American eighth graders’ test scores in history and civics have hit lows not seen in nearly two decades, according to the first Nation’s Report Card released after the coronavirus pandemic.
The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducts its National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to measure students’ proficiency in civics and history every four years.
The history and civics rests were administered to a “representative sample” of 8,000 eighth graders in spring 2022.
Roughly 40 percent of eighth graders scored “below basic” in U.S. History, up from 34 percent in 2018 and 28 percent in 2014. Just 13 percent were considered proficient in the subject, down from 18 percent in 2014.
The average score on the NAEP’s history scale reached 258, down from its 2014 peak of 267 and one point lower than the score of the subject’s first assessment in 1994.
The NAEP measures scores on a scale of 0-300.
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