A survey commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni has found that nearly 10 percent of college grads questioned believe Judy Judge is on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The survey of 1,000 adults asked “which of the following people serves on the U.S. Supreme Court?” and offered Elena Kagan, Lawrence Warren Pierce, John Kerry and Judith Sheindlin as possible choices — 9.6 percent of college grads who answered chose Sheindlin, a.k.a. Judge Judy.
The results are among many examples that illustrate how college leaders have abdicated their responsibility to ensure students are knowledgeable about U.S. history and civics, according to the council in a report released this month titled “A Crisis in Civic Education.”
Additional survey results found:
• How do Americans amend the Constitution? More than half of college graduates didn’t know. Almost 60% of college graduates failed to identify correctly a requirement for ratifying a constitutional amendment.
• We live in a dangerous world—but almost 40% of college graduates didn’t know that Congress has the power to declare war.
• College graduates were even confused about the term lengths of members of Congress. Almost half could not recognize that senators are elected to six-year terms and representatives are elected to two-year terms.
• Less than half of college graduates knew that presidential impeachments are tried before the U.S. Senate.
“ACTA’s new report concludes that, without comprehensive curricular change and rigorous requirements, American colleges will graduate generations of students who lack the knowledge that is indispensable for engaged and thoughtful citizenship,” the council stated in a news release.
“Our country depends upon an educated populace; and while civic activity and service learning are important, they simply cannot substitute for substantive learning about our history and government,” ACTA President Anne Neal added. “It’s time that colleges and universities replace their anything-goes approach to the curriculum with specific subject-matter requirements that will empower America’s next generation of leaders.”