Sunday marked Constitution Day, a time to celebrate the document that serves as “supreme law” in our nation. Yet, despite the U.S. Constitution’s historical significance, a new survey released ahead of this year’s celebration found a majority of Americans are quite ignorant about the U.S. Constitution.
The poll, conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, turned up dismal results regarding Americans’ civic knowledge. A summary of the findings published by The 74, an education news website, states the poll “found a continued obliviousness about how the U.S. government works.”
From the article:
Only one-quarter of respondents could name all three branches of government, down from 38 percent in 2013. More than one-third couldn’t name any First Amendment rights.
Considering that only 14 percent of respondents could name freedom of the press as one of those rights, perhaps it makes sense that the survey found that 39 percent believe Congress should be allowed to prohibit the news media from reporting on national security unless they first receive government approval.
Even when asked about their fellow U.S. citizens, not all respondents believed that everyone has equal rights. When asked whether Muslims have the same rights as other citizens, 18 percent said no. Asked the same question about atheists, 15 percent said no.
Given the little knowledge that Americans possess about the Constitution, the Annenberg Public Policy Center is making a push to reform civics education:
In addition to running the survey, the Annenberg Public Policy Center has teamed up with 30 other nonpartisan nonprofit groups to form the Civics Renewal Network, aimed at improving civics education through free teaching materials, filterable by grades, standards, and subject. Content materials cover everything from the global refugee crisis to landmark Supreme Court cases.
Earlier this year, The College Fix reported that the National Association of Scholars released a report warning that college professors have “transformed the teaching of traditional civics with an emphasis on activism, creating a pipeline of students eager to serve the goals of secular-progressive causes.”