Welcome To Our Country!

MONDAY 7-07-08.. A lot of legal immigrants became U.S. citizens just in time to celebrate Independence Day. To them, we say “Welcome to our country.”

All had to take the written citizenship test before qualifying but the test isn’t hard. For example one question is “Why did the Pilgrims come to America?” Answer: For religious freedom. The test isn’t difficult, and any eighth grader in America should ace it. But, according to a report titled E Pluribus Unum by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, that is certainly not the case.

The report states “On the 2006 NAEP Civics Test, the majority of eighth graders could not explain the purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Only five percent could accurately describe the way presidential power can be checked by Congress and the Supreme Court.”

I wouldn’t call that a very good report card on the state of education in this country. Another question on the citizenship test is “What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?” Answer: That all men are created equal. If the majority of our eighth graders can’t explain the purpose of the Declaration, we’re in trouble.

The report by the foundation concludes that historical ignorance, civic neglect and social fragmentation might achieve what a foreign invader could not; the fragmentation of America. Writing in the Sacramento Bee, columnist David Broder disagrees with that assessment.

He writes “Young people may not know the Constitution as well as we would like, but they found their way to the polling places in record numbers this year.”

Yeah…..they certainly did! And look who they voted for.


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