Dictatorship, eh?: America’s youth uneducated about world outside U.S. border
Last month, the National Center for Education Statistics released its findings on standardized testing in the United States with its publication of the National Assessment of Educational Progress Report. Nicknamed the Nation’s Report Card, the publication shows the results of a standardized test given to more than 29,000 eighth grade students across the nation in 2014.
Each student that participated in the assessment was given an exam made up of multiple choice and open-ended questions on subjects of U.S. History, Geography, and Civics. This year’s report card showed some interesting results. Apparently, 33 percent of eighth grade students in America think that Canada’s government is ruled by a dictatorship.
The test asked students what the governments of Canada, France, and Australia had in common. Only 54 percent of the tested population answered correctly, implying that the other 23 percent of students thought that these governments shared a liking to that of North Korea. Another 10 percent of students thought the countries were run by the military, and 12 percent marked the answer reading, “they discourage participation by citizens in public affairs.”
Reasons for these results can be concluded to a lack of education about foreign countries or lack of interest in them. Kenneth Holland, the Executive Director of the Center for International Development at Ball State University in Indiana, concluded that the problem is simply that “Americans know very little about Canada” and perhaps even other countries.
Who is to blame for America’s lack of interest in the world they live in? Tell us what you think, or find me on Twitter at @jesusgreaser and chat with me about it.