POLITICS

Canada Is A Dictatorship, According To U.S. Teens

05/19/2015 03:30 EDT | Updated 05/19/2015 03:59 EDT

If you ask one-third of American eighth-graders, Canada's government probably looks like this.

That's according to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), whose study, "The Nation's Report Card," examines "what America's students know and can do in various subject areas."

The latest study asked more than 29,000 grade eight students in the United States a series of questions about subjects such as American history, civics, and geography.

A multiple choice question asked them what the current governments of Canada, Australia, and France have in common.

Fully 23 per cent of students answered, "They have leaders with absolute power." Another 10 per cent said, "They are controlled by the military."

Fifty-four per cent, meanwhile, correctly said that all three governments have "constitutions that limit their power."

The answers came as students scored an overall 18 per cent proficiency in U.S. history, 23 per cent in civics and 27 per cent in geography. None of those figures represented a significant change from 2010.

Ball State University professor Kenneth Holland, who heads up the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, sees the results as a reflection of greater ignorance about the Great White North.

"I think there's a broader problem and that is that Americans know very little about Canada," he told the National Post.

It's not the first time that American students have demonstrated a lack of knowledge about Canada. And it likely extends beyond high school classrooms.

In 2013, Harvard University's Crimson newspaper asked students at the Ivy League institution to name the capital of Canada.

Only one person who appeared in its video could answer the question correctly. She was Canadian.

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