Mixed Reactions To Arizona High School Civics Bill
In his State of the State address on Monday, Governor Doug Ducey asked the legislature to craft a bill requiring students to pass a civics test in order graduate or earn a GED. On Thursday, members of both the Senate and House Education Committees voted to press ahead with such legislation.
Members of the House Education Committee heard from individuals on both sides of the issue. In the end, the measure passed in both committees and is quickly making its way to Governor Ducey’s desk for his signature. The measure would require students to correctly answer 60 out of 100 questions on the civics portion of the test required to be a U.S. Citizen. But with almost any piece of legislation, the devil is often in the details.
"It will bring cost and burden to education systems both charter and traditional because someone has to implement this test," said Andrew Morrill, the president of the Arizona Education Association. "Somebody has to maintain the integrity of implementing this test. Listen, if this is a high-stake test, it means students must pass it to graduate, so what do you do to intervene with those students who didn’t?"
Morrill said that while legislators believe they’re doing the right thing for Arizona’s students, another standardized test is not the right approach.