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16-Year-Old Girl Challenges Michele Bachmann to a Civics Debate

Maybe civics education isn't dead after all.

Ready for a one-question civics pop quiz? How many amendments are there to the United States Constitution? If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the question, you're not alone. The average American student is pretty ignorant when it comes to civics. Data released this month from the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed three-quarters of seniors can't name a power granted to Congress by the Constitution.

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How Do We Break the Pattern of Poor Teaching for Poor Children?

Teaching that encourages creativity and critical thinking is increasingly reserved for affluent children.

Almost every proposal for "school reform" is top-down: divert public money to quasi-private charter schools, pit states against one another in a race for cash, offer rewards when test scores go up, fire the teachers or close the schools when they don't.

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Reading Scores Rising, Along With Achievement Gap

White and Asian students make minimal improvement, while minority students aren't improving.


In 2005, only 36 percent of high school seniors in the U.S. taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test scored proficient or better in the subject. It was a historic low. But, according to the results of the 2009 NAEP tests, it may prove to be a nadir.

On last year's exam, 38 percent of students rated as proficient in reading. While the trend is moving in the right direction, the percentage of proficient students still lags behind 1992 levels. Scores were up in math, rising from 23 percent to 26 percent.

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