PA considers citizenship tests to graduate

Test would mirror immigration


Myranda Mamat

B-A civics teacher Mr. Matthew McNaul thinks a required civics test to graduate would force students to pay attention to government.

Myranda Mamat, Staff Writer

How would you feel if to graduate high school you had to take the same exam that immigrants take when seeking to become US citizens?

Earlier this month two house panels met on a Monday to decide whether Pennsylvania is going to join the 14 other states that officiate the test. Students from the Commonwealth would  be forced to take the same exam that immigration laws force foreigners to take, in order for them to earn their diploma.

The exam would consist of 100 questions on basic history and civics that students have learned thought out their school career. If you fail you are able to take the test as many times as you want.

Bellwood-Antis Civics teacher Mr.McNaul, doesn’t know where he stands on it yet, but he thinks if lawmakers do pass the law it would be a good thing.

“I haven’t made up my mind yet, but it seems like a good idea to make students accountable to have a base of Civic knowledge. I think, though, if the test is administered they should give no more than two tries,” he said.

Every American should know about the law, history, and constitution of the United States.

— Duke Brunner

Students at Bellwood antis have mixed feelings about the idea.

Senior Troy Confer, for one, felt it was a bad idea, though the idea of simply testing for civics knowledge would be ok.

“No, I don’t think a senior should have to pass a citizenship test to graduate,” he said. “But I do think that a basic test should be given to seniors about civics.”

Although this may not be a favorable law, it could help the teachers and students in the long run.

“I will probably look at the general themes covered on the exam and then make sure I address the material in those themes,” Mr. McNaul said. “I would mostly have to just expand on what I teach. There’s more pressure on the kids to pay attention and take the class seriously, which is good.”

Senior Duke Brunner wouldn’t mind it.

“Yes, I think kids should have to pass a basic citizenship test to graduate because I think every American should know about the law, history, and constitution of the United States,” he said. “People should know about their own country that they live in.”