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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

America 101

There's a new U.S. naturalization test, and the old civics questions that just require the memorization and repetition of facts are being replaced with ones that require a little more thinking:

Are new conceptual questions such as, "What does the Constitution do?" more difficult than old queries like "What is the Constitution?"

Is a question with a range of acceptable answers, such as the new "What is one reason colonists came to America?" preferable to the old "Why did the Pilgrims come to America?"

[. . .]

The new civics list, a pool of 100 possible questions for a test of up to 10, omits the old "How many stars are there on our flag?" and "Name the amendments that guarantee or address voting rights." Taking their place are questions like: "There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them," and "What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?"

I want new citizens to know as much as possible about the country -- it's proof that they're coming here for the right reasons.

Of course, I'd like native-born Americans to know a little about the country, too. The story has a question as a headline: "Could you pass the new citizenship test?" It's a fair question, and many people would have to say no if they're being honest. I suppose that whatever it is -- money or citizenship -- people who have to work for something appreciate it more than the ones who inherit it.


Bob G.
Wed, 10/01/2008 - 12:48pm

Is this "quiz" for REAL?
I knew all this when I was in 4th grade...when fire was the "new fad" on the block...LOL!

(yeah, I got 10 out of 10)