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New civics test graduation requirement proposed in Indiana State House of Representatives

Special+Speakers%3A%0ASocial+studies+teacher+Joshua+Miller+lectures+in+his+class+on+Feb.+13.+The+class+was+learning+about+the+role+of+media%2C+which+Miller+said+plays+a+part+in+civic+literacy+today.
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New civics test graduation requirement proposed in Indiana State House of Representatives

Special Speakers:
Social studies teacher Joshua Miller lectures in his class on Feb. 13. The class was learning about the role of media, which Miller said plays a part in civic literacy today.

Special Speakers: Social studies teacher Joshua Miller lectures in his class on Feb. 13. The class was learning about the role of media, which Miller said plays a part in civic literacy today.

Harini Ravichandran

Special Speakers: Social studies teacher Joshua Miller lectures in his class on Feb. 13. The class was learning about the role of media, which Miller said plays a part in civic literacy today.

Harini Ravichandran

Harini Ravichandran

Special Speakers: Social studies teacher Joshua Miller lectures in his class on Feb. 13. The class was learning about the role of media, which Miller said plays a part in civic literacy today.

Lillian He

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Senate Bill 132 was first read on Jan. 3 and referred to the Education and Career Development Committee. It requires the Indiana State Board of Education to provide a U.S. government exam with identical material to what is on the citizenship application test and would require high school students to pass the test before they can graduate. The bill passed the Senate on Jan. 24.

To continue, the bill will need to pass the Indiana House of Representatives before going into effect as early as the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

Sen. Dennis Kruse, author of the bill, said he was inspired by hearing Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor speak about civic literacy in America at a national education conference.

Joshua Miller, AP European History and government teacher, and Joshua Brinkman, Young Republicans vice president and sophomore, both said that civic literacy is something every high school student should have.

Brinkman said, “Students having a knowledge of how their government operates allows them to make informed decisions in the future when either voting or running for a political office.”

Kruse says that the current one-semester goverment course required to graduate is not enough.

“Indiana academic standards cover (almost) all of the civics test, but when our high school students take the test, only 27 percent pass on the first try without preparation. The standards are good but are not emphasized enough for our students to learn and remember the information,” Kruse said.

If the bill were to pass, students would only have to pass the proposed exam once to fulfill the graduation requirement and would be able to take it starting in eighth grade. Kruse said the new test would not require much additional effort on the students’ part.

According to Kruse, a student would have to score at least a 60 percent on the test over a five year period. Kruse said the average high school student passes the test on the third try, and it takes an average of 25 minutes to complete, making it a combined total of 75 minutes.

Counseling department chairperson Rachel Cole said that the test would be given during the government course, but the school system would have to work out the specific logistics.

“I’m pretty confident in the class that we teach right now,” Miller said. “We cover a great deal if not all of the information that would show up on the test.”

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About the Contributors
Lillian He, Beats Editor

Hello, my name is Lillian He. This is my first year as a part of the Hilite staff and I am a News Reporter as well as a Beats Editor. In addition to Hilite,...

Harini Ravichandran, Feature Reporter







Hello, I'm Harini Ravichandran, a feature reporter. In my free time, I enjoy running, photography, and listening to music. I'm on the CHS Track...

Josie Cruzan, News Reporter

Hey, my name is Josie Cruzan, I'm a News Reporter and this is my first year on staff! When I'm not doing journalistic things, I enjoy discussing and participating...

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