Monday, October 03, 2005

This was Eighth Grade

Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

California has finally instituted a high school exit exam and the initial results are disquieting. While the english and math tests are at the level of 9th or 10th grade, a substantial number of seniors have failed, and the passing grade is only 50 percent. Now educators are scrambling to find ways to pass the uneducated off on the community colleges and services (fast food) industry with some sort of credential.

To appreciate how bad this situation is, take a look at the following sample of questions from an eighth-grade final exam from 1895. The exam was on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina Journal. The exam contained 45 questions and you were given 5 hours to complete it.


> Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.
> Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
> What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
> Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.


> Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
> Find the cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
> Find the interest on $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent. (NICE)
> Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U. S. History
> Give the epochs into which U. S. History is divided.
> Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
> Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
> Show the territorial growth of the United States.
> Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?

> What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
> Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
> Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.

> What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
> Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
> Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
> Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
> Describe the movements of the earth and the inclination of the earth.

These questions comprise less than 50% of the exam. I wonder how well our high school seniors would do on this 8th grade test. Or our senior citizens?

Thanks to Zone Bridge friend TexasJudy Floyd (aka SpaceBabyDoll) for the article.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, when I finished reading this it came to my mind that in the grand scheme of things to keep the populace ignorant means keeping them under control. Perhaps it's the only way we could have come to the place we are right now...mired in political correctness no matter how wrong it is. To me I see us living in a world where we're told to believe that black is white and white is black (and I'm not talking about race here). Criminals are in places of power and celebrities dictate to their fans how they should think. And worst of all, God is being driven out of every phase of our lives by those who want the ultimate control to destroy all that's good, right and holy.

The ignorant are easily led into destruction; the wise are not. Those who are wise and have enough common sense to see what's happening are too few and far between for my tastes.

May God continue to bless America and deliver us from evil. Amen.

Dori M.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is off topic so i hope nobody minds, but i was wondering what everybody thought of bush's supreme court nominee. I have always been a big suporter of bush, but latly i am having BIG doubts. First him spending SOOO much money on hurricane katrina, and now him nominating meiers. I always said conversative first republican second, but now i think i am no longer a republican and not a bush supporter either. we finally have control of the government and what do we do. Spend money like democrats and have a president that is trying to be accepted by them. Someone please comfort me and tell me that i am way off base here. I want to be wrong on this issue more than anything but i got a feeling i am not. Once again sorry for posting this here but i was just interested in what everyone else was thinking.

and just as Dori so brilliantly said "May God continue to bless america and deliver us from evil.Amen."

Garrett Mack

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes!!! SpaceBabyDoll!!!!
Oh, no...


5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning at 6:40 after dropping William off at the beach for surf p.e. I was listening to KABC and Doug Macintire was talking to the state superintendent of schools. He said that 20% of the kids did not pass the exam which is the 8th grade level.

When Jennifer took it as a sophomore she couldn't believe how easy it was and thought even William could pass it.

Now could I pass the test you sent? NO.


5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not have passed 8th grade. Too hard!


5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dad,

Wow, what a test! I bet mom could pass it!!! I knew some of the answers, but not enough!

How are you? Is it smokey at your house? We are fine here. It's been really cold.

We are still waiting to close on the old house. The buyers are really giving us a hard time.

Love you,


12:40 PM  
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9:49 AM  

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