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Civics Test Would Be Required For High School Diploma Under Proposed Bill

Schools, Minority Activists Oppose Mandate


To be able to graduate from high school, students would have to pass a civics test just like those wanting to become U.S. citizens under a bill being considered by Wisconsin lawmakers.

Republican Rep. James Edming is sponsoring the bill, which mirrors legislation that’s passed in six other states.

“Some of the questions include: How many justices are on the Supreme Court? What do we call the first 10 amendments to the constitution? Who vetoes a bill?” explained Edming.

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Schools, disability groups, and the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, testified in a committee hearing Wednesday. All pointed out they do support civics education but oppose this bill as written, calling it an unfunded school mandate and arguing that the high-stakes test could prompt some stressed students to drop out.

Darryl Morin of LULAC said the bill needs to accommodate those who don’t speak English as their first language and said it could be interpreted by some as “a patriotic litmus test on minorities.”