King’s Students Dramatically Outpace Their Peers Nationally in Test of Civic Literacy
Class of 2010 surpasses national averages in test on history, economics, and political philosophy
American college graduates fail to understand their nation’s history and organization. This is what the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s American Civic Literacy Test shows. The test, administered to thousands of students across the nation, reveals that the average college senior scores a 54.2 percent. Comprised of questions about economics, history, political philosophy, and global affairs, the test shows that Americans simply aren’t civically literate.
But at The King’s College, we think civic literacy is important. Thus, our Core Curriculum places strong emphasis politics, philosophy, economics, history, and theology. In light of this, our 2010 graduates scored, on average, a full 20 points higher than their peers at other colleges, achieving a 74.7 percent average. And when many students in America are failing the test, nearly a third of our students were able to score higher than a “B” on the 60-question test.
As this table shows, our seniors performed higher than their peers in every category:
|Question Category||National Average||King’s Average
|The Market Economy
|America and the World
Seniors at King’s outpace their peers at even the most prestigious of America’s colleges—Harvard (69.6 percent), Grove City (67.3 percent), Yale (65.9 percent), Wheaton (65 percent), University of Pennsylvania (63.5 percent), Duke (63.4 percent), Princeton (61.9 percent), and Notre Dame (61.3 percent).
Of particular note, King’s students answered almost one-third of the questions in the “A” range.
- 97.7 percent identified “representative democracy” as a form of government wherein elected citizens rule on behalf of the people.
- 97.7 percent identified “free enterprise” as an economic system existing through the creation, exchange, and control of goods and resources by individual citizens.
Certain questions proved particularly tricky for the average college senior. But again, our seniors excelled in even the most difficult questions.
- Whereas only 27.2 percent of other college seniors could identify the origin of the phrase “the separation of church and state,” 81.4 percent of King’s seniors could. The phrase is not in the Constitution, as many assume, but is found in Thomas Jefferson’s letters.
- Whereas only 28.9 percent could correctly answer a question about Plato’s Republic, 90.7 percent of King’s seniors could.
- Whereas only 31 percent of college seniors could answer that Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas would agree that certain permanent moral and political truths are accessible to human reason, 93 percent of our seniors could.
A college education must provide more than a degree. At The King’s College, an education encourages students to pursue wisdom through rigorous study. And the end result is educated young men and women, informed citizens, and excellent leaders for our communities, our cities, our states, and our nation.
The King's College is located in the Empire State Building in New York City.
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