Should high school students have to pass a naturalization civics test to graduate?
A Colorado lawmaker is proposing the idea at the state legislature.
Anyone seeking to become a U.S. Citizen must pass a civics test conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
State Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, wants students to have to get at least 60 questions correct out of 100 multiple choice questions on an online civics test during high school.
See how you would do:
"Every single person who wants to be a citizen that comes from outside the country needs to pass it, it's only reasonable that all of us should have to pass it too," said Hill. "We already have a mandate that you have to have a civics class to graduate high school, so we're not changing that at all. All we're doing now is putting a little bit of parameters on that."
"Why do we need another test for high schoolers? asked Denver7 political reporter Marshall Zelinger.
"The truth is we don't need another test, we need more robust civics," said Hill. "This is the role of our schools, to make sure every single one of our students is informed enough to be citizens."
"Is it that they're not educated or that they just don't have a good memory?" asked Zelinger.
"We focused on math and English and Language Arts for so long, we've forgotten we're here to create citizens," said Hill.
Denver7 tested Hill with some sample questions. If you want to root for him to miss any, you're out of luck. He went 10 for 10.
We also took sample questions to students on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver.
One of the questions was to name two Cabinet-level positions.
The question stumped Community College of Denver freshman Andreina, Eileen and Kaila.
"I don't know what a cabinet position is," said Kaila.
It was the only question they didn't get correct.
"If immigrants have to do it, why can't citizens do it?" said Eileen.
"I've looked at the full list before and I remember thinking, I would not pass this. If I (needed) to be a citizen, I would not be able to do it," said Kaila.
"It doesn't seem that hard to me," said Juan, a Metro State University sophomore.
He got 12 out of 14 correct.
"This is something they beat into your head for years in history," said Juan. "If you were born in the United States, you should know it. This is where you're from."
The questions that high school students would take are multiple choice. When someone takes the test to become a citizen, they have to get six out of 10 correct and they are not multiple choice.
Getting 60 out of 100 correct, like the bill suggests, would be the equivalent of a D-minus.
"'D for done,' right? Just demonstrate that you're somewhat fluent in these ideas," said Hill.
"What happens if I fail it in high school?" asked Zelinger.
"You can take it as many times as you want, it's totally up to the teacher," said Hill. "If it takes three times or 30 times, we're drawing this up. We're drawing people up to their full role of citizens."
The bill will be heard in the Senate Education committee on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
"We're going to do some of this test in committee," said Hill.