If you are able to say why Abraham Lincoln was an important figure in U.S. History or why the pilgrims wanted to leave England, then chances are you know more then most U.S. fourth graders.

Less then half of the U.S. fourth graders tested in public and non-public schools were able to answer those two questions on a history exam, according to results released Tuesday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Just 20 percent of fourth graders, 17 percent of eighth graders and 12 percent of high school seniors are proficient in history, the analysis found, which are near identical proficiency levels from five years ago.

Are you smarter than a fourth grader in U.S. History? Find out here.

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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