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American Civics Act Legislation Fast Tracked

Sandra Day O'Connor 2

Former U.S. Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O’Connor was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 1981 supported by conservatives and liberals and women’s rights groups like the National Organization for Women. She retired from the Court on January 31, 2006. On August 12, 2009, Justice O’Connor was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor of the United States, by President Barack Obama.

Sedona AZ (January 14, 2015) – In an effort to ensure Arizona high school graduates have a basic understanding of United States civics and history, and on the first day of Arizona’s legislative session, Arizona State House of Representatives Majority Leader Steve Montenegro introduced HB 2064, the American Civics Act legislation.

If signed into law, the legislation would be implemented in the 2015-16 school year and require all Arizona High School students take and pass the U.S. Citizenship Civics test with a 60 percent or better grade as a condition for graduation. This is the same test that newly naturalized immigrants are required to take, in order to become U.S. Citizens.

Arizona students will be able to take the test at any time throughout their high school careers, and as many times as necessary in order to pass. A well-established test with free study materials already available online, there would be no additional cost to the schools or taxpayers. Schools will be allowed to administer the testing as they see fit.

“As stated by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and mentioned by Governor Doug Ducey in his state-of-the-state address, civics deficiency is the ‘quiet crisis’ in education,” said House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro. “I anticipate working alongside Governor Ducey and my fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle to make this bill the first piece of legislation signed into law, and making Arizona the first state in the country with such a requirement for high school graduation.”

According to the Pew Research Center, studies of high school students in Arizona showed less than a five percent passage rate on the Unites States Citizenship Civics test. According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers the test as part of the naturalization process, 92 percent of immigrants who take the test pass it on their first try.

The Citizenship Civics test would consist of 100 basic questions about American civics and history.  Some examples include:

•           What is the name of the President of the United States now?

•           Name one branch or part of the government.

•           What is the capital of your state?

•           Who is the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Military?

Twelve other states are working towards similar legislative efforts. To view the Unites States Citizenship Civics test mentioned above, please click here.

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For the best Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!


  1. Good news and it’s free. Finally smart government.

  2. Bipartisan Legislation Helps Ensure All Arizona Students Understand American Civics – January 16, 2015 News Release from the Office of the AZ Governor:

    Governor Doug Ducey today proudly signed his first bill into law – the American Civics Bill, which will help ensure all Arizona students understand basic American civics.

    Quoting what Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has called “the quiet crisis in education,” the governor emphasized the need for children to be properly educated about the history and founding principles of our nation.

    “I am proud to sign the American Civics Bill into law, and I thank legislators in the House and Senate for swiftly sending this bipartisan legislation to my desk,” said Governor Ducey. “This unifying solution has brought together leaders from all sides of the political spectrum. Not long from now, our children will be entrusted with protecting the principles on which this country was founded, and it is up to us to prepare them for that responsibility today. As John Adams said, every child in this country should be ‘instructed in the principles of freedom,’ and with this bipartisan effort, we are closer as a state to reaching that goal.”

  3. fyi, news last night said it passed yesterday

  4. Tom Jacobs says:

    The law goes into effect for the 2016-2017 school year, not this year as mentioned in your article.

    (Editor’s note: Thank you, Mr. Jacobs, for your comment. When our article was published, AZ HB 2064 had been submitted with implementation to begin 2015-2016. You are correct that the final bill was amended during its legislative process to begin 2016-2017 (for full text of bill, including amendments and vote count, visit https://legiscan.com/AZ/text/HB2064/2015). We appreciate the opportunity you provide to update the story.)

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