ERIC Number: ED558007
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep-17
Reference Count: N/A
Putting Civics to the Test: The Impact of State-Level Civics Assessments on Civic Knowledge
Campbell, David E.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
There is a continuing national debate over the efficacy of state-level exams and whether assessments in civics enhances democratic education. This paper uses a large 2012 national survey of 18-24-year-olds to examine the potential effect of civics assessments on civic outcomes. In doing so, it attempts to answer three questions: (1) Do civics assessments matter?; (2) For what outcomes do civics assessments matter?; and (3) For whom do civics assessments matter most? In brief, the answers to the questions were: (1) yes, if the assessments have academic consequences; (2) political knowledge; and (3) minorities and immigrants, especially Hispanic immigrants. This paper suggests that future research should examine what happens to civic knowledge when states adopt or eliminate a civics assessment. Similarly, such studies could explore whether the behavior of students, teachers, and administrators changes with the introduction of a new assessment. The state of citizenship in America would be all the stronger for it.
Descriptors: Civics, Achievement Tests, Citizenship Education, National Surveys, Educational Assessment, Young Adults, Outcomes of Education
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-862-5800; Fax: 202-862-7177; Web site: http://www.aei.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)