If you were born in this country, there is a high probability that you know less about the Constitution and American history than do immigrants who become citizens. And various studies indicate that you might also flunk the citizenship exam.
Many of us can name the family members of the cartoon Simpsons, but struggle to name the three branches of government, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center. And when it comes to First Amendment freedoms, many of us are doing well to remember one of the five - speech, religion, press, assembly and petition of the government - and not invent a couple that fit our worldview.
A nation is bound together by a common understanding of citizenship and civic responsibility. This is why we are excited that Educating for American Democracy - the brainchild of the Education Department and the National Endowment for the Humanities - is proposing a new roadmap for teaching social studies, history and civics.