Many native born American's can't pass a civics exam - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Many native born American's can't pass a civics exam


A recent study conducted by Xavier University shows that one in three native born Americans failed the civics portion of the U.S. naturalization test. That's in contrast to the 97.5% of immigrants applying for citizenship who pass the test.

The nationwide survey tested adult Americans on 10 random questions taken directly from the naturalization test.

FOX19 went to the Xavier University campus to find out how much college students know about their government. The students were asked three questions: (1) What is the rule of law, (2) What are two rights stated in the Declaration of Independence and (3) What is the supreme law of the land.

Oscar Mitchell, a political science major, was the only one of five students questioned who gave the correct answer. Mitchell said "The rule of law is that all laws are applied generally and equally and are generally accepted by the lawmakers and those who the laws are made for."

But Oscar like many of his fellow student didn't do so well when asked to name two rights stated in the Declaration of Independence.

Sophomore Jordan Payne's answered "The right to bear arms and the right to a speedy trial."

To the same question, sophomore Jacob Mercer answered "The right to free speech and the right to protest."

The correct answer is: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The correct answer to the final question is: The U.S. Constitution. 

Jordan Payne says there's a simple reason many students don't know the answers to these kinds of questions. He says "We learn it usually in early years like 4th or 5th grade and then you forget it over time because it doesn't get asked of you....and you sort of forget it in college and high I feel like it should be re-emphasized then.

The Xavier study found that native born Americans did better with more basic questions such as "Who was the first U.S. President' and "When do we celebrate Independence Day?" However, respondents did the worst when answering questions about current political life and key decision makers.

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