Arizona to Require Students to Pass Citizenship Test to Graduate

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Jan 16, 2015 3:30 PM
Arizona to Require Students to Pass Citizenship Test to Graduate

Arizona has become the first state to mandate that high school students take and pass a citizenship exam to graduate from high school or earn a GED diploma. The bill "sailed" through the Arizona legislature yesterday with bipartisan support.

From the Associated Press:

The proposal requires high school students to correctly answer 60 of 100 questions on the civics portion of the test new citizens must pass. The test includes questions about the Founding Fathers, the Bill of Rights and U.S. presidents. Passing it would be required to earn a high school or GED diploma starting in the 2016-17 school year.

The bill garnered support from all 53 Republicans in the House and Senate, plus 10 of 27 Democrats.

Fifteen other states have considered similar legislation, and a similar bill has already passed the House of Representatives in North Dakota. The Jim Foss Institute, which is the driving force promoting the laws, has a goal mandating the test in all 50 states by 2017.

Studies have shown that roughly a third of U.S. students would fail the exam given to naturalized citizens.

I'm in favor of this kind of bill. The content of the citizenship test is something every American should know. It's hard to fight for one's liberties if you have no idea what they are.