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Are You Being Dumbed Down? Want to Take an 8th Grade Test From 1895 To Find Out?

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posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:57 PM
reply to post by Nohup

I felt the same way 30 some years ago.

The reason it matters is knowledge is freedom. Both financial and in a literal sense.

I don't work for others, nobody thinks for me or gives me orders and what I do supports 7 to 10 families. If I want to move to another part of the world I can. If I want to jump on a plane and go to Florida and get a Christmas tan, I can.

Being poor is probably the hardest job a person could ever have. I know, I started out that way. Your whole life is controlled by basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. Some people can live with being beggars going to food banks, letting others pay for their housing, collecting food stamps and gathering cans for the recycling center; I can not.

I far prefer the other side of the coin personally. I've gone back to school a couple of times to change professions. My wallet is never empty. I can pay cash for a new car or a vacation. I can go to work or not go to work and I still earn money. I can pick my own days off or I can kick it in gear and work hard for a couple of weeks and buy an expensive toy if I want.

Like I said, being poor is damn hard work.

In the end its a personal choice. I choose literacy and I love the rewards of financial security and being able to afford the things I want.

Illiteracy is guaranteed poverty and I've watched many of my life long friends suffer through it. It is a fate I would not wish on my worst enemy.

Education is the key to this world. It brought down the Berlin Wall and it will save this country if anything can.

Those in power rely on illiteracy to keep them in power. An educated citizenry can not be controlled completely. Knowledge is the most powerful weapon we have and if someone can not comprehend what is going on around them they are like lambs headed to slaughter.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 06:58 PM

Originally posted by Wtfisthat
Besides who now a days cares how many bushels of wheat can fit in a box (besides farmers of course)

These days farmers are more concerned about timing their put hedges against price fluctuations in the corn market depending on how the weather in the Ukraine will be interpreted by large index fund managers.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 07:11 PM
reply to post by Nohup

actually they are planting more soy beans this year, due to heavy planting last year of corn for ethenol, and needed nitrogen added by the rotation planting of soy beans...i trade futures..but i get your point nonetheless.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 07:16 PM
On topic where I should have been

I have mastered two professions and I'm working on a third and I'll admit I'd fail that test. I'd like to blame my aging brain cells but in reality it is because left unused they atrophy.

I think if our kids are being dumbed down it is because of apathetic parents or teachers. Parents don't take the time and Teachers don't have any reason to care. I'll also point the finger at the Teachers Unions. The Governments only real involvement is that they can let it happen and not do anything about it.

I don't buy the "its not my fault" and " it takes all my time to earn a living" argument. Bad parenting is bad parenting. Even if both parents work 40 hour weeks that still leaves 128 hours a week for each of them to find time for their kids. They should skip the Mason's meeting, skip Friday night at the bar, skip playing golf or any other less important activity and find the time. There is no such thing as an accidental pregnancy and if people want children they need to take responsibility for their needs. If they can not do that, vasectomies or having their tubes cut is cheap and no child will be neglected by Parents who don't really care.

Children and their care and education is the most awesome responsibility any human can take on themselves. They need to make damn sure they are ready.

I have strong feeling on this. Can anybody tell

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 07:44 PM
personally I'd only feel comfortable taking an 8th grade test from either 10 yrs before or after I was in the 8th grade myself(1988/89) anything after that, who knows how the ciricullum(sp? lol) may have changed. I mean didn't they still teach creationism back in 1895? where the test questions for that? I'd fail that miserably lol. ? #1-how old is the Earth..6000 years lol..correct!

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 08:43 PM

Originally posted by Totalstranger
personally I'd only feel comfortable taking an 8th grade test from either 10 yrs before or after I was in the 8th grade myself(1988/89) anything after that, who knows how the ciricullum(sp? lol) may have changed. I mean didn't they still teach creationism back in 1895? where the test questions for that? I'd fail that miserably lol. ? #1-how old is the Earth..6000 years lol..correct!

That would be interesting, Totalstranger. To take tests within closer proximity. But this was just what I came up with.
Did you read the questions posted in their entirety? I do not recall any questions alluding to Creationism. So, why would it matter whether they taught it or not?

OOps, that's not what you said. I need more Java. All I can say is, if you are uncomfortable with the test or do not agree with the test. "No harm done, it is all in fun."

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 08:46 PM
In response to what Totalstranger proposed, maybe some of the brighter minds here could compose a more timely test.
How about it, anyone??

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 08:51 PM
Just one more thought. We have a super mod here, that is one of the brightest people that I have ever encountered on untold varieties of subjects.
I think that most of you would agree that, that person is Byrd.
Wonder if we could get her to compose one for us, if she is not super busy?

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:22 PM
Great thread! What a body blow to the ego! I was in the 8th grade around 1961. I think the brighter 8th graders of the time would have done alright on the test, but I doubt if I could pass it now.

I'm pretty sure that the grammar and spelling portions would clobber a lot of todays 8th graders. In Toronto the teachers can't even spell! But I have to say that having had the priviledge of watching a young man in my own house grow up from the age of five all the way through university, that they do seem to be teaching the kids harder math at an earlier age than they used to.

I think that the most important thing to teach anyone is that education never stops. Never stop learning.

Currently I am trying to improve my French by reading books in French. Here's a tip. Buy a copy of the French novel and a copy of the English translation. It saves a lot of time looking things up in the dictionary.

The great thing about education is that it is fun and satisfying.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:30 PM
I think some may have missed this so I will quote it to explain the so-called valid test for us adults (hopefully it will make all that failed the test feel better

Origins: This item, purportedly a final examination for graduating eighth grade students (or graduating high school students, depending upon which version you have) is of interest because it's supposed to be documentary evidence of how shockingly our educations have declined over the last century or so.

Why, most adults couldn't muster a passing score on this test today, people think; that mere schoolkids were expected to pass it is proof that the typical school curriculum has been steeply "dumbed down" over the years, pundits claim:

The object of this exercise was only to reveal what many of us have known for some time. The dumbing down of American public education over the past 100 years has been substantial, particularly in the last 50 years. When Great-grandma says she only had an eighth-grade education, don't smirk.

What nearly all these pundits fail to grasp is "I can't answer these questions" is not the same thing as "These questions demonstrate that students in earlier days were better educated than today's students." Just about any test looks difficult to those who havent recently been steeped in the material it covers.

If a 40-year-old can't score as well on a geography test as a high school student who just spent several weeks memorizing the names of all the rivers in South America in preparation for an exam, that doesn't mean the 40-year-old's education was woefully deficient — it means the he simply didn't retain information for which he had no use, no matter how thoroughly it was drilled into his brain through rote memory some twenty-odd years earlier.

I suspect I'd fail a lot of the tests I took back in high school if I had to re-take them today without reviewing the material beforehand. I certainly wouldn't be able to pass any arithmetic test that required me to be familiar with such arcane measurements as "rods" and "bushels," but I can still calculate areas and volumes just fine, thank you.


[edit on 3-4-2008 by battlestargalactica]

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:40 PM
reply to post by battlestargalactica

Just so you know,
To my knowledge;
not one person has taken the test. If they have they have not submitted it. I have not taken it yet either. Personally, I do not think that I can pass it either.
When I wake up, I am going to give it a crack, just to see how much I do know.
I'm pretty sure I can pass anything to do with spelling, and probably some of the math. We'll see.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:48 PM

Originally posted by battlestargalactica
reply to post by sizzle

I understand your point, and wholly agreee we are being dumbed down. However this question doesn't quite pertain, as do several others, due to the time period differences:

2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?

Bushel of wheat? We would of course NOT be familiar with exactly what a bushel of wheat dimensions are (we of course can look it up online
) something rural 1895 farmers would know off the top of there heads.

Also, many of the things that were important to education 'back then' are no longer held to such high standards or regards, or perhaps not even being taught any longer.

For instance, english grammar rules used to be strict and verbatim, now held to much looser standards, other things are more important like science, technology, learning to be creative, etc.

Also, ever notice how neat and elegant cursive script was in the past? Most of the people on average had about the same sort of flowy looking (beautiful) cursive style of writing. Now of course its kinda personalized, add to that the computer and text and type and well...its all changed.

[edit on 3-4-2008 by battlestargalactica]

This is a simple math problem. And yes, the bushel is still used as a
unit of measure, of dry commodities.

Made me feel dumb. I hardly knew any of the answers. Could have
guessed at a few. I think the point is proved. We are being dumbed down!

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:49 PM
reply to post by sizzle

Its not meant to be taken formally like that, it's more of a 'rhetorical question' test request, as stated in my above post (the snopes one), the original article is meant to allude that people are being 'dumbed down' since they can't answer many of the questions on the supposed real test.

Check out the link to snopes link...

Originally posted by Howie47
Made me feel dumb. I hardly knew any of the answers. Could have
guessed at a few. I think the point is proved. We are being dumbed down!

*slaps head* see my post..err..three posts up..maybe four..↑up there↑

[edit on 3-4-2008 by battlestargalactica]

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:54 PM
reply to post by sizzle

Are You Being Dumbed Down? Want to Take an 8th Grade Test From 1895 To Find Out?

From my own bizarre history and point of view; the first answer is yes but by whom exactly? And if we can be upgraded.

For me, the second would be heck no, I hated school, especially homework.
I do recall summer school and an amazing history teacher who was not only funny but made us realize that our history lessons and text books were full of lies. He told us stories that only now are being told in documentaries such as the History channel. I think he was a college history professor at one time.

Basically what I had learned was before high school and still managed to pass the GED due to comprehension and reading skills. My best score was in science and worst was probably math. High school was my downfall and a waste of nearly fours years and a couple of court trials.

When we hear about how US schools compare with other countries such as Japan; we are comparatively dumber. Even so, I don't envy them.

There are many ways of learning to survive and many third world country imigrants who come here are usually better than we are at becoming sucessful for many of these reasons. Some it would seem by their comments is that we take so much for granted and are basically lazy americans.

Are their teaching and learning standards actually that much higher?
How many US citizens would flunk the tests to enter into this country as new US citizens? Could it be their desires to come to America that made these imigrants better achievers?

What is it that really makes some people smarter than others also? I would like to know if we can ever find the magic cure for stupidity as was depicted in the sci-fi movie Lawnmower Man and the True Story Awakenings.
Now it seems that many people who suffer brain damage can retrain other areas of the brain to take over. So in that respect, I think it's certainly possible to be upgraded by stimulating other areas of the brain.

I myself have always despised the teaching methods of our schools and had imagined possibly a computer system designed for the individual would be more efficient. But I guess that sounds anti-social?

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 09:55 PM
Hiyah Sizzle,

Great post...I am glad I read it today, I was feeling so good about my obviously high intelligence

I am glad you came along to dish up a big ole' sloppy serving of reality check for us all!

Actually I was bowing my head in shame at the first couple of English questions, but I kept punishing myself and read them all.

This reminds me of finding my Dad's 4th grade school text book, flipping through it, and noticing poems they had to memorize and write about, that I didn't even read until college.

We are not worthy we are not worthy!

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 10:23 PM
Interesting. But, as far as the test went back then, how many city born and raised children needed to know how many bushels filled a wagon. Tests are relevant to the times when the test are given and WHERE the tests are given. I remember taking a GT test when I joined the army and I was asked what two fingers were inserted into a bowling ball and wondered how this was relevant. Not everyone has bowled. How is this relevant to determining what job a person could do in the army? PS. I am not dumb. As I passed all the tests I took in school with high grades, but I wonder how smart I would be on the subjects that are being taught in schools today. One is only as smart as the information they have been introduced to. "And that of course depends on whether one can comprehend what has been introduced to. By the way, I might be dumb because I am not sure if I spelled relevant correctly.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 10:30 PM
reply to post by aleon1018

Just your post alone, reveals the fact that we as individuals are capable of overcoming anything, if we so choose. Your spelling and grammar skills appear exemplary. Kudos, for your insightful input.
I, myself, did not do well in public schools. I did much better when I left. I obtained a G.E.D. and then entered a local college. I found that I cannot be trained by another person's means. I do better when I train myself. I am sure that is not true of everyone.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 10:34 PM
Apparently, no one is interested in literally taking the test. Unless I hear an absolute no from someone, I will go ahead and post the answers for you folks.
I haven't heard back from Scientist. I believe that he was sincere in taking the test. Perhaps I will U2U him.

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 11:09 PM
reply to post by kyred

I in no way consider you dumb. Frankly, I have not seen a 'dumb' member on this board. Not even the trolls, or the ones who appear just stir an atmosphere of discontent.
But I do think that there is an intent of the PTB to keep a certain level of the masses, in a dumbed-down condition.
I believe that a lot of you are missing the point with the bushels of wheat, math question. Why not substitute something you are familiar with? I think we still use the measure for... bushels of apples, do we not? Basically, it IS just a math question, irregardless.

posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 12:48 AM
In a moment of reflection, thanks to Kyred's post, as well as some others;
I think that this test is not the appropriate method to deem if we are a dumbed-down society. Why?
I, personally do not think that things such as this is exactly what the PTB intend to withhold from us. From my short membership on ATS, I see that the issues lean toward keeping our attention or our focus away from the 'real issues.' I don't think I can go into all of it in one post, but I would think that the vast majority of you, already know what I am speaking of. So you need no further statements.
I do welcome your viewpoints on this.

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