Only 24% of US 12th Graders are Proficient in Civics

The "Nation's Report Card" in 2010 found that 24% of 12th graders in the United States showed proficiency in the Civics category. "The Proficient level represents solid academic performance to which all students at each grade assessed should aspire," according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Among those 24% are 4% that scored at the Advanced level (representing superior performance).

Another 40% scored at the Basic level that "denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at each grade."

That leaves 36% that failed to reach the Basic level. 

Here are the percentages:

  • Advanced: 4%
  • Proficient: 20% (24% including Advanced)
  • Basic: 40% (64% including Proficient and Advanced)
  • Below Basic: 36%

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2010 Civics Assessment.

The next assessment for 12th graders will be in 2020.