The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Can you pass the new citizenship test?

Posted by Bill Nance on October 1, 2008

That’s the headline for an article appearing on CNN.Com today.

I took the test, which was quite straightforward. Any 8th-grader in my public school (which sucked) could have passed this easily.

I don’t doubt that a significant percentage of American voters would fail this test miserably.

I had the interesting experience of taking a course on American Government a few years ago at my local community college. (I tried to test out, sadly they wouldn’t let me).

I have to say this was one of the more disturbing experiences I’ve ever had. Not one in 10 of my fellow students could have passed my 8th grade civics course. I found out why soon enough: Massachusetts doesn’t even offer a civics course in public schools, much less require one.

I won’t go into great detail about the horrors of that classroom experience (And trust me it was certainly horrifying) but I would bet you $100 per student that less than 50% of the students could have passed the current citizenship test AFTER the course.

And we let these people vote.

Here’s an idea: Make everyone take the test. You don’t pass, you don’t vote. Have it administered by the Feds at a Federal courthouse so Jim Crow doesn’t rear his ugly head.

If it’s good enough for testing new citizens’ commitment, why not the rest of us? -Just a thought. we all know it would never happen.

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3 Responses to “Can you pass the new citizenship test?”

  1. […] Can you pass the new citizenship test? […]

  2. pedigree said

    I did the UK version of this test and aced it but I was one of the few in the room that did, having completed it before the instructor had to teach some of the non-English speakers now to use a computer 🙂

  3. Dan said

    This test is bogus. The Constitution doesn’t mean anything. Did it ever? Rule of Law? Hah. I wouldn’t want to delude immigrants into thinking about things like equality under the law, which obviously doesn’t apply to the rich or otherwise powerful.

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