Press Release

Humanities Report Card Follows The Heart of the Matter, with Data on the Value and Challenges Facing the Humanities


CAMBRIDGE, MA – With the national conversation generated by The Heart of the Matter still ongoing, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Humanities Indicators has put forth a “report card” to provide a snapshot of current data illustrating where the humanities are today.

The report card notes, for instance, that while the percentage of students taking world history courses increased by 43 percent over the past 20 years, less than 30 percent of 12th graders were proficient in history and civics.

According to The Heart of the Matter, the report issued from the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, the humanities provide a valuable foundation for our efforts to learn, adapt, and share our culture. With the additional information now available from the Humanities Indicators, the Academy hopes to enrich – and propel – the national conversation about the future of the humanistic endeavor and its relationship to the nation’s culture, economy, and security.

Most of the information presented in the attached report card comes from the American Academy’s Humanities Indicators.

The Academy gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, primary funder of the Humanities Indicators, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities for its collaboration on this project.





Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences

Richard H. Brodhead and John W. Rowe

Humanities Indicators

Norman Marshall Bradburn and Robert B. Townsend