Immigrants Pass Citizenship Test

The Danish government was pleased that 98% of immigrants passed a new citizenship test now required of those seeking to obtain citizenship. Participants were provided 200 questions about Danish history to study and 35 of the questions were randomly selected for the test.

I find it difficult to get excited about people passing a test to qualify for citizenship that most probably a majority of Danes could not pass without studying. I have taught social studies for fifty years and am still amazed how little about American history is known by college students who seek to become social studies teachers. As for members of Congress, I don’t think we want to go down that road since few of them could get a ‘D” grade on a basic American history exam. My mother and father were immigrants who did not know much about our nation’s history, but they were good citizens. They each read two newspapers a day, and voted in every election.

A book appeared last year expressing concern that people in Kansas did not vote for their economic, social or political interests but were swayed by emotion. I assume people in Kansas took American history three times in their school career. I also assume my mom and dad voted more frequently for their economic, political and social interests than did the people of Kansas. The heck with tests, just trust people to vote intelligently. Some will, most will not. Such is life.