June 14, 2021 By Andrea Widburg
A basic premise of the American system, going all the way back to the Founding Fathers, was an educated population. People weren’t expected to be scholars. However, the Founders required a literate and moral population to make their great government experiment work. And that is what they got: Most Americans were literate before public schooling. Colonial Americans could also read at a very sophisticated level. The colonists would not have known what to make of the abysmally educated people a scary, funny video shows.
The unthinking American assumption is that, thanks to universally available public education, every American has at least a minimal fund of knowledge about the world and how it works. However, as Jay Leno used to show with his man (and woman) on the street interviews, and as the video below shows, many members of the American public know very little:
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