U.S. Students Struggle with History and Civics
Are you concerned about the state of education in the United States? You’re not alone. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, eighth-grade students are struggling with history and civics more than ever before.
The 2022 findings from the NAEP, also known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” were released on May 3. They revealed a five-point drop in U.S. history scores and a two-point drop in civics scores since 2018. This is the first time civics scores have ever dropped.
What the Scores Mean
- Civics scores are on par with those recorded in 1998, when they were first included in the assessment.
- U.S. history scores have plunged nine points since 2014 and are one point lower than those first recorded in 1994.
- Only 45 percent of students were able to correctly identify how a presidential candidate becomes president in a multiple-choice format.
These scores indicate that students are struggling to understand how the U.S. government functions and the importance of civic engagement. It’s a worrying trend that needs to be addressed.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has attributed the disappointing results to the effects of the pandemic and Republican education policies. He said in a statement, “It tells us that now is not the time for politicians to try to extract double-digit cuts to education funding, nor is it the time to limit what students learn in U.S. history and civics classes.”
Cardona’s comments alluded to the fact that, in recent years, Republican leaders have worked to remove the teaching of progressive ideologies, such as critical race theory, from classrooms in their states, drawing the ire of Democrats.
It’s clear that something needs to be done to improve education in the United States. We need to provide every student with rich opportunities to learn about history and civics, so they can become informed and engaged citizens.
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