(NAEP) in civics, which is a federal study and the most prominently cited statistic oncivic education. But, as CIRCLE explains in a companion fact sheet also released today(see http://www.civicyouth.org/?p=5219), the NAEP Civics assessment only measurescertain kinds of knowledge, and
its definition of “proficient” is open to debate.
The survey released today found that 87.8% of respondents recalled taking some kindof civics course in high school. Of those who took some kind of civics course, almost all(96.9%) learned at least some information about voting. Of those who recalled studyingvoting during high school, 60.2% turned out to vote in 2012--as opposed to only 43% of
those who recalled no civic education course. The more that respondents’ teachers had
taught them about voting, the more likely they were to vote in 2012.
The survey not only captured the respondents’ recollections of whether they had taken
a course in civics education, but also the quality of their educational experiences incivics. High-quality experiences
included projects in the community or teachers’
encouraging discussion of current events, among others. A little over one quarter of respondents said they had not taken civics at all or recalled a just one high-qualityexperience. Another 31.5% remembered two or three high-quality experiences. Theremaining 43.5% could remember four or five relevant civics experiences. That lastgroup had much more knowledge and was much more likely to vote last November.
Next week, further results from the survey--including what young Americans thoughtwere the top issues priorities lawmakers in Washington should focus on for the next four
years, along with the poll’s full toplines
--will be released.
Today’s survey released by CIRCLE was funded by the Spencer Foundati
on. Thecompanion fact sheet released today was funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr., Foundation.Both foundations, along with the W.T. Grant Foundation and the Chicago Community
Trust, are supporting CIRCLE’s recently announced
which will consider the data released today as well as other researchon the 2012 election in developing its recommendations for how to enhance young
people’s informed voting.
CIRCLE(www.civicyouth.org)is a nonpartisan, independent, academic research center
that studies young people in politics and presents detailed data on young voters in all 50states. CIRCLE was founded in 2001 with a generous gift from the Pew CharitableTrusts and is part of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at
Tufts University. CIRCLE’s reputation for reliable, independent, timely research has
been hailed by experts in the field of civic partnership, such as Harvard University