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"You can't go forward without knowing history," Moore said.Besides reading, writing and arithmetic, one of the key goals of education in Canada is to produce good citizens."Everyone recognizes it's really basic knowledge people need," said Sam Stone, executive director of the Civics Education Initiative, which is affiliated with the Joe Foss Institute."If we're asking this of immigrants who want to be citizens there is no reason not to ask students to have this information at their fingertips," Stone added.Courtney Steggall, a social studies teacher who leads the citizenship class at Milwaukee Collegiate Academy, said it's important for students to understand the basics of American history and government.But Steggall added that it's also vital to tie the basics to current events.Some want to help younger siblings or those in younger grades.They also report that volunteering makes them feel good.” The reality is also that, while these programs are designed to introduce students to volunteering, many students are already volunteering.

The institute's aim is to have a measure passed in all 50 states by 2017, the 230th anniversary of the U. Six states have enacted laws for the test — Arizona, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.

"I fear things like that would be lost if we had to focus only on a citizenship test," she said.

On Friday, Steggall and her class toured the state Capitol, where they were fascinated by the history being spun by longtime tour guide Jim Schaff.

Robert Moore, another Civics Bowl participant, was also uncertain about instituting a civics test requirement for graduation.

But Moore was proud of how much knowledge he gained when he prepared for the competition.

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