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‘US students lack proficiency in geography’

US: Less than one-third of the US students achieved at or above the proficient level in geography, according to a recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) ‘Report Card‘.
Although fourth-graders made gains in achievement since 2001, “The Nation’s Report Card” shows that performance by eighth-graders remained flat, and achievement by 12th-graders declined from 1994.
Male students scored higher than female students in all three grades and black and Hispanic students’ scores increased at grades 4 and 8, with achievement gaps narrowing.
The scores follow similar reports on civics and U.S. history and, “add to the picture of stagnating or declining overall achievement among U.S. students in the social sciences,” according to NAEP.
“In particular, the pattern of disappointing results for our 12th-graders’ performance across all three social science subjects should be of great concern to everyone,” says David Driscoll, chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for NAEP.
“As classroom time becomes an even more precious and scarce commodity, geography, with subjects such as history and the arts, is losing out in the zero-sum game that results from high-stakes testing,” observed Pennsylvania State University geography professor Roger M. Downs. On the other hand, Shannon Garrison, a member of the board overseeing the test, stated, “Because of students’ dependence on technology, the ability to read a map seems to be becoming a lost art.”
Source: www.ibtimes.com