New Brookings Report Looks at NAEP Civics Results

New Brookings Report Looks at NAEP Civics Results

April 27, 2020

In this new report, the Brookings Institution takes a look at the recent release of the National Center of Education Statistics’ results from the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) civics assessment to answer whether public schools are living up to their “core mission” to “equip students with the tools to become engaged and informed” citizens. “Following on the heels of the underwhelming 2019 results in math and reading, the latest civics results from the Nation’s Report Card are also lackluster,” write authors Michael Hansen, Diana Quintero, and Alejandro Vazquez-Martinez. “The overall score dropped one point, declining from 154 points in 2014 to 153 points in 2018. Though this change is not statistically significant, it reverses a streak of modest improvement since 2006.” These results are noteworthy, they write, “given that 2018 was the first civics test administered after the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, which provided greater flexibility to states in the design of their accountability systems.” This change “essentially removed federal law’s laser focus on math and reading that characterized the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era, and one might have expected subjects beyond reading and math to flourish in this new learning environment.”