Who’s your favorite Supreme Court judge — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor or Judge Judy? While this might seem like a joke, 10 percent of college graduates wouldn’t blink an eye at this question, according to a poll conducted by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a higher education advocacy group. They surveyed 1000 college graduates in the U.S. and found that they are “alarmingly ignorant of America’s history and heritage.” Not only did one out of 10 believe that TV personality Judith Sheindlin, aka “Judge Judy,” serves on the United States Supreme Court, but only 28.4 percent of college grads were able to identify James Madison as the father of the Constitution, while 59 percent believed it was Thomas Jefferson (who is the principal writer for the Declaration of Independence, but did not attend the Constitutional convention).
Other worrying results were that almost 60 percent of graduates did not know how Americans amend the Constitution, while 40 percent were unaware that Congress has the power to declare war. The report alleges that colleges and universities are failing to maintain the right focus, saying that “too many colleges and universities confuse community service and student activism with civic education.” Among its recommendations, the report states that every college and university should “require at least one course in the history of America, the workings of its free institutions, and the core documents that illuminate our principles of government.”
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