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ASHLAND, Ohio—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has endorsed a proposal to lower the legal voting age from 18 to 16 in federal elections and several Democratic presidential hopefuls also are touting the idea.
Whatever you might think initially of the concept, it’s important to consider it against the following backdrop.
Sample - Grade - Students - Test - Civics
In 2014, a nationally representative sample of 9,100 eighth grade students were administered a test designed to measure “the civics knowledge and skills that are critical to the responsibilities of citizenship in America.”
Only 23 percent of the students answered enough questions correctly to demonstrate proficiency in the subject and just 2 percent scored at the advanced level.
Test—part - National - Assessment - Educational - Progress
A similar test—part of the quadrennial National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—America’s so-called “Nation’s Report Card”—was given in U.S. history.
This test was taken by 11,200 eighth graders. The scores were even worse, with 18 percent of the students judged to be “proficient” and just one percent scoring at the advanced level.
Graders - Time - Year - Elections
Those former eighth graders will be eligible to vote for the first time in next year’s elections.
This was not a one-off bad year for U.S. students. It was part of a consistent, ongoing pattern, and there’s little reason to believe that 2014’s eighth graders learned much more about our country’s government and history in grades nine through 12.
Fact - Time - Tests - School - Percent
In fact, the last time these tests were given to high school seniors—in 2010—just 12 percent scored at or above the proficient level in history and just one in four or 24 percent performed at that level in civics.
Eighth graders that year were equally clueless. For example, when asked to identify a purpose of the Bill of Rights, fewer than half came up with the correct answer.
When asked to choose the definition...
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Why do democrats never have to face the reality of what's on the ground, like 2000 years of marriage.