American Eighth Graders See History, Civics Scores Drop on National Test

The nationwide test known as the “Nation’s Report Card” has revealed a historic low for eighth-grade history scores, and also saw the first-ever drop in civics scores, in the year 2022.

As reported by the state-funded NPR, the latest results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show the lowest levels ever for history scores since the NAEP first began in 1994. This comes after several consecutive years of reading and math scores consistently dropping among fourth-graders and eighth-graders, which has been directly attributed to the “remote learning” model of learning that was implemented during the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona released a statement addressing the abysmal scores, declaring that the results highlight the “profound impact the pandemic had on student learning.”

The NAEP’s history and civics scores are produced as a result of a representative sample that is given every four years. As such, the latest results are the first in these two subjects to take the pandemic years into account. The history section focuses on such areas as the U.S.’s role in the world, democracy, culture, and technology; every single one of these subject areas saw a decline overall. The score in history in 2022 was 258, down five points from the prior score of 263 in 2018, which itself was a decline from the previous score in 2014.

Overall, only 14 percent of students reached a score of “proficient” or higher in the subject of history. In civics, only about 22 percent of students qualified as “proficient.”

Kerry Sautner, the chief learning officer for the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, said that she saw the decline in reading scores as a prelude to an inevitable decline in civics and history.

“When we saw the reading scores drop, it kind of felt like, ‘well, that’s a little prelude to what you’re going to see in civics and history,’” said Sautner, who explained that the teaching of civics and history is based on reading comprehension, which itself has been declining gradually for years. “How are we going to mitigate this when we have significant drops in everything?”

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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