected officials scored only 44% on the 33-question test, compared to a 49% average score for the rest of the respondents. One of the questions was “name two countries that were our enemies during World War II.”

Sixty-nine percent of respondents correctly identified Germany and Japan. Among the incorrect answers were Britain, China, Russia, Canada, Mexico and Spain.

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.

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

In fact, the system of choosing the US president via an indirect electoral college vote dates back some 220 years, to the US Constitution.

Link -Thanks, Geekazoid!

You can take the test yourself. Link -Thanks, AJ!
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