The Nation's Economics Report Card
Interested in knowing what your students know before they get to your principles of economics class. Then, think about taking a look at the economics section of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. It is an assessment that measures twelfth-graders’ understanding of a wide range of topics in three main content areas: market economy, national economy, and international economy. This report provides results of the economics assessment in 2012 based on a nationally representative sample of nearly 11,000 twelfth-graders. Results from 2012 are compared with those from 2006 to investigate whether our nation’s high school seniors are becoming increasingly literate in economics. Here are some of the highlights of their findings. But there is much more than this. Economics scores increased for some lower performing student groups, even though the overall average score for twelfth-graders did not change significantly. Compared to 2006: Hispanic students scored higher, and a larger percentage performed at or above Basic. Students with parents who did not finish high school scored higher. Lower performing students made gains. This is a report that is definitely worth perusing. At the basic level it reveals whether students can identify a trait of a market economy and whether they can recognize an action of government that protects property rights. At the proficient level it discovers whether students can recognize the consumer price index as a measure of inflation and provides a complete analysis of how competition by entrepreneurs creates innovation and economic growth. The advanced students are able to identify how a change in the value of a currency affects imports and exports and is able to calculate the real interest rate given the current interest rate and the rate of inflation.