By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An article in Education Week poses an interesting question. Suppose a legislature would pass a law requiring kids know the names of the two largest rivers in the US. Teachers would teach the names; but would that improve literacy?

READ MORE: GameStop Employee Shot During Attempted Robbery In Philadelphia's Lawncrest Section, Police Say

Currently there’s discussion about a law that more than a dozen states are considering – making the passage of the naturalization test, the test given to those who want to become US citizens – a high school graduation requirement, a test with 100 factual questions.

READ MORE: Officials Investigating Possible Gas Explosion Inside Home In South Philadelphia

Thoughtful educators argue that we need laws on civic education backed up by research that when students get opportunities to discuss controversial issues and form their own opinions, their interest and knowledge increases. Several states have launched commissions to craft training for teachers to focus on government, economics, history and law.

MORE NEWS: Gary And Lorraine Parker, Missing Ocean County Couple, Found Dead

The law to require answers to the naturalization test has been passed in Arizona and North Dakota while the author of the article suggests that memorizing answers prepares kids only for the game show “Jeopardy!”