On January 30, 2015, Governor Jack Dalrymple signed into law House Bill 1087, relating to the demonstration of proficiency in Civics as a condition of North Dakota High School graduation. The intent of the bill is to ensure that North Dakota students are knowledgeable citizens. Superintendent Baesler stated, “The next generations of North Dakotans need to know about the foundations of our republic. We need to make sure these traditions last forever. Our veterans fought and died for hundreds of years to preserve these traditions. It is our sacred duty to teach these traditions to our children.”
Please contact the Office of School Approval & Opportunity at (701) 328-2244 with any questions on the ND Civics Test.
A: Principles of American Democracy
- What is the supreme law of the land?
- What does the Constitution do?
- The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
- What is an amendment?
- What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
- What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?
- How many amendments does the Constitution have?
- What did the Declaration of Independence do?
- What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
- What is freedom of religion?
- What is the economic system in the United States?
- What is the “rule of law”?
B: System of Government
- Name one branch or part of the government.
- What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?
- Who is in charge of the executive branch?
- Who makes federal laws?
- What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?
- How many U.S. Senators are there?
- We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?
- Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?
- The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
- We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years?
- Name your U.S. Representative.
- Who does a U.S. Senator represent?
- Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?
- We elect a President for how many years?
- In what month do we vote for President?
- What is the name of the President of the United States now?
- What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?
- If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
- If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
- Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?
- Who signs bills to become law?
- Who vetoes bills?
- What does the President’s Cabinet do?
- What are two Cabinet-level positions?
- What does the judicial branch do?
- What is the highest court in the United States?
- How many Justices are on the Supreme Court?
- Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?
- Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?
- Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?
- Who is the Governor of your state now?
- What is the capital of your state?
- What are the two major political parties in the United States?
- What is the political party of the President now?
- What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?
C: Rights and Responsibilities
- There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.
- What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?
- Name one right only for United States citizens.
- What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?
- What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?
- What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?
- How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?
- What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?
- When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?
- When must all men register for the Selective Service?
A: Colonial Period and Independence
- What is one reason colonists came to America?
- Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
- What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?
- Why did the colonists fight the British?
- Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
- When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
- There were 13 original states. Name three.
- What happened at the Constitutional Convention?
- When was the Constitution written?
- The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.
- What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?
- Who is the “Father of our Country”?
- Who was the first President?
- What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
- Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800’s.
- Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.
- Name one problem that led to the Civil War.
- What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?
- What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
- What did Susan B. Anthony do?
C: Recent American History and Other Important Historical Information
- Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900’s.
- Who was President during World War I?
- Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II?
- Who did the United States fight in World War II?
- Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in?
- During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?
- What movement tried to end racial discrimination?
- What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?
- What major event happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States?
- Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
- Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.
- What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?
- What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?
- Name one U.S. territory.
- Name one state that borders Canada.
- Name one state that borders Mexico.
- What is the capital of the United States?
- Where is the Statue of Liberty?
- Why does the flag have 13 stripes?
- Why does the flag have 50 stars?
- What is the name of the national anthem?
- When do we celebrate Independence Day?
- Name two national U.S. holidays.
Any student who graduates from high school during or after the 2016-2017 school year is required to take and pass the Civics test as required by North Dakota Century Code 15.1-21-27.
Proof of having taken and passed the Civics test should be reported on the student’s transcript.
- A date field (mm/dd/yyyy) named “Civics Test” has been created in PowerSchool. The Civics Test field will be located on the State/Province ND screen on the Fall/Spring Membership tab. Once the student has completed the Civics Test, Admin users of PowerSchool will enter the date in the “Civics Test Passed” field. The date will be uploaded into the SLDS and then displayed on the eTranscript. The date will also appear in the header of the transcript within PowerSchool.
If you are using an electronic Student Information System (SIS) other than PowerSchool:
- It is recommended that you create a custom date field (mm/dd/yyyy) named “Civics Test” within your student data. Once you have created the custom date field, Admin users of your SIS would enter the date the student has completed the Civics Test.
If a student is exempt from taking the Civics test as a result of a decision made by their IEP Team:
- The date field (mm/dd/yyyy) named Civics Test, should be filled in with the date in which the IEP Team made the decision.
If you need assistance, please contact the EduTech Help Desk at (880) 774-1091.
The NDDPI emphasizes that school districts have maximum flexibility in meeting the Civics test requirement. This bill provides answers to questions you may have. However, to support high school principals, counselors, and students, the following Q & A provides additional answers:
- Definition of ‘Civics test’?
- “Civics test” means the one hundred questions that, as of January 1, 2015, officers of the United States citizenship and immigration services use as the basis for selecting the questions posed to applicants for naturalization, in order that the applicants can demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of United States history and the principles and form of United States government as required by 8 U.S.C 1423.
- Who is required to take the Civics test(s)?
- The requirements set forth in this section applies to each student who is:
- Enrolled in a public school district;
- Enrolled in a nonpublic school;
- Enrolled in the center for distance education;
- Receiving home education if the student is to be issued a high school diploma in accordance with subsection 1 of section 15.1-23-17; or
- Pursuing a general equivalency diploma.
- May a student be exempted from the Civics test requirement?
- A student may be exempted from the requirement of this section by the provisions of the student’s individualized education program plan.
- When does the Civics test requirement begin?
- Any student who graduates from high school during or after the 2016-2017 school year is required to take and pass the test.
- Where is the Civics test located?
- Where are resources for administrators of the Civics test located, including the answers to the Civics test template?
- Can the test be divided up into separate parts or sections; taken at different times; in different courses; or grade levels?
- Yes. The test can be divided into parts and school districts will identify how the test(s) are administered. A student may take the test, in whole or in part, at any time after enrolling in grade seven and may repeat the test or any portion thereof, as often as necessary to demonstrate proficiency.
- What is the timeframe of when the test is to be taken? When does the test have to be passed?
- The test(s) may be administered any time after a student is enrolled in grade seven. It is not recommended that a district waits until the day of graduation to administer the test. A student may repeat the test or any portion thereof, as often as necessary to demonstrate proficiency.
- What is the grade or score that a student must receive in order to pass the test? No credit can be given or associated with the Civics test.
- For graduates of 2017, 60% of the questions on the Civics test must be passed. After 2017, 70% of the questions on the Civics test must be passed.
- What if a student does not pass?
- A student who does not pass the test is not eligible to graduate.
- What is the process for administering the test?
- It is at the discretion of the district to develop the process for administering the test(s).
- Is a student allowed to retake the test(s)?
- Yes, a student may retake the test as often as necessary in order to demonstrate proficiency.
- Are there any fees or charges in connection with the Civics test?
- No. Neither the superintendent of Public Instruction nor a school district may impose or collect any fees or charges in connection with the test.
- How will districts be monitored for administering the Civics test(s)?
- Through the North Dakota Assurances that each school district reports annually under assurance #7: The institution certifies that they are in compliance with all requirements outlined for schools in NDCC 15.1-06-06.
- Will districts be expected to collect data or track student data?
- There is no state reporting required in the law. When a student meets the Civics test requirement, the school should enter the date the student completed the Civics test on the student’s transcript. It is at the discretion of the district to develop any further or additional processes for accountability.
- Who do I contact if I have a question about recording the Civics test course code or completion date in PowerSchool?
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has posted on its website, “Guidance for Documenting the Completion of the Civics Test” for PowerSchool admin users and other electronic Student Information System users. If you still need assistance, contact the EduTech Help Desk at (800) 774-1091.
- There is a Civics Course Code, 20069-ND Civics Test, with no credit attached. How is that course code used?
- It is at the discretion of the district to determine if and how they use the course code.
*In preparation for the Civics test, you may want to use the following book as a primary resource: Voices of Freedom: English and Civics for U.S. Citizenship 4th Edition (includes CD)
Author: Bill Bliss
Contact the Office of School Approval & Opportunity at (701) 328-2244 for additional information on the North Dakota Civics test.