Beginning in the 2022-23 academic year, House Bill 2030 would require high schoolers to pass the civics portion of the United States’ naturalization test in order to graduate.
“Unfortunately, too many of our students graduate high school without basic knowledge of how our nation was founded or how our system of government works,” said House Speaker Pro Tempore Terry O’Donnell in a press release. “This legislation would help correct that, leading to a more engaged and informed electorate in the future.”
For a state that has consistently ranked in the bottom 10 states in education, penalizing students for something a majority of Americans would not be able to pass seems counterproductive.
According to a report by The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, about 39 percent of Americans can pass a multiple choice test with questions taken from the U.S. Citizenship test. Two-thirds of Americans would not pass the test required to become a U.S. citizen.
Politicians seem eager to throw another standardized test requirement at students in order to graduate. Meanwhile, our state government seems less concerned with improving our education funding and supporting our low-income communities.
Oklahoma has been doing a disservice to it’s students for some time now, specifically it’s students of color. Before the pandemic even hit, Oklahoma was forced to close down and combine elementary schools for lack of funding. The state was even considering a four-day school week.
So before they add more tests and requirements to our students’ plates, our politicians need to do their part in ensuring our schools are getting adequate funding and work to raise Oklahoma’s education standing compared to other states.