State Eighth Graders May Need to Pass Citizenship Test to Enter High School

Phoenix, AZ – A measure approved Monday by the House Education Committee would
require students to pass a citizenship test to go on to high
school. Sen. John Huppenthal said he is amazed by the lack of
knowledge of basic civics. But rather than create a new exam from
scratch, he wants the state to pick from the 100 questions the
federal government uses for its own test before someone can
become a U.S. citizen. Huppenthal said passing the test should be
easy -- especially since schools would be free to post both the
full list of questions and answers on their web sites.

You know what the questions are going to be in advance, you know
what the answers are. They pull a sample of those. And you have
to pass that sample. If you look at those questions, we would all
agree that's core information that every citizen should know.
It's definitely knowledge every eighth grader can obtain.)

Rep. Eric Meyer said that it probably is important to know who
was the first president, one of the questions on the citizenship

(But what's more important to me is that they know how he got to
become our first president and why that is important as a citizen
of the United States. And this test, in my mind, doesn't do

While the committee approved the bill, Huppenthal faces
opposition over his desire to make passing the test a requirement
to graduate from eighth grade. For Arizona Public Radio this is
Howard Fischer.