Safeguarding American Democracy: Civic Literacy for a Secure Nation

Oct 5, 2023 |
Zoom Videoconference
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At this virtual event, co-hosted by iCivics, General Jim Mattis, Louise Dubé, and Danielle Allen discussed the decline in civics assessment learning, the impact of that decline, and how to promote to promote lifelong civic learning. 

In 2022, the average score among U.S. eighth graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress’s (NAEP) civics assessment declined for the first time since the assessment began in 1998, with only 22 percent of eighth graders scoring at or above the NAEP Proficient level in civics. A significant number of today’s K-12 students will enter college and the workforce without the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions that they need to fully participate in our constitutional democracy. Lack of civic readiness among young Americans undermines civil discourse, increases alienation and polarization, and makes us more susceptible to misinformation and disinformation. As a result, a growing body of civil society leaders and policymakers have been making the case that the lack of civic readiness among Americans poses a threat to our national security.  

The American Academy’s Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century report recommends investing in civics educators and civics education for all ages and in all communities through curricula, ongoing program evaluations, professional development for teachers, and a federal award program that recognizes civic-learning achievements.