by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for the 2018 administration of U.S. history, civics, and geography tests were released in a series of highlight reports today. The average civics score was unchanged. U.S. history and geography scores dropped significantly.
Education Week reports,
Except for the very top-performing students, scores fell among nearly all grade 8 students in history on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also called the Nation’s Report Card, since the last history administration, in 2014.
The decline of four points overall erased fully half of the overall gains made in the subject since 1994, the first year the exam was given. Federal officials described themselves as “disappointed” and the results as “pervasive” and “disturbing.”
Scores fell in geography, too. In that subject, the overall decline of three points since 2014 was largely due to a downturn in the performance of the lowest-performing students—those at the 25th percentile and below.
Yes, these results are disturbing.