17 Strayer students perfect on civics exam

Of 386 eighth-graders who took the test, the average score was 80 percent.
Posted on 02/15/2022
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By Gary Weckselblatt

Seventeen Strayer Middle School students received perfect scores on the civics exam, and the average score of eighth-graders was 80 percent on the test, given between January 17th and February 4th.

The civics assessment was mandated by the Pennsylvania General Assembly for students between grades 7 to 12 in 2018. That same year, the Quakertown Community School Board agreed to have the district implement the assessment, which utilizes 30 questions from the 100-question US Naturalization and Citizenship test to meet this requirement.

“Our students have shown they have a level of understanding of civics and government that is proficient and above,” said Dr. Michael Zackon, QCSD’s Supervisor of Secondary Programs. “That’s both a credit to them and to their teachers, whose instruction enables us to achieve our mission, which includes giving students the skills they need for engaged citizenship.”

Of 398 eighth-graders, 97 percent took the assessment and 87 percent passed. Here’s the scoring breakdown:

  • 90-100 percent - 121
  • 80-89 percent - 102
  • 70-79 percent - 76
  • 60-69 percent - 48
  • 59 percent or less - 39

“More of our students are attaining a broader knowledge of the Constitution,” said Rachel Girman, K-12 Instructional Coach in the Office for Teaching and Learning. “To have 17 students go 30-for-30 is awesome.”

Perfect scores were turned in by Hudson Amen, Dylan Atlee-Wood, Morgan Bobrofsky, Jayden Hamrick, Kamryn Jefferis, Ian Johnston, Kara Kelly, Regina Kovacs, Ava Mahaney, Wilson Martinez, Elijah Pint, Wyatt Powell, Colin Reinbold, Justin Rhoads, Evan Saglimbeni, Jocelyn Santangelo, and Aryana Troche.

“I’m really proud about what our kids know and how well they are taught,” Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner said. “We want to make sure that when our students graduate they understand our Bill of Rights, know how to have civil discourse, and recognize how lucky we are to be citizens of this country.”

While adults have improved their understanding of the U.S. Constitution in the last 15 years, according to the Annenberg Civics Knowledge Survey, which has been conducted since 2006, their results pale in comparison to Strayer students.

Among Annenberg’s most recent 2021 findings:

  • In 2021, 56 percent of U.S. adults could name all three branches of government – the highest level seen in this survey. In 2006 only 33 percent could name all the branches.
  • Asked to name the five rights protected by the First Amendment, more Americans could name most of those rights. In 2021, freedom of speech was named by 74 percent (up from 48 percent in 2017).

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].

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