Friday, February 6, 2009

Only an 8th Grade education

Here it is the final Exam to exit grade 8 in 1895.

This is clearly in the days before social promotion went rampant.

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.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895
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, 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.
7. 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 inclinaton of the earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.
Gives the saying 'he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new
meaning, doesn't it?!

Also shows you how poor our education system
has become!

Unfortunately, the Salina Journal neglected to print the answers for us.

--many thanks to Jim Milgrim for the above

7 comments:

Sudhakar Kudva said...

It is worthy of note that the United States continued to set an example to the rest of the world well into the 1960s, when the US had the highest high school graduation rate of any country. Several nations that did not even exist as independent in the 1930s (including Singapore and India) followed the lead of universal education to build their economies from scratch.

Unfortunately, while the rest of the world was emulating our success, we have let our system degrade to the point where a complete recovery might take decades. What a shame!

Anonymous said...

Most of the world's schools are modeled after British institutes. Mexico is one example.

For a time, US institutions were modeled after the French, but this changed at the end of the Franco-Prusso War.

One example is Japan which started its economic modernization with the aid of the French and the US, but later changed its civil codes to align more with the British and German civil codes - the earliest institutions evolved from missionaries active in both Japan and China.

US institutions are a blend of both French and British institutions. One way to examine institutions is to compare similarities in attitudes and policies on issues, like bilingualism and special education.

Anonymous said...

What sets the US apart are that its schools are decentralized. The US DOE does not write or evaluate curriculum (standards, textbooks, and assessments).

It would be much more efficient, effective, and cheaper if it did. Singapore proves it.

dan dempsey said...

It would be much more efficient, effective, and cheaper if it did.

Only if reasonable decisions were made. At this point I am less than convinced that our Government is capable of implementing a well reasoned course of action.

I have not seen much evidence of effective Governmental decision making in the last few decades.

Anonymous said...

http://www.snopes.com/language/document/1895exam.asp

Anonymous said...

Namashkar,
Leaving the writing of math curriculum up to a group of non-conforming Dutch Calvinists and Hari Krishnas made far less sense than having the Department of Education buy the US copyright to publish Singapore's academic curriculum.

Anonymous said...

I thought using NSF funds to have the Majarishi give divine inspiration to the DOE's reform curriculum a nice public relations touche.

Signed,

Q. Smug