August 10, 2007

Penny for Your Thoughts

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released The Nation’s Report Card:  Economics 2006 has part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). According to NCES Commissioner Mark Schneider, “This was the first NAEP assessment of economics and was added because of the growing emphasis on economics instruction at the high school level.”

The 11,500 students that participated were tested on three areas of economics:  market economy (microeconomics), national economy (macroeconomics), and international economy. The grading for the test placed students at one of three achievement levels:  basic, proficient, or advanced. About eight out of ten students (79 percent) scored at or above the Basic achievement level, with 42 percent of those students scoring at or above the Proficient achievement level. On average, the results showed that male students scored four points higher than female students, with more males scoring at the advanced level. 

Results also showed that white students scored higher than their ethnic counterparts. Asian/Pacific Islander students came in second, and Hispanics and African-Americans scored at the lower end of the proficiency scale. Information gathered from the test concluded that 87 percent of high school seniors were at some point exposed to economics in their educational careers so far. The research also showed that students who were currently enrolled in a 12th grade economics course performed better than those with earlier exposure to the subject. The NAEP plans to perform another economics assessment in 2012. Click here for the complete report and additional information regarding The Nation’s Report Card.


NASBE established a national commission to examine Americans’ fiscal condition and the status of financial education in K-12 schools. Their findings and conclusions about the national imperative for greater and more comprehensive financial instruction in public schools are included in a 2006 report, Who Will Own Our Children?