Should high school students pass the U.S. Citizenship test to graduate?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - During Governor Kristi Noem's State of the State address she said she'd like to pass a law requiring high school students to pass a U.S. citizenship test upon graduation.

The civics naturalization test is not a multiple choice test. During the interview a U.S. officer asks up to 10 questions from a list of 100 and the individual must get at least six right. Should high school students be required to take this test?

"I love, I want the students to know this information in those categories so initially I thought yeah that sounds great," New Tech High School Government Teacher, Scott Sorenson said.

But how does this work into the school's curriculum?

"Because in reality every question on that test students have covered at some point in high school whether it's in a history class, geography or government," Sorenson said.

New Tech High School government teacher Scott Sorenson tells me he understands where Governor Kristi Noem is coming from and says he likes the idea but isn't sure how the school would implement it.

KSFY asked two high school juniors if they think this should be part of the curriculum.

"No, I feel like it would be more important and of better use of teachers time to make sure that all districts have government as a mandatory graduation class," New Tech High School Junior, Margaret Samp said.

"I didn't think it would be a good idea for the sole fact that if, I mean if you go to an average American on the street would they be able to answer the questions that we're going to have students required to answer the questions," New Tech High School Junior, Jordan Dierkson said.

Student Margaret Samp said people use government from the time they wake and go to bed.

"I feel it would just be better use if students only took the class so they could then get a wider variety to learn about the bipartisanship, learn about the federalist papers, the constitution, knowing their rights," Samp said.

While student Jordan Dierkson said making this a requirement would just be another item on a long list of graduation requirements adding if it does become a requirement he hopes students would be able to take it more than once.

"I mean the ACT College Prep test you have 12 opportunities to take it to get the best possible score,” Dierkson said.
Margaret tells KSFY she thinks some students will learn this material just for the test to graduate, but they'll forget everything they just learned soon after.

Sorenson tells KSFY he doesn't know if they'll be required to administer the test the same way they do for people trying to obtain U.S. citizenship.