Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Reacts to 2006 NAEP U.S. History and Civics Scores, Released Today
Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, issued the following statement in reaction to the results from the 2006 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in History and Civics, released today by the U.S. Department of Education, which noted that 8th and 12th grade performances improved for U.S. history, but remained flat in civics:
“For those of us working to improve the nation’s secondary schools, the results released today are encouraging, but it must be noted that while these scores are headed in the right direction, they still remain alarmingly low.
“Low achievement in history and civics goes hand in hand with low achievement in high school literacy. The NAEP results for reading and writing show that roughly two-thirds of America’s 8th and 12th graders lack proficiency in these basic academic skills. Students unable to read or comprehend their daily newspaper will not understand complex historical documents like the Declaration of Independence or the Emancipation Proclamation.
“If we want young people to become more knowledgeable about the nation’s defining historical events and founding principles, then we must invest in not just history and civics instruction, but also high-quality reading and writing instruction throughout grades k-12.
“The Striving Readers Act, recently introduced in both the Senate and the House, addresses this critical gap in our education system by providing grants to states and school districts to help train teachers, fund literacy programs, and ensure that all of America’s middle and high school students get the support they need to participate fully in the national conversation about who we are, who has gone before us, and who we hope to be.”
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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.
For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit: www.all4ed.com.