Tampa Bay Times columnist Daniel Ruth is teaching a civics course in the Honors College at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
To kick off the semester, Ruth gave his students a 20-question diagnostic quiz — to "assess the health of the patient," as he put it. The quiz, he said, tells him how much the students already know (or don't know) about the functions of democracy, what's happening in government at the state and national levels, as well as general interest events in the news lately.
The class has no textbook. The students will be graded on how they demonstrate their civic acumen as the semester goes on.
The goal: better-informed citizens.
Ruth's students had to clear some high hurdles just to get in the class. First-year students entering USF's Honors College must have a weighted GPA of 3.8 or higher and an SAT score of at least 1330. Smart cookies.
So, how do you score on Ruth's test?