D-Day is dumb day for too many

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Monday, June 9, 2014

Given the numerous studies revealing how American education lags behind instruction in other countries in disciplines once thought to be essential, it should come as no surprise that on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a lot of people are clueless about central elements of the Allied invasion of the European continent on June 6, 1944.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has released the results of a survey, which finds only slightly more than half (54 percent) of those who took a multiple choice quiz knew that Dwight D. Eisenhower was the supreme commander of Allied forces on D-Day. Fewer than half knew Franklin Roosevelt was president and 15 percent identified the location of the landing as Pearl Harbor, not beaches named Utah and Omaha. One in 10 college students were among those giving the wrong answer.

Colleges and universities clearly are not teaching what they once did. That is also apparent in the ACTA survey, which found that 70 percent of recent college graduates knew D-Day occurred during World War II, compared to 98 percent of college graduates 65 and older.

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