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NJ Lawmaker proposes civics test as high school graduation requirement



06/09/16 05:44 AM EDT

As the New Jersey Board of Education deliberates whether high school students should have to pass certain math and English exams to graduate, one state lawmaker wants to throw another subject into the mix.

Assemblyman Jay Webber, a Republican from Morris County, is sponsoring legislation to require students to pass a civics test, using the same set of questions asked of immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship.

His bill (A3894) is nearly identical to one introduced during the last legislative session by then-Assemblyman Charles Mainor, a Democrat. Mainor’s bill (A4226) never made it out of committee.

Under the latest proposal, students would have to correctly answer at least 60 of 100 questions. Students would be asked, for example, what the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are called (answer: Bill of Rights), who becomes president if both the president and vice president can no longer serve (answer: Speaker of the House) or what stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful (answer: checks and balances).

Students would first take the test in ninth grade. Those who don’t pass would retake the exam each year until they passed. Local school boards would decide the method and manner in which the test is administered.

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3 thoughts on “NJ Lawmaker proposes civics test as high school graduation requirement

  1. We have to stop coming up with tests.

  2. Great idea. Kids today know nothing about civics.

  3. I wonder how many adult U.S. citizens would be able to pass that test.

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