Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Citizenship Test - Step in the Right Direction?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration this service recently began using a new test for applicants for American citizenship. The virtue of the old test was that it tested objective verifiable facts, such as the number of stripes on the flag or what the stars represent. The old test, however, required nothing more than a cursory understanding of American history and civics to pass.
The new test, on the other hand, has less objective answers, but probes more deeply into our American experiments. For example, when an applicant is asked “What does the Constitution do?”, correct answers include “sets up the government,” “defines the government,” and “protects the basic rights of Americans.”

That our new citizens will have a firm grasp of founding First Principles and history is still doubtful, but from what I can tell, at least this is a step in the right direction.
As with all new programs implemented by the federal government, whether this one will actually meets its goal will only be determined over time. Often our newest citizens are our most informed and patriotic. Let us hope that the new test bolsters this as well.
For more the importance of our understanding our First Principles and history, visit

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