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Sunday, April 1, 2012

An 8th grade education

Remember when our grandparents, great-grandparents, and such stated that they only had an 8th grade education?
Well, check this out. - - -
This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, KS, USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

Can you imagine how different our politicians and policies would be if they had to pass this test in order to get elected?


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, lay and run 
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case. 
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

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 3942 lbs., what is it worth at
50cts/bushel, deducting 1050lbs. 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 cost of 6720 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 meter?
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
around 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, 
 , Lincoln, ?Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, ?1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour) 

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, sub vocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
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, si te, 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 &Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republic s 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. 

Also notice that the exam took five hours to complete.
Gives the saying "she/he only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?
What happened to us? ??It is kind of humbling, isn't it ?

Today, the United States’ high school graduation rate ranks near the bottom among developed nations belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And on virtually every international assessment of academic proficiency, American secondary school students’ performance varies from mediocre to poor.

Reading Literacy 

In 2003, the United States ranked 15th of 29 OECD countries in reading literacy, and with a score of 495, came in near the OECD average of 500 (U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics 2004). However, a printing error invalidated the U.S. reading section of the 2006 PISA assessment, so the current U.S. standing is unknown. 

Scientific Literacy 

The United States ranks 21st of 30 OECD countries in scientific literacy, and the U.S. score of 489 fell below the OECD average of 500 (OECD 2007b). 

One quarter (24.4 percent) of U.S. fifteen-year-olds do not reach the baseline level of science achievement. This is the level at which students begin to demonstrate the science competencies that will enable them to use science and technology in life situations (OECD 2007b). 

Mathematics Literacy 

The United States ranks 25th of 30 OECD countries in mathematics literacy, and the average score of 474 fell well below the OECD average of 498. Scores have not measurably changed since 2003, when the United States ranked 24th of 29 countries (OECD 2007b). 

Over one quarter (28.1 percent) of American fifteen-year-olds performed below the baseline level of mathematics proficiency at which students begin to demonstrate the kind of skills that enable them to use mathematics actively in daily life (OECD 2007b). 

Problem Solving 

In 2003, the U.S. ranked 24th of 29 OECD countries in problem solving, and the average score of 477 fell well below the OECD average of 500 (OECD 2004). 

Half of American students fell below the threshold of problem-solving skills considered necessary to meet emerging workforce demands (OECD 2004). National surveys corroborate this finding; for example, 46 percent of American manufacturers say that their employees have inadequate problem-solving skills (NAM 2005). 

Equity in Achievement 

The United States has an average number of students who perform at the highest proficiency levels, but a much larger proportion who perform at the lowest levels. The United States is the only member country to have relatively high proportions of both top and bottom performers (OECD 2007b). 

Although American white students’ average science score of 523 ranked above the OECD average, Hispanic American (439), American Indian and Native Alaskan (436), and African American (409) students all fell far below (U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics 2007). These groups scored similarly to the national averages of Turkey and Mexico, the two lowest-performing OECD member countries. 

The difference between the science scores of two students of different socioeconomic backgrounds is higher in the United States than in almost any other country (OECD 2007b). 

First-generation immigrant students in the United States lag an average of 57 points behind their native counterparts, which is the equivalent of nearly two years of schooling. Second-generation U.S. immigrants perform no better than first-generation immigrant students (OECD 2007b). 

Four of the five member countries that have higher proportions of immigrants than the United States also have higher national scores than the United States (OECD 2007b).

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