Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

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Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby fgoodwin » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:16 pm

According to a recent study of civics literacy by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute:

* Fewer than half of all Americans can name all three branches of government, a minimal requirement for understanding America’s constitutional system.

* Only 24% of college graduates know the First Amendment prohibits establishing an official religion for the United States.

* Nearly a third of the respondents failed to name two of America's enemies in World War Two; 22% of college graduates did not answer that question successfully.

* 54% of respondents (and only 44% of 18- to 34-year-olds) knew that Congress shares foreign policy power with the President; nearly a quarter (and almost a third of elected officials!) believed Congress shares such power with the United Nations.

* Thirty percent of elected officials do not know that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence.

* Only 21% of those surveyed know that the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” comes from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

* Although Congress has voted twice in the last eight years to approve foreign wars, only 53% of those surveyed know that the power to declare war belongs to Congress. Almost 40% incorrectly believe it belongs to the President.

* Less than one in five of those surveyed know that the phrase “a wall of separation” between church and state comes from a letter by Thomas Jefferson. Almost half incorrectly believe it can be found in the Constitution.

http://www.isi.org/
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby evmori » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:12 am

Theses stats have been posted for decades! Old news.
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby Billiken » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:20 am

It would be interesting to see how many natural-born Americans could pass the test people take to become U.S. citizens.
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby wetsmith » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:49 am

Decades! .... hmm.

Try the test for yourself, not so easy. I only scored an 80% (coupla trickies...).

http://www.americancivicliteracy.org/re ... /quiz.aspx
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby Quailman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:16 am

Woo-hoo! 90% Maybe I should be a MBC!

Thanks for the link.
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby cballman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:28 am

I might not be a good MBC. I scored 72.73%. But then again I have been out of school now for about 29 years. So not to bad for a old goat.
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby Mrw » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:35 pm

93.94%, although I would have answered at least one other question wrong had I not read the original post first.

(And for the record, I am a chemist, not a historian.)
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby fgoodwin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:13 pm

I got 32 out of 33 (I missed the FDR vs SCOTUS question).

Ed, I may be wrong, but I think the level of civic knowledge was somewhat higher back in the 50s and 60s and has steadily declined over time. I can't point to a specific date, but I would disagree that this news is "decades" old. The study itself is only a year old.

If you have evidence to the contrary, by all means, please share . . .
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby scoutaholic » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:30 pm

90+ percent. I don't remember the exact number from last night.

There were a couple historical questions that I didn't know, but being familiar with government and the constitution, could guess correctly.

There was at least 1 question about the politics surrounding the abortion debate (the details of the answer were beyond me). Definately not something I usually cover in citizenship MBs.

There were a few questions at the end of the quiz that got deeper into economics than I have studied. Even some educated guessing didn't help me there.
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby scoutaholic » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:33 pm

evmori wrote:Theses stats have been posted for decades! Old news.

Similar stats have been around for a long time, but not these particular ones. Their study is recent, and the website shows results of the quiz for this month.
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby evmori » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:37 pm

Fred,

I don't have any evidence. It just seems this pops up around election time & never anytime else! If this is the test to take to become a citizen, I would bet it hasn't changed for a long time & I would bet those of us who never had to take this test would score lower. I got 78.79%. I'm not real sure that it's a great measurement of anything.
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Re: Outlook for Citizenship MBs not good . . .

Postby fgoodwin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:01 pm

Ed, I wasn't aware that this was an election time -- I know we have some local elections going on, but I certainly did not post this with politics in mind.

In fact, if you look at the website, Republicans and Democrats did about equally poorly on the questions, so I don't believe ISI had a political agenda behind the timing of their study results.
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