4/13/2008

Historically Ignorant

This morning's paper included the USA Today magazine. In that was a story on how American students are woefully inadequate when it comes to their knowledge of history and civics. According to a survey even at elite Harvard seniors only scored 69.6% on the test.

It seems that Americans prefer getting their history via Hollywood rather than the classroom or primary sources. We are woefully ignorant of our own past which might help explain the sad state of affairs our country finds itself in at present.

Years ago when our government in its infinite wisdom began making everything in the schools about "math and science" I predicted that we might turn out a generation of students who could do algebra and physics but be completely ill equipped to handle real life issues related government, politics, and public policy. It seems that has become the case.

Luckily, the test given to these kids at Harvard and across the country is available online for anyone to take. The scores are calculated into the monthly averages for all Americans taking the quiz. Right now the average score stands at 67.5%. That's an "F" people!

My score was 85%. I got 51 out of 60 questions right on the test. The questions I missed dealt primarily with economics (never my strong suit) and political theory.

Want to see how you do? Take the History Quiz and see how much you know about your own history!

You answered 51 out of 60 correctly — 85.00 %
Average score for this quiz during April: 67.5%

Average score since September 18, 2007: 67.5%

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