Student Group Scores and Score Gaps

Student Group Score Trends
No significant change in civics scores for any student group compared to 2014

In comparison to 2014, the previous assessment year, there were no significant changes in the average scores at grade 8 for any of the major student groups that are reported by NAEP; these include the following: race/ethnicity, gender, eligibility for the National School Lunch Program, parental educational level, type of school, charter school, school location, region of the country, status as students with disabilities, and status as English language learners.

In comparison to 1998, however, scores were higher for

See trends in average scores for selected student groups by clicking on the thumbnails below. Scroll down the page to find out how score differences between student groups and percentages of student groups have changed over time, and to explore how a student group performs in relation to another student group.

The Type of School dropdown below presents the results for Catholic schools (a subcategory of private schools) and public schools. In 2018, results for private schools overall did not meet the minimum participation rate guideline for reporting, and therefore are not included here. See more information about years with available data by type of school and other student demographic groups.

The detailed charts below for each student group show the trend in average civics scores beginning in 1998 and the cut scores indicating the lower end of the score range for each NAEP achievement level: NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced. Read more about NAEP achievement levels and how they are set.

FIGURE | Trend in eighth-grade NAEP civics average scores, by selected student groups
A Closer Look at Student Group Performance
Dig deeper into the student group results

This section explores the results for one student group by other student characteristics. For example, the results for racial/ethnic student groups can be explored in the context of gender or parental education. Use the drop-down menus below to view how a student group performs in relation to another student group.

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Score Gap Trends
No significant change in score gaps among student groups in civics compared to 2014

In comparison to 2014, there were no significant changes in average score differences among student groups in 2018.

Compared to 1998, the score gap narrowed by 10 points between White and Hispanic students and reversed direction between Black and Hispanic students. In 1998, Black students scored 5 points higher on average than Hispanic students, whereas in 2018, Hispanic students scored 6 points higher than Black students. In addition, the gap in average scores between those identified as English language learners and those not identified as English language learners narrowed by 12 points.

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Group Population Percentages
Demographic changes in student populations

Compared to the previous assessment year in 2014, the racial/ethnic makeup of eighth-grade students remained unchanged for most of the groups; there was a higher percentage of students with Two or More Races in 2018 than in 2014. Compared to the first assessment year in 1998, the percentage of White students was lower, and the percentages of Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander students and students with Two or More Races were higher in 2018. Select a student group from the drop-down menu to view changes in the percentage distribution for that group over time.

Read more about changes in NAEP’s reporting for racial/ethnic groups.

YearsWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/​Pacific IslanderAsianNative Hawaiian/​Other Pacific IslanderAmerican Indian/​Alaska NativeTwo or More Races