38% of Americans failed the U.S. Citizenship Test when Newsweek asked us the questions. Yup, us citizens didn’t do so well. Our ignorance of international affairs is just as bad, maybe worse. Yup. 58% of Americans couldn’t identify the Taliban, while 68% of Danes and 75% of Brits and 76% of Danes could.
Why are we such slackers? The U.S. has one of the highest levels of inequality in the world – which produces lots of poor Americans with limited access to quality education. And, our decentralized education systems hurts us, too. With each state deciding what’s important to teach (and whether facts matter, for example, in Texas)…. then there isn’t much common knowledge.
Check out the article in the March 28/April 4, 2001 article in Newsweek: “Ignorant America: How Dumb Are We?”