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Geography Proficiency of U.S. Students: 25 Percent
July 20, 2011

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Yet another survey has reported a decline in proficiency of U.S. students. According to the latest installment of the Nation's Report Card, no more than one in four students scored high enough on a geography evaluation to be at or above the Proficient level of an assessment conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The assessment, which was carried out in 2010, focused on students in fourth, eighth, and 12th grades. Proficiency results were 21 percent for fourth-graders, 27 percent for eighth-graders, and 20 percent for 12th-graders. 

According to the people who conducted the research, the assessment tested students' knowledge not only of maps and countries but also much more detailed subject knowledge and application skills, such as problem-solving. 

One bright spot in the report was an increase in achievement by minority groups. Both African-American and Latino students showed more improvement than their white fellow classmates.

The assessment incorporated results from 7,000 fourth-graders, 9,500 eighth-graders and 10,000 12th-graders. 

A history assessment released earlier this year reported similar results.



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