A ridiculous proportion of American college graduates believe that daytime TV's Judge Judy is actually Justice Judy of the US Supreme Court, according to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. The nonprofit group, which pushes for high standards in education, says a poll of 1,000 grads found that 10% identified Judith Sheindlin as a Supreme Court justice, only 28.4% could identify James Madison as the father of the Constitution, 40% didn't know Congress could declare war, and 60% were clueless about how a constitutional amendment is ratified, CNN reports.
ACTA says the problem is that colleges and universities are doing almost nothing to ensure that graduates leave knowing anything about civics. The group says it surveyed 1,100 liberal arts colleges and universities and found that just 18% required even a single course in American history or government, and too many institutions "confuse community service and student activism with civic education." According to ACTA, the problem has been getting worse over the years, CBS New York reports. The group says its survey found that almost all grads over 65 know that the president can't establish taxes, but only 73.8% of graduates ages 25 to 34 got that question right. (Earlier research found that a third of US citizens would flunk the civics section of the naturalization test.)