On Thursday, April 23rd, the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) scores were released for the 2018 Grade 8 Assessments in Civics, Geography, and U.S. History.
Shocker, they were down.
The National Council for the Social Studies breaks it down nicely in their email saying,
While educators know that assessments tell a small part of a very large story when it comes to education, it is disturbing to see such low scores on social studies assessments.
Many social studies teachers though will tell you that this is not a surprise. Over the past decade, or more, an increased emphasis has been put solely on STEM or english courses at the expense of social studies courses.
Just this past year, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill that effectively eliminated a semester of American History instruction. This too came as no surprise to many social studies educators as the NCGOP, which controls both chambers, is dominated by right wing lawmakers who were undoubtedly not happy with the progress being done to decolonize our instruction.
US Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, made a statement saying,
“We cannot continue to excuse this problem away. Instead, we need to fundamentally rethink education in America. It is the only way our nation’s students will be in a position to lead our nation and the world.”Betsy DeVos
Her proposal for the 2021 fiscal year would cut federal education spending by $6 million.
The Executive Director of the National Council for the Social Studies made a strong statement,
It is far past time for legislators across the country to recognize the immense importance that social studies education has on the country.
What will it take to make them realize this?