Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Listen, please listen, that's the way it should be

OK, I'm going off the reservation here, and I'll probably get in BIG trouble, but I'm going to reveal a secret: There is a Liberal Bloggers' Club.

There's a secret handshake, a motto, but fortunately, no dues. There are several local chapters, and the L.A./SoCal Chapter meets in a treehouse in Arianna Huffington's back yard, at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles, every so often. She makes great peanut butter sandwiches.

There is, however, an initiation test. Passing requires clear and deep understanding of history, politics, and Anaheim Angels baseball stats going back at least 20 years.

Seriously, most people who stop by here have a good grasp on politics and history. So here's a challenge: take this test on American civics:
Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams.

How'd I do? Glad you asked:
You answered 30 out of 33 correctly — 90.91 %

Average score for this quiz during November: 78.0%
Average score: 78.0%

You can take the quiz as often as you like, however, your score will only count once toward the monthly average.

If you have any comments or questions about the quiz, please email americancivicliteracy@isi.org.

You can consult the following table to see how citizens and elected officials scored on each question.

Where to from here?

And I clanked one question, just hit the wrong answer, so I should have gotten 31 of 33 correct.

Seriously, I hope everyone takes this test, and learns from it. We need to do better than rail against the Ridiculous Right™, we need to be confident and aware of our heritage and history, of constitutionality and law.

The better educated we are, the better we can criticize our government, both Democratic and Republican.

Especially Republican.

For fun: Young Rascals "People Got To Be Free" & a wonderful picture collage of the civil rights movement:

Update by The Sailor: Kathleen Parker, (yes, that Kathleen Parker) has a column on the test's stats:
Out of 2,500 American quiz-takers, including college students, elected officials and other randomly selected citizens, nearly 1,800 flunked a 33-question test on basic civics. In fact, elected officials scored slightly lower than the general public with an average score of 44 percent compared to 49 percent.

Only 0.8 percent of all test-takers scored an "A."