Feeling brave? Ready to test your knowledge of American history and government? If so, take this 60-question quiz from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. The quiz is the same one given in the fall of 2005 to approximately 14,000 freshmen and seniors at 50 American colleges and universities (aside to my Lutheran friends--one of the schools tested was Concordia University-Nebraska). The results were profoundly disappointing, with seniors averaging 53.2% overall (54.2% when the same test was given the following year). Last time I checked, those are both failing grades.
Here is some background on the study, and here are the major findings, including the rankings of the 50 institutions where the test was given. The test was administered to both freshmen and seniors in order to study the effect of the four years of intervening instruction at the institution in question (across the board, that effect was decidedly disappointing). Be sure to click on the tabs at the top of the page to see all the findings, the third of which shows that CU-Nebraska is doing the best job among those schools surveyed of improving students' knowledge between their freshman and senior years.
By the way, my score was 54/60 (90%), and I am hardly a history or political science buff (just ask my husband, who is one). So that gives you an idea of the level of difficulty of the test as well as the magnitude by which this country is failing to properly educate its youngest citizens.
Hmmm, would those be the same young citizens who are currently lining up in droves to vote for Barack Obama? No wonder he is so successfully selling rhetoric without substance.
(HT: The Renaissance Biologist)