The Civics Education Initiative—a national initiative built around concerns that civics instruction is being marginalized to provide a STEM curriculum (science, technology, English and math)—is supporting passage of the bill.
While many states requires high school students to receive instruction in or take a course in American government or civics, most have stopped mandating that students pass a graduation test of any kind. One state, Ohio, requires students to take a five-part exam testing their knowledge of social studies and four other subject areas. Students must pass all of the test’s five parts to receive a high school diploma.
What’s interesting to The Motley Monk, who used to teach civics, is why these tests aren’t required in all 50 states of the Union. Consider these two facts, care of the Center for the Study of the American Dream:
- For immigrants to become American citizens, they must correctly answer 60 of 100 questions on a Naturalization test concerning the principles of American government, American history, and integrative civics. In 2010, 97.5% of immigrants passed this test.
- As reported in USA Today, the Center for the Study of the American Dream used the identical test to identify the civic literacy rate of native-born citizens, finding that 33% of native-born citizens failed the test, based upon answering just 60% of the questions correctly. Had the pass rate been 70%, 50% of native-born citizens would have failed.
So, immigrants who become U.S. citizens know more facts about U.S. government, history, and geography than its high school graduates do? What an indictment of the nation’s public schools and the states’ educational policies in preparing the next generation of adult citizens to know and understand their civic roles and responsibilities!
The Motley Monk wonders what the pass rate would be if candidates seeking elective office were required to pass the test before they could qualify as candidates?
Let the discussion begin…
To read the Bismarck Tribune article, click on the following link:
To learn about the Civic Education Initiative, click on the following link:
To learn about the Center for the Study of the American Dream:
To learn about pass rates for immigrants seeking naturalization, click on the following link:
To take the U.S. citizenship prep test, click on the following link: