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Research finds Americans’ civic knowledge is lacking


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  • David Marino Jr./AZEdNews

The West Side Of The U.S. Capitol Building. Photo Courtesy Of Martin Falbisoner Https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Capitol_west_side.JPG

How many justices are on the U.S. Supreme Court?

How does a bill become a law?

How does the Electoral College work?

The answers to these questions show how the U.S. system of government works, which is something many Americans do not understand well, according to a 2016 study by The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Related article:
Arizona educators take the lead in mandated civics education

Only one in four Americans could name all three branches of the government, while one-third of those surveyed could not name a single branch.

Just 27 percent of Americans knew that it takes a two-thirds vote in the U.S. House and Senate to override a presidential veto, according to another report from the center.

A 2015 Gallup poll found that only 43 percent of Americans knew that each state has two senators, 31 percent knew that the Senate is responsible for confirming federal judges, and 28 percent knew that members of the House of Representatives were elected to two-year terms.

Recent college graduates are “alarmingly ignorant” of America’s history and heritage, according to a 2016 report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a non-profit advocating for reform in higher education.

The report, which surveyed 1,000 recent college graduates, found that three out of four could not identify how an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution.

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