Thomas Lindsay, PhD, is the distinguished senior fellow of higher education & constitutional studies, and he’s the Foundation’s senior constitutional scholar.

This bill would address the alarming results of national studies documenting America’s civic illiteracy. This is not merely a Texas issue. Civics education in the United States is in a crisis, which, if not addressed, threatens our constitutional democracy.

To see this, consider these facts: Recent polling of Americans’ civic literacy, conducted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, should shame all of us involved in education. While 90% of immigrants to this country pass the USCIS citizenship test (passage of which requires answering correctly 6 out of 10 questions), only a third of native-born Americans can pass the test. Digging deeper into the numbers reveals even more alarming news. Seventy-four percent of senior citizens can pass the test, but only 19% of Americans under 45 can answer even 6 of the 10 questions correctly.

Testimony in Support Before the Texas House Higher Education Committee