Monday, November 24, 2008

Survey: Elected Officials Flunk American History and Civics Test

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Survey Says:
Elected Officials Not the Sharpest Tools in the Shed

Survey Confirms What Most People Knew:
Many Elected Officials Dumber Than Their Constituents

A recent lawsuit Denofiro v Wells questioned whether the New Jersey Secretary of State, Nina Wells, fulfilled her duties under the law of determining whether the candidates for US president on the NJ ballot were qualified. [Obama Birth Certificate, Citizenship: SCOTUS Conference Scheduled for Dec 5]

Wells stated twice that she "assumed" the candidates on the New Jersey ballot were qualified to serve as president--even though Socialist Workers' candidate, Roger Cadelo, has never been a US citizen.

But maybe Wells didn't even know what the duties of her office were: a new survey says that only 44% of US elected officials scored "average" on a test measuring their knowledge of United States civics.

From US officials flunk test of American history, economics, civics:

US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.

Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

"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," said Josiah Bunting, chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board at ISI.

"How can political leaders make informed decisions if they don't understand the American experience?" he added.


One interesting group which was not reported was the media's grades.

It's not hard to imagine that many would have scored far worse than average citizens.

The dereliction of the press' traditional duties in fulfilling its adversarial role was on display for months during Election 2008. Both John Edwards (during the John Edwards Scandal) and Barack Obama received preferential press treatments unlike no others in American history.

IF the test had measured "perkiness", Katie Couric might have aced it.

IF the test had measured "meglomania", Keith Olbermann might have led the class.

IF the test had measured "vapidity", Campbell Brown might have scored 100%.

As it is, the test only confirms what many voters have suspected about their elected representatives: some are a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

by Mondo
image: dbkp file

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