CitizenLink.org is reporting that, according to recent studies, Americans are turning away from wisdom and towards entertainment.  According to the study, while about 70% of Americans could name the Three Stooges, barely 40% could name the three branches of our government.  Similarly, while only 14% could name either of the epic Greek poems by Homer (The Illiad and The Oddesy), 60% could name Homer Simpson’s son Bart from the television show The Simpsons.

Your taxpayer dollars at work in public schools.

The full article is below.

August 16, 2006

Pop Culture, Not History, on U.S. Minds

from staff reports

New study finds few can name even two justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Are you more familiar with Homer Simpson than Homer, the Greek poet? If so, you might be among the majority of Americans a Zogby Poll identified as having a better handle on pop culture than important civic and scholarly concepts.

About seven of 10 people surveyed could name the Three Stooges, but just more than 40 percent could name the three branches of government. A mere 14 percent could name either of Homer’s epic Greek poems, the Iliad or the Odyssey, but 60 percent could name Homer’s son Bart on TV’s The Simpsons.

The survey also found more people knew what planet Superman is from (Krypton) than what planet was closest to our sun (Mercury).

Newlywed Sarah Miller falls right in with her 20-something peers, knowing that Doc and Grumpy are two of the Seven Dwarves, but drawing a blank on any two of the U.S. Supreme Court’s justices.

The lack of knowledge about specific historical facts is likely an indicator of a deeper ignorance of important concepts, according to Zogby spokesman Fritz Wenzel.

“Clearly,” he said, “when only one-quarter of the American public can identify two Supreme Court justices, the next question would be, ‘Do these people know what the Supreme Court does?’ ”

Carrie Gordon Earll, director of issue analysis for Focus on the Family Action, said such a lack of knowledge will lead to a lack of respect for our history, then a lack of interest in being involved.

“The risk that we take is that we forget who we are and where we came from,” she told Family News in Focus. “If we don’t make history — if we don’t make civics and civic involvement interesting to the next generation — we will lose them to the Three Stooges.”

One solution: Bring a newspaper to the dinner table and read together about current events.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
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