Gwen Kazmierczak, Editor

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Starting this year, high school students are taking a citizenship test as one of the requirements of their government class in order to graduate. The class of 2020 is the first class of seniors required to take the test. The citizenship test is the same test that people who apply for American citizenship must take.

These requirements were originally implemented on October 18th, 2016 for the ninth graders of 2016-2017 under S.C. Code § 59-29-240. The code states that a civics test is required for high school students. The code was implemented by Sheila B. Quinn, who has been the South Carolina Deputy Superintendent of the Division of Innovation and Effectiveness since 2015. The citizenship test is now apart of the curriculum of the government classes.

The citizenship test for high school students will have ten questions chosen by the teacher. The student must get six out of ten questions correct to pass the test. If a student fails the citizenship test, they must take it again until they are able to pass. It asks questions about important dates in American history such as Independence Day and about current and past presidents and vice presidents. There are simple questions on the test, such as “who was the first President of the United States?” and more difficult questions, like “how many changes have been made to the US Constitution?” One student that is taking government this semester thinks that ”if American citizens aren’t able to answer basic questions about their country, it’s not fair to expect immigrants to know it”.

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