1912 8th Grade Test Too Tough For Today’s Students

Have you ever seen the television show, ‘Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?’  Hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy, the show challenges the knowledge of adults using questions that come from first through fifth grade textbooks.  Sometimes the results are quite embarrassing for the adults and the kids are made to look really smart, but are they?

It seems that someone donated an 8th grade test from 1912 to the Bullitt County History Museum in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.  The test was from the rural Bullitt County Schools prepared a century ago.  At that time, 8th grade was the culmination for many rural and farm kids’ education.  Those whose family had the means managed to send them on to high school, but many in an area like did not have the means.  The test that the museum received was given to students and those who did well enough sometimes received a scholarship which would allow them to attend high school.


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Many of today’s 8th graders and probably many high schoolers would find the test to be quite difficult, and leaving them to feel as inadequate as the adults on Foxworthy’s show.  It also demonstrates how today’s public education system has abandoned many of the basic aspects of learning.  Today’s students find it difficult to answer questions like define the borders of the four different time zones, or compare the functions of arteries and veins.  Listening to high school graduates and college athletes, I’m sure that many of them have no clue what the different parts of speech are, other than mumbling, cursing and yelling.

My father-in-law was born and educated on the island of Barbados in the West Indies.  He was born in 1903 and back in his day, students were compelled to learn and retain their lessons.  His high school used an Oxford College curriculum.  In order to graduate from high school, every student had to take a comprehensive oral exam that covered all four years of high school.  Even the math was oral; no pencil or paper was allowed.  You had to do your algebra and all the math in your head.  That education stayed with him his entire life.  Even at 80 years of age, when he went shopping for groceries or anything else, he always had the total with tax calculated in his head before reaching the checkout.

Today, a great many young people can’t add or subtract without a calculator to do it for them.  They aren’t learning the geography or the true history of our country either.  From what I’ve seen and from things like the 100 year old test from a rural Kentucky school, today’s public education is not teaching our kids, rather they are too occupied with indoctrinating them with their socialistic anti-God and anti-America ideology.

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