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Digest of Education Statistics
2016 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 224.20. Average National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) civics scale score, standard deviation, and percentage of students attaining civics achievement levels, by grade level, selected student characteristics, and percentile: 1998, 2006, 2010, and 2014
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected student characteristic 4th-graders 8th-graders 12th-graders
1998 2006 2010 1998 2006 2010 2014 1998 2006 2010
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
  Average civics scale score1 
All students 150 (0.7) 154 (1.0) 157 (0.8) 150 (0.7) 150 (0.8) 151 (0.8) 154 (1.1) 150 (0.8) 151 (0.9) 148 (0.8)
Sex                                        
Male 149 (1.0) 153 (1.1) 153 (1.0) 148 (0.9) 149 (1.0) 150 (0.9) 154 (1.2) 148 (1.1) 150 (1.1) 148 (0.9)
Female 151 (0.9) 155 (1.1) 160 (0.8) 152 (0.8) 151 (0.8) 152 (0.8) 154 (1.1) 152 (0.8) 152 (1.0) 148 (0.9)
                                         
Race/ethnicity                                        
White 158 (0.9) 164 (0.9) 167 (0.8) 158 (0.9) 161 (0.8) 160 (0.8) 164 (1.0) 157 (1.0) 158 (1.0) 156 (0.9)
Black 130 (1.1) 140 (1.5) 143 (1.2) 131 (1.2) 133 (1.5) 135 (1.6) 137 (2.1) 130 (1.6) 131 (1.4) 127 (1.6)
Hispanic 123 (2.2) 138 (1.3) 140 (1.6) 127 (1.3) 131 (1.1) 137 (1.1) 141 (1.4) 132 (1.1) 134 (1.1) 137 (1.4)
Asian/Pacific Islander 147 (4.0) 154 (3.8) 164 (2.0) 151 (8.9) 154 (3.2) 158 (2.5) 165 (3.1) 149 (5.2) 155 (3.1) 153 (2.6)
Asian2 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 166 (3.1) (†) (†) (†)
Pacific Islander2 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
American Indian/Alaska Native (†) 124 7.6 143 7.0 (†) 127 7.3 136 12.6 (†) (†) 131 3.5 134 14.6
Two or more races2 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 160 (2.8) (†) (†) (†)
                                         
Parents' highest level
      of education3
                                       
Did not finish high school (†) (†) (†) 123 (3.2) 129 (1.6) 134 (1.3) 134 (1.5) 124 (2.1) 126 (1.8) 128 (1.4)
Graduated high school (†) (†) (†) 144 (1.2) 140 (1.3) 139 (1.1) 140 (1.7) 140 (1.2) 138 (1.0) 137 (1.2)
Some education after high school (†) (†) (†) 143 (1.0) 153 (1.0) 155 (1.1) 155 (1.1) 145 (1.1) 150 (0.9) 147 (1.1)
Graduated college (†) (†) (†) 160 (0.8) 162 (0.9) 162 (0.8) 164 (1.0) 160 (0.9) 162 (1.1) 158 (0.9)
                                         
Eligibility for
      free or reduced-price lunch
                                       
Eligible 132 (0.9) 139 (1.1) 143 (0.9) 131 (1.1) 132 (1.0) 136 (0.9) 139 (1.2) 130 (1.4) 133 (1.0) 132 (1.0)
Not eligible 160 (1.1) 166 (0.8) 169 (0.8) 157 (1.0) 160 (0.8) 163 (0.7) 166 (1.1) 153 (1.0) 156 (1.0) 155 (0.9)
Unknown 154 (2.2) 167 (2.1) 171 (2.7) 156 (2.2) 171 (2.4) 166 (2.3) 166 (2.1) 153 (1.3) 160 (2.4) 159 (3.3)
                                         
Percentile4                                        
10th 102 (1.6) 111 (1.9) 115 (1.6) 103 (1.6) 102 (1.6) 106 (1.9) 110 (1.8) 103 (1.2) 104 (1.2) 101 (1.8)
25th 128 (0.9) 134 (1.2) 138 (1.0) 128 (1.1) 128 (1.5) 131 (1.1) 133 (1.7) 128 (1.4) 128 (1.2) 126 (1.4)
50th 153 (1.3) 156 (1.1) 159 (1.2) 153 (0.7) 154 (1.1) 155 (0.9) 157 (1.2) 153 (0.8) 154 (1.1) 152 (1.0)
75th 175 (0.8) 176 (0.9) 179 (1.2) 175 (1.0) 175 (1.0) 175 (0.8) 177 (1.4) 175 (0.8) 176 (1.0) 173 (0.8)
90th 192 (0.7) 192 (1.1) 194 (1.0) 192 (0.7) 191 (0.6) 191 (0.5) 193 (1.0) 192 (0.7) 194 (0.9) 190 (1.3)
                                         
  Standard deviation of the civics scale score5 
All students 35 (0.5) 31 (0.5) 31 (0.5) 35 (0.4) 35 (0.5) 34 (0.4) 33 (0.5) 35 (0.4) 35 (0.4) 35 (0.4)
                                         
  Percent of students achieving civics achievement levels
Achievement level                                        
Below Basic 31 (1.0) 27 (1.2) 23 (1.0) 30 (0.9) 30 (1.1) 28 (1.0) 26 (1.3) 35 (0.9) 34 (1.1) 36 (1.0)
At or above Basic6 69 (1.0) 73 (1.2) 77 (1.0) 70 (0.9) 70 (1.1) 72 (1.0) 74 (1.3) 65 (0.9) 66 (1.1) 64 (1.0)
At or above Basic by sex                                        
Male 68 (1.2) 72 (1.3) 73 (1.3) 67 (1.1) 68 (1.3) 70 (1.1) 74 (1.4) 62 (1.2) 64 (1.5) 63 (1.0)
Female 70 (1.0) 75 (1.4) 81 (1.0) 73 (1.2) 72 (1.2) 74 (1.1) 75 (1.4) 68 (1.2) 67 (1.2) 64 (1.3)
At or above Basic
      by race/ethnicity
                                       
White 78 (1.3) 85 (1.0) 87 (0.9) 78 (1.1) 82 (0.9) 82 (1.0) 86 (1.0) 73 (1.1) 74 (1.2) 73 (1.0)
Black 45 (1.7) 57 (2.3) 62 (2.2) 49 (1.7) 50 (2.0) 53 (2.3) 55 (3.4) 41 (2.0) 42 (1.9) 38 (1.9)
Hispanic 40 (2.8) 55 (2.0) 58 (2.3) 44 (2.3) 50 (2.2) 56 (1.4) 61 (1.7) 45 (1.9) 46 (1.7) 50 (1.8)
Asian/Pacific Islander 66 (5.5) 75 (4.5) 82 (2.3) 69 (9.5) 73 (4.0) 78 (2.5) 83 (2.8) 63 (4.8) 68 (3.7) 70 (3.1)
Asian2 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 84 (2.8) (†) (†) (†)
Pacific Islander2 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
American Indian/Alaska Native (†) 38 (11.3) 63 10.9 (†) 46 (9.5) 56 18.0 (†) (†) 42 (8.0) 47 (17.3)
Two or more races2 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 80 (3.4) (†) (†) (†)
At or above Proficient7 23 (0.9) 24 (1.0) 27 (0.9) 22 (0.8) 22 (0.8) 22 (0.8) 23 (1.1) 26 (0.9) 27 (1.0) 24 (0.9)
At Advanced8 2 (0.3) 1 (0.2) 2 (0.2) 2 (0.2) 2 (0.2) 1 (0.1) 2 (0.3) 4 (0.4) 5 (0.4) 4 (0.3)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
‡Reporting standards not met (too few cases for a reliable estimate).
1 Scale ranges from 0 to 300 for all three grades, but scores cannot be compared across grades. For example, the average score of 167 for White 4th-graders in 2010 does not denote higher performance than the score of 160 for White 8th-graders in 2010.
2 In civics assessments prior to 2014, separate data for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and students of Two or more races were not collected.
3 These data are based on students' responses to questions about their parents' education level. Because the wording of the questions was different in 1998 than in the later assessment years, data from 1998 are not directly comparable to data from 2006, 2010, and 2014. For all assessment years, data for students whose parents have an unknown level of education are included in table totals, but not shown separately.
4 The percentile represents a specific point on the percentage distribution of all students ranked by their civics score from low to high. For example, 10 percent of students scored at or below the 10th percentile score, while 90 percent of students scored above it.
5 The standard deviation provides an indication of how much the test scores varied. The lower the standard deviation, the closer the scores were clustered around the average score. About two-thirds of the student scores can be expected to fall within the range of one standard deviation above and one standard deviation below the average score. For example, the average score for all 8th-graders in 2014 was 154, and the standard deviation was 33. This means that about two-thirds of the students would be expected to have scores between 187 (one standard deviation above the average) and 121 (one standard deviation below). Standard errors also must be taken into account when making comparisons of these ranges.
6 Basic denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work.
7 Proficient represents solid academic performance. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.
8 Advanced signifies superior performance.
NOTE: In 2014, only 8th-grade students were assessed in civics. Includes public and private schools. Includes students tested with accommodations (1 to 13 percent of all students, depending on grade level and year); excludes only those students with disabilities and English language learners who were unable to be tested even with accommodations (1 to 5 percent of all students). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1998, 2006, 2010, and 2014 Civics Assessments, retrieved April 30, 2015, from the Main NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared April 2015.)

2016 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest