U. S. History Top Story: Student performance improves at all grades since 1994
The average score of eighth-graders on the NAEP U.S. history assessment improved in 2010 compared to 2006. The average scores for fourth- and twelfth-graders showed no statistically significant change since 2006.
Summary of the major findings.
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At each grade, students responded to questions designed to measure their knowledge of U.S. history in the context of democracy, culture, technological and economic changes, and America’s changing world role.
Performance in U. S. history at the Basic level
In the 2010 NAEP U.S. history assessment, 73 percent of fourth-graders, 69 percent of eighth-graders, and 45 percent of twelfth-graders performed at or above the Basic level.
Examples of skills demonstrated by students performing at the Basic level:
Grade 4 - Interpret a map about the colonial economy
Grade 8 - Understand an impact of the invention of barbed wire
Grade 12 - Identify products shipped along the triangular trade route
The NAEP Basic level denotes partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade.
Performance in U. S. history at the Proficient level
In the 2010 NAEP U.S. history assessment, 20 percent of fourth-graders, 17 percent of eighth-graders, and 12 percent of twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level.
Examples of skills demonstrated by students performing at the Proficient level:
Grade 4 - Use a map to explain the purpose of the Lewis and Clark
Grade 8 - Identify an advantage held by American forces during
the American Revolution
Grade 12 - Understand Missouri statehood in the context of
The NAEP Proficient level represents solid academic performance, with students demonstrating competency over challenging subject matter.
Performance in U. S. history at the Advanced level
In the 2010 NAEP U.S. history assessment, 2 percent of fourth-graders, 1 percent of eighth-graders, and 1 percent of twelfth-graders performed at the Advanced level.
Examples of skills demonstrated by students performing at the Advanced level:
Grade 4 - Explain how machines and factories changed work
Grade 8 - Explain two differences between plantations and small farms in antebellum South
Grade 12 - Define and explain the purpose of the Proclamation Line of 1763
The Advanced level represents superior performance.
Use the tools to further explore NAEP U.S. history...
U. S. History Item Maps illustrate the skills shown by students performing at different scale scores on the 2010 U. S. history assessment.
NAEP Questions Tool presents all the released questions from NAEP U. S. history assessments, with percent correct and scoring guides. You can sort by grade, question type, and difficulty.
Test Yourself on questions from the 2010 U. S. history assessment and see how your score compares to the scores of students across the nation.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 1994-2010 U.S. History Assessments.