Friday, September 19, 2014

Rep. Steve Montenegro: Passing citizenship test should be required for graduation

This legislation will ensure students graduate with the tools they need to become informed and engaged citizens; it's about patriotism.

Arizona high school students might soon have to pass the same 100-question U.S. Citizenship Civics Test administered to immigrants under a new proposal by State Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield.
Rep. Montenegro is currently crafting the legislation that will be addressed in the legislature during the next session, starting in January. Under the proposed legislation, students would be allowed to take the test any time during their high-school careers and as many times as necessary to pass. By using this existing and well-established test and its study materials that are already available for free online, the cost would be minimal.

 The proposed legislation is part of a nationwide movement to boost civics education sponsored by the Joe Foss Institute, a Scottsdale, Ariz. based nonprofit that promotes teaching about public service and patriotism. The legislation is labeled the Civics Education Initiative and is being introduced in six other states.

 The goal is for all 50 states to pass such legislation by Sept. 17, 2017 — the 230th anniversary of the Constitution.

 Arizona's legislation was unveiled Wednesday on the 227th anniversary of the majority of the delegates signing the U.S. Constitution. But Lucia Spataro, president of the Civics Education Initiative, said the problem it seeks to address has been a long time coming in what he called the “perfect storm of changing academic emphasis.”

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