Civic Literacy Report

Intercollegiate Studies Institute:

  • College Seniors Failed a Basic Test on America’s History and Institutions.
  • Colleges Stall Student Learning about America.
  • America’s Most Prestigious Universities Performed the Worst.
  • Inadequate College Curriculum Contributes to Failure.
  • Greater Learning about America Goes Hand-in-Hand with More Active Citizenship.

Anita Weier has more, along with Tracey Wong Briggs:

Students don’t know much about history, and colleges aren’t adding enough to their civic literacy, says a report out today.
The study from the non-profit Intercollegiate Studies Institute shows that less than half of college seniors knew that Yorktown was the battle that ended the American Revolution or that NATO was formed to resist Soviet expansion. Overall, freshmen averaged 50.4% on a wide-ranging civic literacy test; seniors averaged 54.2%, both failing scores if translated to grades.
“One of the things our research demonstrates conclusively is that an increase in what we call civic knowledge almost invariably leads to a use of that knowledge in a beneficial way,” says Josiah Bunting, chairman of ISI’s National Civic Literacy Board. “This is useful knowledge we are talking about.”