The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) is a nonpartisan educational organization whose "purpose is to further in successive generations of college youth a better understanding of the values and institutions that sustain a free and humane society." ISI has developed a short quiz which tests knowledge of government, history, and economics. In a press release earlier this month, ISI said Americans, including elected officials, earned a failing grade on American history and economics. The public got an average score of 49% while elected officials scored 44%. Less than 1% scored an "A."
One might scratch and peck at the questions that are included, or the wording of certain questions, or a hidden agenda of ISI, but the quiz has already prompted editorial comment and discussion. For example, Kathleen Parker wonders if Americans are too ignorant to vote in her recent column, Voters Fail the Test.
We could also legitimately ask "Would history have been changed if John McCain had used this basic quiz to vet potential VP candidates?