New citizenship test focuses on understanding American concepts

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have come up with 144 new questions for immigrants applying to become AMerican citizens. The questions, which will be narrowed down to 100, are unlike questions on past tests. The New York Post reports:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Emilio Gonzalez said the purpose of the new test is to ensure that immigrants really understand “the very values that make this country what it is.”

“The goal is to get away from rote memorization of what could be construed as trivial questions to something more meaningful,” he said.

The current test is a multiple-choice exam that asks questions like “What are the colors of the U.S. flag?” “Where is the White House located?” and “How many branches are there in the U.S. government?”

The new exam asks questions that include:

* “What does ‘We the People’ mean in the Constitution?”

* “What major event happened on Sept. 11, 2001?”

Imagine that…actually requiring folks who want to be Americans to understand the big ideas behind our nation. The Post story goes on to quote Heritage’s Matt Spalding:

Matthew Spalding, director of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Center for American Studies, liked the new questions, saying they shifted away from mere facts to concepts.

“That’s the key to teaching the kinds of ideas that will help immigrants assimilate,” he said.

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