Graduation will require civics test


Federal Way students will be required to pass a civics test in order to graduate beginning in 2012.

At a school board meeting last week, the board voted unanimously to pass a new policy requiring the civics/social studies examination.

The test will be developed by Superintendent Tom Murphy. It will measure students’ knowledge of the structure and operation of local, state and national government; different forms of government; and the character traits and habits necessary for the exercise of responsible citizenship.

Students will be allowed to take the test as many times as necessary to pass.

“It’s not intended to be a

trapdoor to keep you from graduating,” said outgoing school board president Dave Larson.

Superintendent Tom Murphy said the new test could be modeled on the current citizenship test given by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Murphy said he believes that a high school graduate should know at least what is required from immigrants seeking United States citizenship.

“There are things we need to know as citizens of this country to participate in democracy,” Murphy said.

Murphy will report to the board with his recommendations for the test no later than September 2009.

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.


Civics test:

Federal Way students will be required to pass a civics test in order to graduate, starting in 2012. Below is a sampling of the questions asked in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services test, required for immigrants seeking citizenship. This test may serve as a model for the school district.

What are the colors of our flag?

What is the date of Independence Day?

Can the Constitution be changed?

How many senators are there in Congress?

Who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

Which countries were our enemies during World War II?

When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

In what year was the Constitution written?

Where is the White House located?

How many states are there in the United States today?


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