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Summary of Major Findings


A nationally representative sample of 10,900 twelfth-graders participated in the 2012 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in economics, which is designed to measure students' understanding of how economics and markets work, the benefits and costs of economic interaction and interdependence, and the choices people make regarding limited resources. Results from the 2012 assessment are compared to the results from the first economics assessment administered in 2006.

Higher percentage of students perform at or above the Basic level than in 2006.

  • The percentage of students performing at or above Basic was larger in 2012 than in 2006.
  • There was no significant change in the overall average economics score of twelfth-grade students from 2006 to 2012.
  • The percentages of students at or above Proficient and at Advanced did not change significantly in comparison to 2006.

Key findings for student groups

  • The average score for Hispanic students was higher in 2006 than in 2012, while there were no significant changes for other racial/ethnic groups.
  • In 2012, male students scored 6 points higher on average than female students, which was not significantly different from the gender gap in 2006.
  • The average score for students who reported that neither parent finished high school was higher in 2012 than in 2006.

Explore  more results from the economics assessment.

Read about the  economics framework and what the assessment measures.

Find out how to  interpret NAEP economics results.

For more information, download a copy of the report.