This score from 2022 showing so many students lack basic understanding is bad. It also indicates a continuation of a decline that started in 2018, the last time the score was previously reported.
This report should frighten everyone who wants to restore limited, constitutional government and a true free-market economy. Students who graduate high school without basic knowledge of how the government is supposed to work and why the drafters of the Constitution designed it the way they did, as well as the history of the US, are more likely to fall for the lies of authoritarian demagogues who promise economic and personal security in exchange for the people's liberty.
Even scarier is the fact that many government schools have replaced history and civics with critical race theory, transgender ideology, and other forms of cultural Marxism. Contrary to claims of its defenders, opponents of critical race theory do not object to teaching students the truth about America's racial history. Instead, critics object to teaching students that the free market is irredeemably racist and thus must be replaced by rule by the "woke."
Similarly, critics of promoting transgender ideology in schools are not motivated by a desire to punish adults who decide they wish to identify as a different gender. Instead, the motivation is a desire to protect children from being exposed to these and similar topics at an inappropriate age. There are also legitimate concerns over allowing children to have life-altering gender reassignment medical treatments. How is it rational to tell a 13-year-old he cannot choose to have a beer but he can choose to alter his gender? And how is it rational or fair to allow boys to play on girls sports teams simply because the boys have switched pronouns?