Movin’ on Down

As an unplanned follow-up on yesterday, apparently the young’uns think the William of Rights used to be Bill Somebody. Or they think bill is a verb. Either way, #civicsfail:

Fewer than half of American eighth graders knew the purpose of the Bill of Rights on the most recent national civics examination, and only one in 10 demonstrated acceptable knowledge of the checks and balances among the legislative, executive and judicial branches, according to test results released on Wednesday.

At the same time, three-quarters of high school seniors who took the test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, were unable to demonstrate civic skills like identifying the effect of United States foreign policy on other nations or naming a power granted to Congress by the Constitution.

The Department of Education administered the tests, known as the nation’s report card, to 27,000 4th-, 8th- and 12th-grade students last year. Questions cover themes including how government is financed, what rights are protected by the Constitution and how laws are passed.

As I slowly drew my finger to wag in the direction of our young citizens of tomorrow, I remembered some of my own schoolin’ and put it back in the hypocrisy holster. Sure it’s easy to blame them – except that they didn’t create an education system more concerned with turning them into workers and consumers than into citizens. I didn’t either. But they hear all the time that they are consumers and should address every single thing as such. Civil liberties? Unless that’s some kind of all-night sale at Failmart, how would they come into contact with the concept? Shorter me: How can they be expected to know things they are not being taught? Hmm?

These kids have a problem, in that many of them are largely ignorant of important issues and hence are ill-equipped to make decisions about them and double-hence, more likely to be manipulated. But they are not the problem. It’s their elite overlords, who think there are two sides to deathpanelsbirthcertificatedeficitsocialism!, that are the problem.