A group of US officials were recently tested on civic knowledge, including information pertaining to American history and economics, with an exam created by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), and shown to have a below average comprehensive knowledge base on the topics.
Wired PR News.com – As reported by AFP, the group had an average scoring of 44 percent correct of the 33-question exam. Common citizens were stated to have only slightly higher scoring percentages, failing to pass the test as well. Josiah Bunting, chairman of the ISI board, was quoted in the AFP report as stating “It is disturbing enough that the general public failed ISI’s civic literacy test, but when you consider the even more dismal scores of elected officials, you have to be concerned.”
Creators of the study randomly selected 2,500 individuals to participate. Among the questions that most people scored incorrectly was one that asked why “free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government’s centralized planning.” The ISI listed television as one of the distractions that have led to a lack of a deeper knowledge of civics in the country.