House bill would make citizenship test a high school graduation requirement | Michigan Radio

House bill would make citizenship test a high school graduation requirement

Dec 4, 2015

Credit User Alberto G. / Creative Commons /

How many US senators are there? What does the President's cabinet do? Who is in charge of the executive branch?   

High school students who can't answer those questions might want to start studying.

Lawmakers in Lansing are considering a house bill that would require Michigan high school students to pass a civics test before they get their diploma.

Questions on the test would be identical to those immigrants must answer on the civics portion of the US citizenship test.

To pass, students would need a score of sixty percent. They'd be able to retake the test as many times as needed.

Rep. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) is sponsoring the bill.

"I've found that when I talk to young-minded, talented students, they don't even know the basic core principles of what government is about," Lucido said. "I'd like to make sure that at least they know the basic principles a foreigner has to learn," he said. 

The Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals disagrees with the bill.

"We've been working really hard in Michigan toward new social studies standards that are more rigorous, that require students to have a greater depth of knowledge," said Bob Kefgen, director of government relations. "We want [students] to do more than just memorize facts and be able to recall and recite them. We want them to be able to interact with information...ideally, to analyze and critique it," Kefgen said.

It would be up to schools to decide when and how students take the test.

The bill is currently in committee.