Fewer than half of American teenagers who were asked basic history and literature questions in a phone survey knew when the Civil War was fought, and one in four said Columbus sailed to the New World some time after 1750, not in 1492.
The survey results, released on Tuesday, demonstrate that a significant proportion of teenagers live in “stunning ignorance” of history and literature, said the group that commissioned it, Common Core.
About a quarter of the teenagers were unable to correctly identify Hitler as Germany’s chancellor in World War II, instead identifying him as a munitions maker, an Austrian premier and the German kaiser.
The history question that proved easiest asked the respondents to identify the man who declared, “I have a dream.” Ninety-seven percent correctly picked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther king Jr.
About 8 in 10, a higher percentage than on any other literature question, knew that Harper Lee's “To Kill a Mockingbird” is about two children affected by the conflict in their community when their father defends a black man in court.
The above explains why, despite the fact that blacks have never demonstrated even the most basic skills of leadership, a black muslim could become a serious contender for President of the United States in 2008...