Require all students to pass the "Naturalization Test" given to immigrants applying for citizenship
As one of my first actions in Annapolis, I submitted the concept for my initiative (to require students to pass the Naturalization Test before graduating) to "Legislative Services;" this is the department that drafts the actual bill language. Before I got my draft legislation back from Legisaltive Services, I learned that Senator Bryon Simonaire is sponsoring the same legislation in the Senate. I am hoping to sponsor a cross-filed bill in the House, so we'll all be supporting just one bill. Everyone I've spoken with about this initiative, has given me positive feedback. The one downside the bill faces is that right now, teachers, students, and parents are all rightly concerned about the onerous amount of testing required and the time it is talking away from actual learning.
Today, ONE in THREE Native-Born citizens FAIL that test
Why is it that 97.5% of all immigrants applying for citizenship PASS the civics exam, while one in three of us who were born here, FAIL?
The freedom created by our democracy cannot continue to exist unless each new generation is taught and understands both how and why that freedom must be preserved.
The charts below show the questions most often missed by native-born Americans.
Some of the conclusions shown from the study are frightening. For example:
Only 29% can identify the Constitution as the supreme law of the land
More than ¾ of us cannot name one power of the states, and 59% can't name one power of the federal government
Less than half can identify the rights and responsibilities of citizenship
Only 61% know that "We the People" are the first three words of the Constitution
Middle-aged citizens have the highest pass rates.
The charts are from the U.S. Naturalization and Civics Test, National "Survey of Native-Born U.S. Citizens, March 2012, prepared by Center for the Study of the American Dream.