State May Require Students To Pass Citizens Test To Get Diploma

CBS Local – A potential new bill discussed in Oregon on Tuesday would require public high school students in the state to pass at least 60 percent of the questions asked on the citizenship test to receive their diploma.

The bill, called Senate Bill 1038, could be up for vote as soon as Thursday and Senator Chuck Riley is the chief sponsor.

The test could be retaken as many times as necessary to pass, but a diploma would not be given without its passing. It’d include 100 questions, though unlike the U.S. citizenship test,  it’d be multiple choice rather than fill-in-the-blank. The immigration test grabs a sample 10 of the 100 questions and prospective citizens would need to get at least six correct, in a fill-in-the-blank format.

Riley advocates that by passing the exam would equip the next generation for the sort of civic awareness that would help succeed in the future.

Some of SB 1038’s issues include the added difficulty for students who speak multiple languages, pointed out by Sen. Sarah Gelser, via The Oregonian. Other lawmakers and school advocates questioned the fairness of withholding diplomas from teens who don’t pass the exams.

Riley took 20 questions of the test himself and got one wrong.

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