Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Civics and Citizenship

Continuing on the theme of civics, as of today, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is offering a revised naturalization test for people seeking citizenship.

Redesign Process
The major aim of the redesign process is to ensure that naturalization applicants have uniform, consistent testing experiences nationwide, and that the civics test can effectively assess whether applicants have a meaningful understanding of U.S. government and history. Following a basic U.S. history and civics curriculum, the redesigned test will serve as an important instrument to encourage civic learning and patriotism among prospective citizens.

You can see all 100 history and civics questions (and answers) here. In a citizenship test, in addition to other components (related to the ability to write in, speak, and read English), applicants must answer orally up to 10 questions randomly chosen from the pool of 100 questions. It would be interesting to know what percentage of US-born adults would be able to pass the naturalization test.

Here are some of my favorites; bulleted points are acceptable answers:

What does the Constitution do?
▪ sets up the government
▪ defines the government
▪ protects basic rights of Americans

What did the Declaration of Independence do?

▪ announced our independence (from Great Britain)
▪ declared our independence (from Great Britain)
▪ said that the United States is free (from Great Britain)

What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

▪ checks and balances
▪ separation of powers

What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?
▪ serve on a jury
▪ vote in a federal election

Name one right only for United States citizens.

▪ vote in a federal election
▪ run for federal office

What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?
▪ freedom of expression
▪ freedom of speech
▪ freedom of assembly
▪ freedom to petition the government
▪ freedom of worship
▪ the right to bear arms