Only about a quarter of eighth graders show solid performance or better in U.S. history, civics and geography on tests known as the Nation's Report Card.
The 2014 results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress are similar to those four years ago. Students did better in U.S. history and civics than their peers in the 1990s when tests in these subjects were first given, but geography scores have remained stagnant since 1994.
Among the test takers, only about a third answered correctly that a political belief shared by most people in the United States is that the government should be a democracy. Forty-five per cent were able to correctly interpret time differences using an atlas with time zones.