American Elephants


Don’t Know Much About Our Country, Unprepared to Vote. by The Elephant's Child

new-citizens1

The disturbing news that only 36 percent of Americans polled can name the three branches of our government surfaced in the wake of national Constitution Day last Wednesday. That’s from a new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Only 38 percent of Americans knew the Republican Party controls the U.S. House of Representatives, 17 percent thought the Democrats are still in charge. Just 38 percent know that Democrats run the Senate while 30 percent believe Republicans control the Senate. Only 27 percent knew it takes a 2/3 majority of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.

Annenberg released the survey in partnership with the Civics Renewal Network, a group of 25 nonpartisan organizations including the Library of Congress, the Newseum and the National Archives that offer free civics education resources.

Another Group, the Civics Education Initiative, is pushing to require more civics education in high schools by requiring students to pass the same citizenship test that immigrants do when they come to the U.S. That group will introduce legislation in seven states that would require passing the citizenship test before you could graduate from high school.

The sample questions in the article in the link have little to do with the Constitution and apparently new citizens are asked up to 10 civics questions from a list of 100. You must correctly answer six questions to pass the civics portion. Oh please, could we possibly make it easier? Get serious. If the Washington Post representation is accurate, it should be a lot harder.

And we should certainly be ensuring that graduating high school seniors actually know something about their country.  Bring back Schoolhouse Rock!


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