Senate Bill 159 would require all public high school students to pass a 100-question civics test in order to receive a regular diploma
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 14, 2017) – The House today passed a measure aimed to increase engagement in our government among young people, by providing them with the basic facts of United States government. Senate Bill 159 would require all public high school students to pass a 100-question civics test in order to receive a regular diploma. The test, the same one offered to gain U.S. citizenship, would be completed online, is free, and is geared to create the most flexibility possible for schools to implement.
“Civics education is social studies’ equivalent to multiplication tables for mathematics, or knowing the alphabet before learning to read,” said Rep. Bam Carney, R-Campbellsville, a former social studies teacher. “Nationwide, only 24 percent of students are proficient in civics. This measure is the first step in revitalizing civic education in our state and ensuring our children understand exactly what it means to be an engaged citizen.”
Students must pass the exam with a 60 percent to be eligible for graduation, but are not limited on the number of times they can take the test.
“This is not a silver bullet, but it will extend the baseline knowledge of our students,” added Rep. Carney.
The measure was supported in a bipartisan manner to ensure Kentucky students understand the responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen.