ON-Lion Letter
Most people, including college graduates, are civically illiterate and elected officials know even less than most citizens about civic topics such as history, government, and economics, according to a study released in November by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) in Wilmington, Del. 

More than 2,500 randomly selected Americans took ISI’s basic 33-question test on civic literacy over 1,700 failed, with the average score being 49%, or an "F," as reported in Our Fading Heritage:  Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions.  The study is the third in a series from ISI's Civic Literacy Board.

Elected officials scored even lower than the general public, with an average score of 44%.  Only 0.8% (or 21) of all surveyed earned an "A."

Startlingly, more than twice as many people know Paula Abdul was a judge on American Idol than know that the phrase "government of the people, by the people, for the people" comes from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports ISI's civic-literacy project.
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