LUBBOCK, Texas — One important step of the citizenship process is the citizenship test and, according to a new study, hopeful citizens trying to pass may not be the only ones who need to study up.
As stated in the October report by The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, two thirds of Americans would not be able to pass the test required to become a United States citizen.
Joni Rodela, Lubbock ISD K-12 social studies coordinator, said a potential reason for this statistic is because the curriculum the state of Texas requires is differs from what is on the citizenship test.
“When you look through the United States citizenship test,” Rodela said. “Most of the questions are very very factually based. On the other hand, when you look at history curriculum, it’s a much more comprehensive and complex curriculum.”
President of Texas Tech University Lawrence Schovanec said responsibility falls on the universities to not only provide an education for students, but teach them to be well-informed voters.
“That’s something universities need to do,” Schovanec said. “You don’t always get that from the classroom, you have special speakers and events on campus that do make you a more informed citizen.”
State legislation has recognized the disconnect between required curriculum and what is on the test, and has introduced bills to correct it.
“Texas house bill 1244 in a nutshell eliminates the high school U.S. history end of course exam and within that bill it replaces that with the United States citizenship test,” Rodela said. “Senate bill 1777 keeps the United States end of course exam in tact but simply tags onto that ten questions that would have come from the citizenship test.”
“If our students don’t understand their roles and responsibilities in maintaining that republic,” Rodela said. “Then we are sure to lose it.”