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The Nation's Report Card: Focus on Civics

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 1999 released results of their 1998 National Assessment of Civics. The assessment tested over 22,000 students in the fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades using multiple-choice and open-ended questions to assess civics knowledge and skills. The assessment found that "about two-thirds of students at each grade performed at or above the "Basic" level. This means, at grade eight, for example, students can identify the fundamental principles of American democracy; [and] understand that the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are the sources of these ideas." The report presents the data and analyzes the results in relation to grade level, geography, race, public vs. private institutions, gender, and socioeconomic standing.
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