New Citizens, Tougher Test

Ellen Tomson, Pioneer Press, May 9, 2007

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U.S. officials plan a new kind of citizenship test with questions that focus on the concepts of democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

“We didn’t want questions like ‘Who was Martin Luther King?’ ” said Maria Elena Garcia-Upson, a spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “We wanted ‘Why was he important?’ ”

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The pilot project tests immigrants’ responses to 142 history and government questions designed by scholars, English as a Second Language experts and immigrant-advocacy groups.

Citizenship and immigration officials expect the results of the 6,000 pilot tests to be ready in July and a final test to be ready in the fall, Jones said.

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