|Subject:||[socialcredit] U.S. Economics Test|
|Date:||Thursday, August 9, 2007 08:17:59 (-0700)|
|From:||william_b_ryan <william_b_ryan @.....com>
The graphic accompanying the article in The New York
Times, which I've attached below, contains this sample
"What happens to most of the money deposited in
checking accounts at a commercial bank?
"A. It is used to pay the bank's expenses.
"B. It is loaned to other bank customers.
"C. It is kept in the bank's vault until depositors
withdraw the funds.
"D. It is paid to owners of the bank as return on
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
August 9, 2007
12th Graders Show Better Grasp of Market Forces Than
Expected on U.S. Economics Test
By SAM DILLON
The nation’s high school seniors performed
significantly better on the first nationwide economics
test than they did on other recent national exams in
history and science, and demonstrated higher than
expected understanding of basic market forces like
supply and demand than officials expected.
Results of the economics test, which was administered
last year, were released yesterday. A summary report
is available online at nationsreportcard.gov.
The Department of Education translates student scores
on the test, known as the National Assessment of
Educational Progress, into three achievement levels:
advanced, proficient and basic.
On the economics test, 42 percent of 12th graders
performed at or above the proficient level, and 79
percent performed at or above the basic level. An
economics course is required for graduation in only
about a third of the states.
“The numbers here are pretty good, really,” said
Darvin M. Winick, chairman of the bipartisan body set
up by Congress to oversee the test. “Given the number
of students who finish high school with a limited
vocabulary, not reading well and weak in math, the
results may be as good or better than we should
In contrast, only 13 percent of 12th graders performed
at or above proficient, and only 47 percent performed
at or above the basic level on the national assessment
test in history that was administered last year. On a
similar test in science in 2005, only 18 percent of
12th graders performed at or above the proficient
level, and 54 percent at or above basic.
Bruce L. Damasio, a high school economics teacher in
Towson, Md., who is president of the Global
Association of Teachers of Economics, said the
economics results showed that “many of our 12th-grade
students have a pretty good grasp of the logic of
“But when we look at the questions they can answer and
the ones most of them get wrong,” Mr. Damasio said,
“we see that many students are pretty shaky on the
terminology of economics and on the actual ways that
government and financial systems work.”
Mr. Damasio cited a question that asked students to
identify the most likely effect of an increase in the
hourly wage of baby sitters. Eighty percent of
students answered correctly that the time spent by
teenagers on baby sitting would likely go up, whereas
time they spent on other activities would decrease, he
But on a multiple-choice question that asked students
to identify one of the policy tools of the Federal
Reserve, only 21 percent chose the correct answer,
“buying and selling government securities.”
Thirty-seven percent incorrectly chose “increasing or
decreasing government spending,” and 31 percent chose
“raising or lowering income taxes,” he said.
“This means that students haven’t learned that
Congress and the president determine federal
spending,” Mr. Damasio said.
The Department of Education periodically administers
the nationwide tests in reading, mathematics, science,
history, civics, geography and the arts. But although
the federal testing program began in 1969, no national
assessment had been conducted in economics until 2006.
A nationally representative sample of 11,500 seniors
in 590 public and private schools took part in the
The test questionnaire asked students to list any
economics courses they had taken in high school.
Although a minority of states require economics, 87
percent of seniors reported some exposure to economics
content in high school.
But the effect of that exposure was surprising. The
scores of students who had taken economics courses
were not necessarily higher than those who had not. On
average, students who had taken Advanced Placement,
International Baccalaureate or an honors course in
economics scored marginally higher than students who
had taken no economics at all, but students who had
taken “consumer economics” or business courses scored
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