Are our children learning? A new study found that they are not. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni has concluded that recent college graduates are “alarmingly ignorant of America’s history and heritage” based on its poll of 1,000 young people conducted last summer. Almost half of the respondents did not know that senators serve six-year terms and representatives serve two-year terms, almost 40 percent did not know Congress can declare war, and 9.6 percent thought Judith Sheindlin, a.k.a. Judge Judy, serves on the Supreme Court.
The report concluded that “Instead of demanding content-based coursework, our institutions have, in too many places, supplanted the rigorous study of history and government — the building blocks of civic engagement — with community-service activities.” Obviously something’s gone awry in America’s higher-education system, but why shame these kids? Their response shows they’re capable of paying attention to judicial proceedings, but only if they’re presented in an entertaining format. Wouldn’t the country be better off if we put Judge Judy on the Supreme Court and let Antonin Scalia dispense cantankerous legal wisdom in a half-hour afternoon-courtroom show?