Thursday, July 25, 2024
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US civics scores show the REAL threat to democracy

Can a democracy survive if its youth know nothing about government or civic participation?

The United States is about to find out. 

The latest data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (a k a the nation’s report card) show that almost a third of 8th graders can’t describe the basic functions of our government. 

The nationwide average score on the 8th-grade NAEP civics test fell to where it was in 1998 when it was first administered.

Scores in history were below the 1994 first-year level. 

We’re back where we started, in other words, with billions of taxpayer dollars spent and literally less than zero to show for it.

Shed a tear for the American Experiment. 

The NAEP civics scores have been mediocre from the start, but had shown signs of upward movement this century.

Then came the pandemic, and mass school closures.

The result? 

In civics, 79% are below the “proficient” benchmark. 

Only 2% are advanced. 

In history, 86% of students scored below proficient, and only 1% scored advanced. 

The history scores have actually been slipping down since 2014, well before COVID. 

Blame the growing emphasis on woke nonsense over actual instruction.

Indeed, poisonous ideologies like critical race theory teach kids that America itself is irredeemably evil. 

Can you think of a better way to destroy any interest in — let alone of love of — country among kids?

The dismal NAEP results on reading and math, released weeks ago, are bad enough. 

They mean that our schools are failing our kids, who will enter adult life unprepared to succeed. 

The civics and history scores suggest that the basic fabric of American democracy is eroding. 

Apathy and ignorance are not compatible with a participatory democracy. 

They cede the field to the kind of hucksters and charlatans — from Trump to AOC — that characterize our contemporary politics. 

Teachers unions and educrats won’t demand anything like real instruction. Turning this disaster around is up to Americans who actually care about education — and democracy.

Indeed, here’s a test to try at home: Next time a politician (cough, Joe Biden) pontificates on “threats to our democracy,” listen for even a mention of this one. 



This story originally appeared on NYPost

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