I’m not quite finished with my gossip session (har, har), but I couldn’t resist this online quiz. I haven’t subjected you to one for a long time, and this one is actually more highbrow than most. Think of it in the way Dr. Grant describes his quizzes: an “opportunity.” I found it via Crimson Wife at Bending the Twigs, who left a comment on the post about the dearth of books in many homes and the inevitable consequences of growing up without them. She is a Roman Catholic homeschooling mom, and to show my goodwill to her, this reformed homeschooling mom will post a Chesterton quote on the next post. Crimson Wife is Irish, like me (and a northern Californian like me, too), so we technically shouldn’t like G.K. who was very English, but who can help liking him. Besides disliking the English, the Irish are also known for their loquaciousness and tempers, and that is how I’m tying this divergent post to the topic of the week.
But back to the quiz first. Here’s what Crimson Wife says:
The Intercollegiate Studies Institute did a survey of 14,000 college freshmen & seniors at 50 universities to test their knowledge of U.S. civics. The results were pretty dismal as the overall average score for seniors was a mere 54.2%. Even the elite schools in the sample had poor showings:
- Harvard 69.56%
- Yale 65.85%
- Brown 65.64%
- UVA 65.28%
- Penn 63.49%
- Duke 63.41%
- Princeton 61.9%
- Cornell 56.95%
- UC Berkeley 56.27%
I scored 88.3% with my auto-didactic secondary school education. It’s nice to know that if I ever need something to fall back on, I can probably make it in the Ivy leagues. Perhaps I’m not doing my daughters such a disservice to continue directing their education from home.
If you are inclined to take it and don’t mind a little transparency, I’d be interested in your score and your level of education (that information is also requested at the end of the online test), plus your opinion as to whether formal education helped you in your answers or if you think you learned them another way. By the way, Dr. Grant recently posted this quote from James Schall:
I think in general that you can get a terrible education in the best and most expensive universities and that in fact most students do.