Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are You Civically Literate?

Ok, check out this Civics quiz. I missed 4 questions for a score of 87.88. Two of them kind of business type questions. Average score for this quiz in November was 78.1. Take it and let me know how you did. It's sad that the vast majority of people who take this quiz (71%) cannot pass it.


John Warren said...

It's sad, but it's not that sad. I scored about the same as you did, but several of the questions I missed were slanted to the right so badly that there was no clear answer, and a couple question I had to answer thinking to myself - "is this the answer they want?"

I agree that in general people are civically illiterate, but the are also generally survival skill illiterate, historically illiterate, biologically illiterate, technologically illiterate, map reading, healthy eating, foreign language, etc..

I tend to think that the problem is more that we don't value intellectualism highly, and that is driven in part by the lousy conditions and wages under which the vast majority of people work. When you live under strenuous economic conditions and can't afford higher education then I think you tend to draw a line between you and "them."

Calling people illiterate for a particular set of interests doesn't help.

PCS said...

What amazes me is the lack of interest in reading that I see everyday. I read 1-2 books per week not to mention what I do for work and scanning the www. I've met so many people that do little or no reading at all.

The other thing that seems to be missing in a lot of people is a healthy dose of skepticism. If something doesn't sound right you should check it out. It's easy enough to do these days.

Mauigirl said...

I missed two questions - got a 93%. I was surprised I got the financial ones right - not usually my forte.

I agree with PCS, if people read more they would know more in all areas.

Tamster said...

"You answered 31 out of 33 correctly — 93.94 %"

I agree that it was over-weighted towards economic issues. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that was all civics was about!

Brian said...

I got three 'wrong,' although two of them were dubious (as John alluded to) and one I simply didn't know.

I think John understates the problem. American society is downright hostile to intellectualism and, more critically, to the pursuit of knowledge. John's also right to point out the economic factors behind this. The market for people with broad general knowledge isn't exactly booming. Most jobs require either hyperspecialization (extensive knowledge in a very small domain) or drone like behavior for service industry jobs (obedience, not thinking).

Sara said...

I got 28/33 right, which considering I'm not a huge fan of history impressed me!

BBC said...

All quiz's are flawed. As are all forms of governments and capitalist ways of doing things.

Did they teach you that in civics class?