U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Sounds Alarm on Civics-Education Crisis

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) just handed out the Nation’s Report Card on Civics and U.S. History for eighth graders. The results are an alarming wakeup call.

Nearly 80 percent of 8th-graders are NOT proficient in civics – the largest decline in scores since 1998.

In addition, public trust in government is at an all-time low of 18 percent. Forty-seven percent of Americans can’t name the three branches of government, and 52 percent of young people think democracy has failed or is in trouble.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation President Carolyn Cawley issued a statement on the release of the 2022 NAEP U.S. history and civics results, also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

Read the full statement here.

Key takeaways of results from the Nation’s Report Card include:

  • A larger percentage of students (79 percent) perform below proficient in civics, compared to 2018 (76 percent).
  • Only 49 percent of students report taking a class mainly focused on civics. Those who do take a civics-focused class in eighth grade score higher than those who do not.
  • The results underscore the need for immediate action: Civics education must become a national priority, both inside and outside the classroom.

The Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County is teaming with the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation to elevate civics as a national priority and educate Americans about the critical link between democracy and capitalism. We know informed and active citizens make for a strong country, a strong economy and a strong workforce.

Our vision is for every American to have the knowledge, skills and disposition to ensure our continued prosperity and long-term competitiveness.

Our first major initiative is the National Civics Bee – a competition to encourage young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. Participating middle schoolers flex their civics knowledge for a chance to earn recognition, win prizes and educate others along the way.

The Chamber recently hosted the Centre County 2023 National Civics Bee – one of 50 competitions across nine states.

Meet the winners and see photos of the Bee here.

Businesses of all sizes in the Centre region can help bridge the civics gap and support our schools through civics-learning initiatives like the Centre County National Civics Bee, which the Chamber will host again in 2024.

Be sure to keep up to date by visiting our website at www.cbicc.org and take the quiz to test your own civics knowledge.