Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Revamping the Citizenship Test

A few of my coworkers and I took the standard test given to immigrants and to my amazement I was the only one who passed. Many of the questions are rote memorization and do not require higher knowledge. It is not really inportant to know the what number a President was except for the first.

The fact that college graduates including several with masters degrees did not pass the test is not surprising. Most have taken one history course long ago and several may have to go back two decades or more to an American history class.

My coworkers were amazed as I scored an 85 with zero preperation. I think one of the questions I forgot had to do with the state Eisenhower was born in. That type of question is a rote memory question.

A genuine citizenship test should have an English section where the new citizens should be required to demonstrate sixth grade reading and some writing skills. There should also be a section on economics and the questions should be focused on rights, governmental structure and basic US history. The fact that a person can remember where Eisenhower was born is not as relevant as his role as General or President.

I would also like to dispell a myth that people who are born in the USA have a right to remain in the USA. People who advocate an internationalist movement that advocates
the violent overthrow of the US government have no claim to remain here. Thus a Marxist or Jihadist who advocates acts of violence has no right to remain in the USA.
Freedom of Speech does not include sedition, treason or acts of criminality. The mere fact that one is a Marxist or is a member of CAIR has established probable cause for government surveilance. The government really does not have the resources to watch everyone but denaturalizing a Madea Benjamin or Lynne Stewart is a great place to start.


Jason_Pappas said...

What were the other questions? Does the test change so that people can’t sell the questions?

beakerkin said...

I do not think one can ever design a test that Kaplan or other people can not prepare a person for.

The questions I missed were who was the 17th president of the United States. There was a question with three presidents born in Texas and a fourth wasn't.

Most of the questions were on the division of power and such siliness as who we fought in the Revolutionary War. However I was stunned that masters degree people failed. My coworkers were quite amazed I got an 85 but was upset over the Eisenhower gaffe.

Farmer John said...

...I think that along with your suggested brief on "rights" should go a corresponding brief on the "responsibilities" of citizenship. Voting shouldn't always devolve into a practice of shooting the messenger or high school popularity polls. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etal did not deserve the raw treatment they got... and now all I want to do is trash Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, etc. for no better reason than to pay them back for their irresponsible conduct.

But I guess there is no cure for this stupidity. I like having a constructive dialogue of the type that mr. ducky "sometimes" provides... the I am der leder crap is just that... crap. But I'll play the game if I have to.

Steve Harkonnen said...

I'm sure the immigrant test has changed since I took it before Christmas in 1979. I waited 9 years to become a US citizen before I signed up with the navy.

Jason_Pappas said...

I don’t mind if they can learn from Kaplan as long as they learn concepts and not just silly data. They need to know about the constitution, some of the stated reasons for wars and the enemies we fought, some of the laws of the land including what’s a long standing tradition and what are recent changes. It's appropriate that they know there is controversy on some issues and differing view on the past. They need some idea of the evolution of our economic system (including the differing views on whether the changes are for the better.) And they should know where our strengths lie compared to history and the rest of the world.

Now I see why they focus on dumb facts. The above requires an assessment of our greatness and the left will object.

Mr. Ducky said...

Do they ask any fun questions like naming each president's mistresses or something similar for the reality TV generation?

beakerkin said...


There are no absurd questions like that on the test. I am sure Uptown Steve would object to what color is the White House.


Do we really want to make a new cottage industry? I am imagining Kaplan type courses in American history and basic concepts. These courses probably allready exist below the radar screen.

I would rather see conceptual knowledge rather than rote memorization. I am certain if we asked for an essay there would be cries of racism.

Steve the test is similar but it currently is rote memorization and I see no point in that.Memorize six brands of Kellog Cereals. A parrot can repeat what it is told but displays no higher knowledge.

Mr. Ducky said...

hi Farmer, The Dear Leader here... you no i am hearin a lot of peple in my party... are worrien about the poles... and they are worrien about how we are gonna maintain owr grip on powoer when the poles is so bad we dont have the public suport...

well... i do not worry about poles.. be cause i unnerstan the american system... an it is a real good system...

you dont need public support to have power you jest need to win the eleshin... and it is real easy to win an elshin all you do is dis credit the other guy and that is real easy to do when you have suporters all over the media.. and we have the suppoerters.

and any way we have the power now and we can use it to keep owr grip on power... theres a whole bunch of tricks and stuff we aint even used yet but we will if we have to.

so dont worry we are gonna rain for a thousan years.... no matter wat the pole say. bye for now

beakerkin said...


That statement came close to being censored. We do not like to see the same post repeated.

It is odd that an accolyte of class genocide should describe President Bush in the terms of Kim Jon Mentally Ill. I hear he is looking for a film librarian.

Farmer John said...

...that's okay ducky, have your fun. I'm having some of my own, too!

Anonymous said...


Six grade reading or writing skills requirements could be interesting, that might disqualify several law makers including Dubya.

Mr. Ducky said...

hi Farmer, The Deer Leder again...i no yu o like cultural pomes and stuff so this will hlp yu ...hi... you kno i just herd that other contries are puttin pomes about me in their tekts books for there scool childrin to lern about me and how i am a real good leader... my staff briefed me on it... we have this breefin every day which is called the good news of the day briefin and my staff tells me how things are goin real good and my deshisins are real good for america and hohw th e world respeks me. and today it was all about this pome. and it was in a forin tekts book and here is the pome:

Patient and steady with all he must bear,
Ready to meet every challenge with care,
Easy in manner, yet solid as steel,
Strong in his faith, refreshingly real.
Isn't afraid to propose what is bold,
Doesn't conform to the usual mould,
Eyes that have foresight, for hindsight won't do,
Never backs down when he sees what is true,
Tells it all straight, and means it all too.
Going forward and knowing he's right,
Even when doubted for why he would fight,
Over and over he makes his case clear,
Reaching to touch the ones who won't hear.
Growing in strength he won't be unnerved,
Ever assuring he'll stand by his word.
Wanting the world to join his firm stand,
Bracing for war, but praying for peace,
Using his power so evil will cease,
So much a leader and worthy of trust,
Here stands a man who will do what he must.

i like that pome... and so i rote a pome too and here it is:

G is for the God that lives in my hart
E is for the elefint that makes a fart
O is for somethin
R is for the somthin else
G is for God agin
and E is for the elifint agin

i think it is a real good pome that i rote... and you better like it. bye for now.

beakerkin said...


I am going to do my own spoof of your idiocy called the Protocalls of the Poultry.

Your material is so divorced from reality that any satire on my part would be more realistic than the original.

nanc said...

and plucky is living proof that if you give a monkey a typewriter, it will eventually misspell a word - jeesh - he's everywhere lately...

nanc said...

p.s. - beak there's an article today at fpm regarding this very issue:

Farmer John said...

mr. ducky, You be da man!

Gracias, amigo!

..."this ought to get you in real good with your boss" says Bogart to the gunsel.

American Crusader said...

I actually knew the Eisenhower question. In one movie his character said something about the Jayhawks so I looked up to see if he was born in Kansas.
Like you said...these questions come from rote memorization. Being a former history teacher, I'd like to think I would pass but who knows.

That was actually pretty funny ducky.

beakerkin said...

A.C. you may be the only one to get that one right.

kevin said...

I knew it was the midwest, but I doubt I would've guessed correctly. More importantly.. I like Ike and all, but what does his birthplace have to do with being a good citizen?

Ducky's qustion would make the test more fun, but answers shouldn't count on the test score.

Steve Harkonnen said...

Instead of an exam, make it fun for immigrants. Run it like the Jeopardy game show. If they zero out at the end, a plane ticket automatically comes out of a slot at their podium for a free one way flight back to their own country with a note that says "here, dumbass."

FLORIAN said...

Citizenship should no longer be granted to the offspring of illegals and visa-holders. We're going to have to start clamping down on who gets it. Both parents should have American citizenship and if only one does, then the mixed breed can take the same test that all others take at 18 to become a LEGAL citizen.....all others born here to the illegal alien invaders and other criminals should be deported on site and forced to come here the right way.
I also agree with Beaker's suggestion for the test to have a reading and verbal section--that way we know they can at least speaka da english a little bit. Driver's license testing should also require the test-takers to know the Lingua franca. That must be why Asians are such horrible drivers.

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Every "citizen" of America should be administered this test and, upon failure, shot as infiltrators.

Purple Avenger said...

Something like 20% of the American population can't find Canada on a map, so I'm not surprised.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for citizen tests for legal immigrants and dead set against illegal immigration.But Beaker points out a sad truth; most Americans and especially American college kids are embarassingly ignorant of history. Last year my company had a college kid working with us during the summer and one day I was talking about WW2 with this kid. He had absolutly no idea when the war began or when it ended. But what really floored me was when he asked me,"WW2,was that the one with Hitler''? We've all heard the phrase "Those who do not remember the past(i.e history) are condemned to relive it''. Well,you can't relive history if you don't know it. And Eisenhower was born in Kansas,in Abliene. Johnnymac

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Heading the next session of the House of Representatives is a lady who proclaimed the war in Afghanistan was over almost a year ago, and just recently declared that there is "no Al Qaeda in Iraq."

You could lobotomize a crackhead with a cheese grater and get responses far more anchored in reality than our new Speakrette of the House consistently produces.

Please, Democrats, keep her talking!

Always On Watch said...

You know that I go along with this:

A genuine citizenship test should have an English section where the new citizens should be required to demonstrate sixth grade reading and some writing skills.

I also agree with Florian:

Driver's license testing should also require the test-takers to know the Lingua franca.

Steve Harkonnen said...

"Something like 20% of the American population can't find Canada on a map, so I'm not surprised."

Right on, but it's far worse than that, and I've witnessed it. When we returned from our tour of duty in Iceland, our new neighbors here were asking us where Iceland was because they had never heard of it.

Some Americans even think that the country of Wales' name is mis-spelled and it should be Whales because Whales come from there.