To the Editor:
Your Sept. 7, 2005, story (“Schools to Tackle a New Mandate: Teaching About U.S. Constitution,” Sept. 7, 2005) did a nice job discussing efforts to comply with U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd’s mandate to spend one day a year learning about the Constitution. The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools is devoted to having young people educated for democracy, including understanding the Constitution and other areas important to civic literacy.
The statement in your story that the National Assessment of Educational Progress covers history and civics “on an irregular basis” is outdated. In May, NAEP’s governing board responded to requests from the campaign and many civic educators by increasing the frequency of the NAEP in civics and history from the prior “irregular basis” you noted to a new schedule of once every four years. This is good progress in assessing progress in this fundamental mission of the schools.
David E. Skaggs
Former Member of Congress
Center for Democracy & Citizenship
Council for Excellence in Government
A version of this article appeared in the October 05, 2005 edition of Education Week as NAEP Board Improves ‘Irregular’ Civics Testing