National Constitutional Literacy Campaign
Democratic republics are not merely founded upon the consent of the people, they are also dependent on the active and informed involvement of citizens, who take pride in their nation’s history and system of government.
Recent reports, however, reflect a troubling decline in basic constitutional literacy and civic knowledge. In 2014, the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania released a study that found that Americans know surprisingly little about their government. The survey found:
- While little more than a third of respondents (36 percent) could name all three branches of the U.S. government, just as many (35 percent) could not name a single one.
- Just over a quarter of Americans (27 percent) know it takes a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.
- One in five Americans (21 percent) incorrectly thinks that a 5-4 Supreme Court decision is sent back to Congress for reconsideration.
Furthermore, in both 2006 and 2010, about two-thirds of students tested below proficient on the civics portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
These statistics underscore the need for life-long civic education. Constitutional literacy should not only be emphasized in primary and secondary school, but also throughout a citizen’s lifetime, so that they can comprehend the complex and often controversial constitutional issues that arise. That is why the National Constitutional Literacy Campaign is bringing together groups that educate citizens along the learning spectrum – from kindergarten to adulthood—about the American Constitution and our nation’s history.
Education for All is proud to be part of the National Constitutional Literacy Campaign and be part of this coordinated mission to promote understanding of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights and how they were crafted based on the experience of the Declaration of Independence, and the Articles of Confederation.
Along with a wide spectrum of other organizations and educators, Education for All will be working to get people of all ages (from pre-K to adult learners) excited to learn about the Constitution. We will also work to promote Constitution Day (Sept. 17) and Bill of Rights Day (Dec. 15) as we strive to improve constitutional literacy across the United States.
Education for All will be present at the launch of the National Constitutional Literacy Campaign on Sept. 10, 2015. For more information about the Campaign, visit their website