Civics Specifications for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, used for the 1998, 2006, and 2010 NAEP Civics Assessments
The acquisition of a body of knowledge in civics and government and the use of intellectual and participatory skills are essential for informed, responsible participation in political life by competent citizens committed to the fundamental values and principles of American constitutional democracy. It is important, therefore, to know whether our young people understand the civic principles on which our nation was founded and by which it has been guided.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) civics assessment will measure what students know and can do in civics, both the comprehension that students have acquired in formal civics courses, as well as the civic knowledge, intellectual, and participatory skills embodied in other subject areas and outside of school. Also, the assessment will cover how well students understand the ideals and the fundamental values and principles on which American constitutional democracy is based. Because certain civic dispositions or traits of public and private character are essential to the vitality of constitutional democracy and civil society, students' knowledge of rhem and their importance will be assessed. The assessment, however, will not include questions related to students' personal values or dispositions.