HB1016/SB1243 – Requires a passing grade on civics exam for high school graduation – Weaver/Gresham

Bill Description

Education, Curriculum - As enacted, requires students to pass a civics test to receive a full diploma upon graduation from high school; revises and enacts other provisions relating to civics test. - Amends TCA Title 49.
AMENDMENT #1 requires that the high school civics test include at least 50, rather than all 100, questions from the civics test administered by the United States citizenship and immigration services to persons seeking to become naturalized citizens; specifies that the test must be composed of at least 29 questions on American government, 16 questions on American history, and seven questions on integrated civics; reestablishes 70 percent as the threshold for a passing score; increases the threshold for a school to be designated as a United States civics all-star school from all seniors who received a regular diploma having passed the civics test to all seniors receiving a regular diploma having scored 85 percent or higher on the test; and specifies that taking and passing the civics test is necessary to meet the social studies credit requirements for a full high school diploma.

TLRC Position

Favor: We not only favored this bill but we sold it to the sponsors. It is essential that young people understand the unique and emancipating qualities of their constitution and their history. No where on earth and no time in history has there been such individual freedom guaranteed by the founding document of the republic. It is criminal that students are taught to disdain this incredible gift and discard it for a system that has proved disastrous time and time again over the last century. This bill is but a first step in correcting that abomination.

TLRC Observed Process

After the House Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Subcommittee, the bill passed without opposition until a few partisan votes on the house floor.

We lobbied individual members for the bill and got no arguments against the need for civics education.

Vote Result: Passed

Score: +5

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