Posts Tagged ‘education’

When An 8th Grade Was Better Than Today’s Ph. D.

November 29, 2012
1895 8th  grade final exam


What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895…

Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the  Salina Journal.


Grammar  (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,’ ‘play,’ and ‘run.’ 
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 – 10.  Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic  (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide.  How many bushels of wheat will it hold? 
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs? For tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000… What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft…?  Long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt 

U.S.   History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give  the epochs into which U.S. History is  divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas
6.  Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)
[Do we even know what this is??]
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each:  trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’ (HUH?)
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling.  Illustrate each.

7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks 
and by syllabication.

Geography  (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4.  Describe the mountains of North America
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each…
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9.  Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10.  Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

The exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. 


 My Comments:

I heard Rush Limbaugh give some of this exam’s questions—years ago. When he said, Salina, Kansas, it got my attention. My grandmother grew up in that town. She would have graduated within a few years of 1895 (I’ll have to look up her DOB.) so she would have been asked those same questions.

But. (This is BIG but!) where is the section on religion, on Christianity? Was it left out back then, or taken out of the re-presentation recently? I ask this because our moral and intellectual decline (Never all that strong in the first place!) can be marked from the loss of the family as the center of all reality for children, religious, moral, and educational. Churches and neighborhood schools were initially only helpers to parents. At first, government schools were not in the picture at all—except in Northeastern cities, and then originally under the control of local Protestant sects.

Government school consolidated systems were created in the mistaken European belief that only government could insure a decent and smart people, “good citizens and soldiers” for the state. Never mind this belief was the anti-thesis of our Founding Fathers who believed that “only a moral and educated” We The [Free] People” could ensure liberty, prosperity, and national defense. And they meant education by the society outside of government, not by government itself. That would be a contradiction, for how could a people educated by government offer any protection against the same government that always seeks to overthrow liberty?

Perhaps the greatest lack in our constitutional era thinking was in failing to see adequately that only a society organized around a unified Christianity and culture can more-or-less permanently forcefully oppose the unseemly growth of central government. Individual families and groups of families, separated by deep religious prejudices who could get along only in surface ways, and often were split into often opposing forces by demographics that proved more powerful than their religious beliefs and practices.

All of these splintering societal forces would lead the growth of Big Government’s replacing God, and our eventual sinking, intellectually, morally, and economically.

Fueled by the likes of the practical atheist Horace Mann, early government schools were forced to offer only a “one size fits all” interpretation of Christianity — dictated by the plethora of differing Protestant beliefs—and the hatred and fear of anything smacking of Catholicism.

Thus was born the wedge that eventually to would split children off from their families and churches, all but obliterating the authority and influences of each. and lead to total eradication of anything godly from today’s monopoly, consolidated government schools. But it also destroyed their intellects—and their very souls!

Thus began, in the early 1900’s the institutionalized decline of the “elitist” notion of “learning for its own sake” (Read Richard Mitchell’s 1981 book, “The Graves Of Academe.”) and the mere preparation of children to be good factory workers. The reduction of the body of leaning in even such elite schools as Harvard and Yale between WWI and WWII is well chronicled. As all organized corruptions start at the top, it must by necessity filter down, under the influence of the likes of John Dewey, to every little red schoolhouse in America—not excluding even in Salinas, Kansas.

This is why only an ENORMOUS, and grossly undeserved, miracle from God could save this nation now. There are no more, at most ten percent of the American people who really “get it.” And I am being overly generous. Our economic decline brought on by Big Government, not some kind of runaway capitalism as the Left has sold to a majority of the stupid American public, is the RESULT not the REASON for our present discomfort. We are quickly slipping into an earthly hell because of our loss of intellect and morals. Big Government that is consuming all we have built up over more than 200 years of relative economic freedom, will soon sink our already broken in half Titanic! 

It all started when, back in the 1800’s, most parents turned their children over to secular college educated “school marms”—who, by the way, were expected to live strictly moral lives—unlike today, remain single and celebate, typically living in some women-only rooming house, and would be replaced by another like-minded young woman when said teacher got interested in marriage. In cities schools already had become part of government systems in which secular education was already systematized, such attention paid to Christianity only cursory.

Any start towards reform will come after our economic collapse when the dollar is worthless, teachers won’t get paid, and in a scramble to support their own families will work for garden produce—and forced to fairly, accurately and completely teach the Bible first, as both reading primer and first history of our peoples.

If they then teach the Early Church Fathers along with Greek and Roman histories and stoic philosophies like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Cicero— all children will eventually become Catholic, reform the now almost completely corrupt Church and save America by re-writing and re-establishing the Declaration and Constitution! Only then can the re-building of a free and prosperous economy begin—perhaps only after a long “dark age” period in which the faith and intellect of a new, Christian and Constitutional leader class will emerge.