Immigration’s new Naturalization Self Test for U.S. citizenship preparation is so good we hope that native-born Americans check it out! Designed by the Smithsonian to learn and self test U.S. history and civics, it is unlike any of the other, typical, USCIS bureaucracy-feel webpages.
Civics is no longer taught adequately – or at all – in American schools. Almost half of American adults don’t know our three branches of government. “Flunking Civics: Why America’s Kids Know So Little” was the American Bar Association’s May 2011 magazine cover story. Watch their person-on-the-street civics test, akin to Jay Leno’s “Jay Walking.” The results are equally sad/funny.
28 states got grades of “D” or “F” in U.S. history when evaluated by an education policy group. Only South Carolina got an “A.” No divide between red states and blue states, or southerners and yankees, or east coast and left coast. Alabama, California and New York all received an A-minus grade, while grade F went to their respective neighbors, Mississippi, Oregon and Connecticut.
Civics is our immediate world: how our political system, our economic system, and our government are supposed to work. Since there’s daily discussion of whether these institutions are failing, or broken, is our civics-ignorance to blame?