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Going back to basics for U.S. civics education

“I may have to do WHAT to receive my high school diploma?”

“Pass a U.S. citizenship exam. The Civics Education Initiative is hoping state legislatures will require high school students in all 50 states to pass the exam in order to graduate.”

“But my high school made me take American history courses, and I got straight A’s.”

“Great for you, but studies show many Americans are pathetically ignorant of basic facts about their government and its unique history.”

“Can you help me prepare for these questions, sir?”

“Sure, young fellow. What is the Declaration of Independence?”

“It is an amazing document, sir. Thomas Jefferson wrote to King George III, telling him to stuff it.”

“Hey, that was some good thinking. What does the judicial branch do?”

“Its job is to review and explain the laws and resolve disputes between parties.”

“You know more about American civics than most people. It’s too bad all Americans aren’t required to pass the citizenship exam.”

“Perhaps so, sir, but that would be unconstitutional.”

– Tom Purcell is a humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He can be reached at tom@tompurcell.com.

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