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Arizona Students to Take Required Civics Test in 8th Grade

Students in one Tucson-area school district will take a civics test that Arizona now requires of high school graduates at the end of 8th grade, the Arizona Daily Star reports. 

Arizona's legislature signed the American Civics Act into law last January. The law requires high school students to score 60 percent or higher on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services test in order to earn their diploma. But schools can administer the test as early as 8th grade.

The Daily Star reports that in the Sunnyside Unified School District, officials and board members have decided that the citizenship test is most aligned to what students learn in 8th grade. Board members say giving the test to 8th graders means that the content will be more fresh in students' minds, and that students who don't pass will have more time to revisit the content and retake the exam. 

Arizona was the first of more than a dozen states this year that passed or considered laws that would require students to take the citizenship test in order to graduate high school. The Arizona-based Joe Foss Institute, which advocated for the law, plans to push for more states to adopt the test in the coming legislative session.

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