The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has released The Nation’s Report Card: U.S. History 2010 and is available to read in full Here. The report presents results for students from across the nation in grades 4, 8, and 12.

Major findings from the 2010 report include:

• The average score for fourth-graders was higher than in 1994, but not different than in 2006. The lowest performing students (10th, 25th, and 50th percentiles) made the greatest score gains in fourth grade since 1994.

• The average score for eighth-graders has continued to rise, resulting in the highest score in 2010. Similar to fourth-graders, average scores for the lowest performing eighth-grade students (10th, 25th, and 50th percentiles) increased both from 1994 and 2006.

• At grade 12, the average score in 2010 was not significantly different from the 2006 assessment, but higher than the average score in 1994.

• Average scores for Black and Hispanic students in grade 8 were higher in 2010 than in 2006; average scores for White, Black, Hispanic, and Asia/Pacific Islander students at all three grade levels were higher than in 1994.

• A higher percentage of fourth-graders and eighth-graders performed at or above Basic in 2010 than in 1994.

• At both grades 4 and 8, students from low-income families (those who were eligible for free school lunch) recorded higher average U.S. history scores in 2010 than in both 2001 and 2006. Low-income students make up 40 percent of fourth-graders and 36 percent of eighth-graders nationally.

• In 2009, access to AP U.S. history courses increased overall but lagged in low minority schools (schools with less than 10 percent Black or Hispanic students) and in schools in locations other than large cities.

• The percentage of graduates taking AP U.S. history was higher in 2009 than in 1990 for all graduates and was higher than in 1990 for White, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander graduates. In 2009, AP course taking in U.S. history was lower in low minority schools and schools not in large cities.

Scores increase since 2006 at grade 8 but not at grades 4 and 12

  • At all grades, the average U.S. history scores in 2010 were higher than the scores in 1994, and the score for eighth-graders was also higher than in 2006. See the average scores for students in grade 4grade 8, and grade 12.

Less than one-quarter of students perform at or above theProficient level in 2010

  • Twenty percent of fourth-graders, 17 percent of eighth-graders, and 12 percent of twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level on the 2010 U.S. history assessment.
  • At grades 4 and 8, the percentages of students at or above Proficient in 2010 were higher than the percentages in the first assessment in 1994, but over the same time period the percentage of twelfth-graders at or above Proficient was not significantly different. See the achievement level results for students in grade 4grade 8, and grade 12.

Scores increase since 2006 for Black and Hispanic eighth-graders

  • At grade 4, scores for White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander students were higher in 2010 compared to 1994.
  • At grade 8, scores for Black and Hispanic students were higher in 2010 compared to all previous assessment years and the score gaps between these students and their White peers narrowed since 2006.
  • At grade 12, scores for White, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander students were higher in 2010 than in 1994.

Students in grades 4, 8, and 12 participated in the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in U.S. history. At each grade, students responded to questions designed to measure their knowledge of American history in the contexts of democracy, culture, technological and economic changes, and America’s changing world role. Comparing the results from the 2010 assessment to results from three previous assessment years (1994, 2001, and 2006) shows how students’ knowledge and skills in U.S. history have progressed over time.

Sue Blanchette, president-elect of the National Council for Social Studies, a national association of K-12 and college social-studies teachers, called the results disheartening and said history education has been marginalized in the last decade.  “Everyone is going to participate in civic life by paying taxes, protesting against paying taxes, voting, and we must teach our children how to think critically about these issues,” she said. “Clearly, we are not doing that.”  Ms. Blanchette said her group wants the history test administered every two years, like the national math and reading exams, instead of every four years. “What gets measured, gets taught,” she said.  Read More at the WSJ Here.

Test your history knowledge at the WSJ Here.

You may also read more on the NAEP Nation’s Report Card: U.S. History 2010 vie Education Week Here.

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