Oklahoma House bill would require high schoolers to pass citizenship test

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Published: Last Updated on

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.

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2 comments

C. Long March 9, 2021 - 5:37 pm

High school students are already required to take all 5 parts of the ACT, a US History exam, and an OAS Science exam to graduate high school. We moved away from the EOI (End of Instruction) examinations due to their irrelevance to postsecondary opportunities. At least the ACT provides a free opportunity to take the test and use it for college entrance. However, the science and US History tests do nothing for students overall. Why add more?

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gregbreakpointgmailcom March 9, 2021 - 7:21 pm

It is hard to separate this new requirement from the other legislation requiring teaching a “sanitized” only version of American History. A version which requires never referring to the 1619 Project of actual American History. The majority of US Presidents through #15 were slave owners, Thomas Jefferson owned his own children, and the anti democratic provisions of the U.S. Constitution were put in place only to strengthen the power of slave holding states. A prime example of this is the Electoral College which has never been adopted since by any new democratic republic constitution of any country inspired by the United States to adopt a democratic form of government. And the U. S. Senate. It is never taught that the 15 smallest states with a total population of 38,000,000 have 30 Senators to consistently block equality for POC, woman and LGBTQ citizens, while the 40 million voters of California have 2 Senators. This is why hundreds of bills passed by the House are never taken up year after year. And as we just witnessed: if a black President nominates anyone to the Supreme Court, the Senate’s clear constitutional duty to advise and consent on the nomination can be ignored without challenge by a Senate dominated by a few rural voters. And in turn, approve in record time 3 nominations of a white President elected by a minority of the County’s voters.

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