A majority in every state except Vermont has failed the U.S. Citizenship test, the latest sign that Americans aren’t very good history students.
In the multiple choice version of the test given to immigrants seeking citizenship, 53 percent of Vermonters passed.
More than half of those in every other state failed, and in Washington, D.C., 58 percent failed, said the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, which does the survey.
Only one-in-four nationally passed the 20-questions.
In its latest test, the Foundation said that 15 percent of adults knew the year the Constitution was written and only 25 percent knew how many amendments there are.
Also, of 41,000 quizzed, 25 percent did not know that freedom of speech was guaranteed under the First Amendment, and 57 percent did not know that Woodrow Wilson was the commander in chief during World War I.
The top states were Vermont are Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, and Virginia. At the bottom were Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
The Foundation is a leading group pushing for better history education. It has launched a new initiative to make learning history easier and fun.
And just time time.
“Among all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Vermonters were the sole group able to pass the multiple-choice test. Even more disturbing, only 27 percent of those under the age of 45 nationally were able to demonstrate a basic understanding of American history. Nationally, only four in 10 Americans passed the exam,” said the group.
“Unfortunately, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation has validated what studies have shown for a century: Americans don’t possess the history knowledge they need to be informed and engaged citizens,” said Foundation President Arthur Levine.