Eighth Graders Test Scores in History, Civics Plummet After Pandemic

Rear view of college students raising hands to answer teacher's question during a lecture.
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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.

Additionally, the civics score declined for the first time since the assessment began testing the subject in 1998. The average civics score fell three points from 153 to 150, the same score from the 1998 assessment.

Further, 31 percent of students scored “below basic” in civics, while 22 percent were considered proficient.

The history and civics assessment results come after American school children suffered from draconian and unnecessary coronavirus pandemic protocols like school closures, masking, and remote learning.

Last fall, the Nation’s Report Card saw the largest-ever drop in math and a significant decline in reading scores.

NCES Commissioner Peggy Carr said the civics results are a “national concern.”

Carr said in a statement:

Self-government depends on each generation of students leaving school with a complete understanding of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. But far too many of our students are struggling to understand and explain the importance of civic participation, how American government functions, and the historical significance of events? These results are a national concern.

However, President Joe Biden’s Education Secretary, Miguel A. Cardona, used the results to seemingly attack Republican-led states that banned critical race theory (CRT) in children’s classrooms.

“Now is not the time,” Cardona said. “Banning history books and censoring educators from teaching these important subjects does our students a disservice and will move America in the wrong direction.”

Related: Harris: Biden Has Bad Numbers in Part Because Kids “Lost Very Significant” Progress Due to School Closures

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jdixonhamilton@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter.


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