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The Nation's Report Card

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Participation Rates in Civics

To ensure unbiased samples, participation rates for the original sample need to be at least 85 percent for schools to meet reporting requirements established by NCES and the Governing Board. Because the participation rate for grade 12 public schools was below 85 percent, an analysis was performed examining the potential for nonresponse bias introduced through school nonresponse. The results showed that school substitution and nonresponse adjustments were effective in reducing the observable nonresponse bias.

A NAEP/Governing Board reporting rule requires a 70 percent initial school participation rate in order to report data separately for the public/private sectors. While participation rate standards were met for public schools at all three grades, they were not met for private schools at all three grades; therefore data for these schools are not reported. Participation rates for Catholic schools, which are included with the private category, did meet reporting standards at grades 4 and 8. Performance data for Catholic schools at grades 4 and 8 are available in the NAEP Data Explorer.

National school and student participation rates in NAEP civics, by grade and type of school: 2006
    School participation Student participation
    Student-weighted School-weighted Number of schools participating after substitution Student-
Number of students assessed
Grade Type of school Percent
before substitution
4    Nation 92 95 86 93 420 95 7,000
Public 95 96 96 97 330 94 6,300
Private 61 77 55 80 80 97 600
8    Nation 93 95 86 91 510 92 9,200
Public 95 96 96 97 410 92 8,400
Private 62 80 71 81 100 94 800
12    Nation 79 84 78 81 590 72 9,100
Public 83 87 89 91 520 72 8,200
Private 41 54 48 56 70 86 1,000
NOTE: The national totals for schools include Department of Defense Education Activity (overseas and domestic schools) and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, which are not included in either the public or private totals. The national totals for students include students in these schools. The numbers of schools are rounded to the nearest ten, and the numbers of students are rounded to the nearest hundred.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2006 Civics Assessment.

The student-weighted school participation rates are calculated based on the estimated number of students represented by either the initially selected schools that participated in the assessment (before substitution) or the participating schools, whether originally selected or selected as a substitute for a school that chose not to participate (after substitution). The school-weighted school participation rates are calculated based on the estimated number of schools either before or after substitutions.

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