The NAEP U.S. History results released today are a clear indication that we do not regard U.S. History as crucial to preparing our students for college, career, and citizenship. NCSS Executive Director Susan Griffin said: “the poor 12th grade results indicate that the next cohort of new voters are not well grounded in U.S. History, this is a disservice to our democracy.”
One of the major challenges of the NAEP tests in the social studies disciplines is the small sample sizes that preclude state-by-state comparisons. Without disaggregated data it becomes very difficult to persuade state legislatures to dedicate more time to and strengthen social studies instruction. In fact, state legislatures have no clear data with which to weigh how well or poorly their students are performing.
“Without disaggregated data, we have no clear picture of how students in Pennsylvania are doing compared to students in Florida. Consequently, the Nations Report Card in U.S. History does not offer adequate information to guide change--though it should sound the alarm that history instruction is not going well," said Griffin.
Another challenge is the frequency with which the test is administered. NCSS continues to request that NAEP history, civics, geography, and economics tests be conducted one each year, such that each discipline area would be tested every four years with a sample size large enough to yield disaggregated data.
We invite you to review the results in detail by visiting The Nation's Report Card website at http://www.nationsreportcard.gov/ushistory_2010/ .