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    •  While student performance in geography on the NAEP test since 1994 has generally improved, a large proportion of students in 2001 did not reach either the Basic or Proficient levels and did not demonstrate achievement in the essential content and skills in geography judged necessary for responsible citizenship (NAEP, 2001).

 

    • On the National Geographic - Roper 2002 Global Geographic Literacy Survey that assessed 3,250 young adults (ages 18 - 24) in nine countries, including the United States, roughly 85 % of these Americans could not find Afghanistan, Iraq, or Israel on a map. One conclusion from the survey was that American students struggle with basic geography facts. Of the young adults who were surveyed, Americans ranked next to last. Out of the 56 questions that were asked, the average young American answered only 23 questions correctly. Lack of geographical information is more than an embarrassment; it has a direct impact on U.S. foreign policy decisions, on our ability to evaluate such public policies as the North American Free Trade Agreement, and on how we as a nation make a broad range of domestic and foreign policy issues.  Also, the 2002 Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning National Geographic Society Alliance Study, commissioned by the National Geographic Society, found that students of teachers who participated in alliance teacher-development programs showed “meaningful and statistically significant differences in achievement” compared with their peers on the 2001 NAEP Geography Assessment.
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