Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

My Fellow Americans, Can You Pass the America Test?

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

My Fellow Americans, Can You Pass the America Test?

Article excerpt

America would be such a better place if we could all be like Arizonans, even if a few million immigrants might take exception.

If we modeled ourselves after Arizonans, we'd be nicely tanned and have an official state gun (the Colt Single Action Army revolver) and require high school students to pass the same civics exam that the U.S. uses as a test for all those pesky immigrants wanting to become citizens. The Grand Canyon State this month enacted a law that will deny a diploma to students who fail to correctly answer 60 of 100 questions on that standardized civics test.

All applicants for U.S. citizenship take an oral test in which they are given 10 of those 100 questions and need to correctly answer at least six.

Nine out of 10 of those American wannabes handle that challenge successfully. But in a 2012 national survey, one out of three already-redblooded-American-pie-eating citizens failed to meet the same standard. So obviously something's lacking in what we know about our government's origins, makeup and operations.

In preparation for such a law being adopted in Pennsylvania (only let's hope it's a better one that would require the test of all residents instead of just students), we looked up the 100 real-life questions and wrote down answers for them, based on our current knowledge.

Here's a sample, though admittedly, we might have some studying to do before the law is passed:

* What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?

Staying home on Election Day.

* What is the economic system in the United States?

Don't bother the rich with stupid taxes.

* What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

Gridlock.

* Who makes federal laws?

Pharmaceutical companies, primarily.

* We elect a U.S. representative for how many years?

Infinity and beyond.

* Why do some states have more representatives than other states? …

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