Monday, November 13, 2006

The citizenship test is getting an overhaul.

"In an effort to make the citizenship exam more meaningful, the federal government said Monday it will test an exam that relies less on trivia and more on an applicants' grasp of American democracy.

"[...] The current test is heavy on historical facts and includes questions about the colors of the U.S. flag and the name of the form used to apply for citizenship. The new exam will ask about the Bill of Rights and the meaning of democracy." (CNN)

This sounds appropriate. The Bill of Rights and democracy are the foundations on which the rest was built, and having a citizenship exam that focuses on the most important aspects of the country is a good idea.

"All U.S. citizens -- not just new ones -- could brush up on their civic knowledge, said Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative think tank that supports the assimilation of immigrants.

"It's also good for the people who are already here, because there will be fewer problems and fewer friction if we all understand what America is all about," he said."

"Fewer friction?" Less friction? Anyway, if only we could all agree on "what America is all about." It sounds like this is a good change to the test, but let's not idealize it.

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