Bill Would Require Students to Pass US Citizenship Test To get Diploma, GED

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - An Arkansas lawmaker filed a bill that would require anyone trying to get their high school diploma or GED, would be required to pass the U.S. Citizenship Test.

In a crowded hall in Sylvan Hills High School, we put students to the test to see how well they knew their country.

"Who's the governor of the state?" "Asa Hutchinson."
"Name two national holidays." "Christmas and Fourth of July."

For the most part, the students knew their stuff.

"Why does the flag have 13 stripes?"  "For the 13 original colonies."

But others... they weren't so sure on.

"What is the last day you can send in federal income taxes?"  "I'm not sure."

While they said they had a good grip on U.S. trivia, they don't feel there is a need for House Bill 1539.

The bill filed by Representative Bruce Cozart, R-Hot Springs, would require the passage of the civics portion of the naturalization test used by United States Ccitizenship and Immigration Services before a student may receive a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma.

"I don't think most of them would have a problem passing the test - the Average Joe... maybe," said Rep. Cozart.

Rep. Cozart explained students would have to get 60 of the 100 questions correct to pass.

"I think we have so many students who have no clue as to what this country is about, what's happening, who the presidents are, and who the president is now," said Rep. Cozart.

We then took the test to the Capitol to see if legislators could answer the questions...

"What is one responsibility that's only for U.S. citizens?" "To vote."

"There were 13 original states, name three." "Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania."

Other questions were more tricky.

"The House of Representatives has how many voting members?"  "455?"

But there's one that both students and legislators aced.

"Who is our President?" "Donald Trump."


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