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This Week's Editorial
How’s your civics IQ? PDF Print E-mail

By Russ Pankonin, The Imperial Republican
Civics teachers will likely cringe when they hear this story. Discouraged by the lack of knowledge about American civics, three young girls from Elm Creek High School are out to change that.
Last summer, the three girls made a trip to Washington, D.C. If you’ve ever been to D.C., it’s not hard to come back filled with historical facts and a new understanding about our country.
These girls proved to be no different. Enthused by American history and getting a closer look at government, the girls wanted to test how much high school juniors and seniors knew about our country.
They challenged the juniors and seniors in five other high schools to answer the questions they had compiled. Here’s the shocker—83 percent of the students failed!
So the girls took some action in an effort to help their fellow students. With some assistance, the girls created a website that generates 10 questions from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations test.
They also mixed in some questions about Nebraska history and government. Six correct answers will get you a passing grade.
Here’s a sampling of 10 questions on the multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank test that can be found on the Elk Creek High School web site:
1.  What action can a non-U.S. citizen legally perform? A) Serve in the military; B) Run for public office; C) Vote; D) Apply for a federal job.    
2. Name the U.S. war between the North and South.
3. There were 13 original states. Which one is not one of those? A) New Hampshire; B) Georgia; C) Rhode Island; D) Virginia; E) New Jersey; F) Tennessee.
4. Freedom of Religion means you can practice or not practice any religion. True or False?
5. The House of Representatives has how many voting members? A) 200; B) 375; C) 435; D) 110.
6. How long is the term of office for a U.S. Representative? A) 6 years; B) 2 years; C) four years; D) eight years.
7. Which of the following is NOT a U.S. national holiday? A) President’s Day; B) Independence Day; C) Halloween; D) Veteran’s Day.
8. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? A) Benjamin Franklin; B) George Washington; C) Thomas Jefferson; D) Abraham Lincoln.
9. The Declaration of Independence declared our independence from: A) Spain; B) France; C) England; D) All three.
10. Who is one of Nebraska’s U.S. Senators? A) Pete Ricketts; B) Dave Heineman; C) Ben Sasse; D) Adrian Smith.
So how did you do? 1-A; 2-Civil War; 3-Tennessee; 4-T; 5-C; 6-B; 7-C; 8-C; 9-C; 10-C.
Kudos to these young girls for helping their fellow students understand the importance and duties of their citizenship.


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