Arizona to Test Math, Science, Citizenship

By Amanda Bertsch

 

Arizona has become the first state to require students to pass the civics portion of the United States citizenship test before graduation. Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill on the 15th, mandating that high school students answer 60 of the 100 questions correctly before they are allowed to graduate from high school.

The bill was lobbied for by the Civics Education Initiative. The Initiative is affiliated with the Joe Floss Institute, which is based in Scottsdale. Already the group has begun working in other states—according to several news sites, anywhere from 15 to 18 bills are being considered in other state legislatures. The movement hopes to eventually require this test in all states.

Mrs. Parsons, our civics teacher, thinks that the requirement is reasonable. “I think it’s fair to say American students should pass [the citizenship test].”

Supporters of the movement maintain that requiring the citizenship test will force schools to emphasize a traditional civics education. Since time constraints force many classes to “teach to the test”, the lobbyists hope that requiring this exam will force every school to cover civics more thoroughly. This viewpoint has recently gained bipartisan support.

Kaleb Lyonnais, a sophomore, said “I think that Americans should be just as good at civics as we want potential immigrants to be, but I think we have better things to focus on [in school].”

However, many question the bill’s intentions. Some believe that Arizona should concentrate on fixing its education system before worrying about adding more testing. Others note that this law seems to target immigrant children, who are common in southern Arizona schools.

Either way, the bill is law now, meaning that students need to take the test to graduate. You can take a sample test at http://civicseducationinitiative.com/take-the-test/.

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