By Bob Katzen
Bill (H 574) – Would require that in order to graduate from high school, students must correctly answer at least 60 of the 100 questions listed on a civics test that is identical to the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for immigrants aspiring to become naturalized citizens. A students who does not pass the test on the first try is allowed to take the test as many times as he or she wants until he or she passes it.
“I believe that now more than ever a basic understanding of civics and how our government operates is critical,” said sponsor Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk). “Requiring students to pass the citizenship test prior to graduation will make sure that the schools teach it as part of their curriculum. If people have a better understanding of how the process works it makes for a more engaged citizenry—which in turn leads to a better government. I do not understand the objection, as it is the same test we are asking our new citizens be able to pass. And students can take it as many times as necessary. I’m disappointed that it didn’t advance again this year and if I’m fortunate enough to be elected to the Senate, I will definitely refile it again next session.”