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Dumbing down the population?!! See if you can pass this 8th grade test from 1895

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posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 11:04 AM
I feel that the "dumbing down" is largely accidental. As womans rights to work evolved, so did their career choices. All of the smartest woman (majority of grade school teachers) used to be satisfied teaching children. This is good because they have a natural inclination towards helping children. The balance has been upset with many intelligent women chasing dollars in the business world. I am NOT saying "this is a womans role" or anything like that.

Teachers used to be the cream of the crop, now they are just average people. If the teaching "system" put forth was worth a #, these teachers would have no problem educating kids, but it is more complex than that.

The system itself is flawed, standardized testing (getting easier and easier) and breaking down statistics by race is simply a political distraction. The focus seems to be on getting kids to jump through hoops, and less on useful tools for the mind.

Although I will send my children to public school for social interaction, I will prepare them for college and the world myself.


posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 12:32 PM
(info already posted)
edit on 19-2-2013 by ObservingTheWorld because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-2-2013 by ObservingTheWorld because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 12:53 PM

Charlotte Thompson Iserbyt served as the head of policy at the Department of Education during the first administration of Ronald Reagan. While working there she discovered a long term strategic plan by the tax exempt foundations to transform America from a nation of rugged individualists and problem solvers to a country of servile, brainwashed minions who simply regurgitate whatever they're told. Part one of our exclusive interview with Iserbyt breaks down how conditioning/training under a corporate agenda has replaced traditional education, leading to a deliberate dumbing down of Americans. Iserbyt further explains how Reagan signed agreements merging the U.S. and Soviet systems under the United Nations banner, turning over education and many other areas of public policy to global control.

This information nailed it, in my opinion, as to what we see taking place and why.
edit on 19-2-2013 by On the Edge because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 01:29 PM
reply to post by Druid42

Woo hoo! I am smart! I am smart! S M R T! S M R T!

Thanks much good buddy, may the Toast be with you.

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 01:38 PM

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 02:06 PM

Originally posted by N3k9Ni
"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 haven't 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.

The questions on this exam don't reflect only items of "basic knowledge" — many of the questions require the test-taker to have absorbed some very specialized information, and if today's students can't regurgitate all the same facts as their 1895 counterparts, it's because the types of knowledge we consider to be important have changed a great deal in the last century, not necessarily because today's students have sub-standard educations

Originally posted by hellobruce

That copy/paste made me chuckle a bit

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 02:31 PM
reply to post by Power_Semi

The Guardian article you posted had a very interesting statement from a blog (Ferretbrain:

The job of exams is not to be hard, it is not to be easy, it is most certainly not to provide the top five percent of students with a flashy qualification they can use to get into Oxford. The job of exams is to test learning and produce adequate differentiation across the full range of candidates. This, amongst other things, is why we need what that charming individual called "Exams for Thick People". The job of an exam is not to let clever people show off, it is to actually assess people, and that means differentiating between D and E grade candidates just as much as it means differentiating between A and B grade candidates. Complaining that exams are getting easier is just a socially acceptable way of complaining that we're no longer restricting education to a privileged elite.

I think this is highly relevant to the discussion at hand. What is the purpose of examinations? How can we gauge the value of an education based solely on exam marks? I personally believe exams are the most unfortunate part of the entire system of modern education. They exist because there is no other method of assessment for such a massive number of students. I certainly don't think we should be using exam difficulty to critique the system!

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 02:40 PM
reply to post by Logarock

Also consider that if you had travled abroad back in those days.....the pictoral and royal iconography was basically the same from one majior culture to the next with some basic cultural nuance differential .

Interesting human perspective. "Don't Walk" is the same across time. It doesn't matter if what runs you down is a chariot or a Chevy, you're still dead.

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 04:38 PM
One of the questions is, "of what use are rivers/Oceans" thats a pretty broad question lol

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 06:08 PM
I remember high school being much like the middle school on The Wire, teacher spends all time teaching the "FCAT" name of our test, and since not everyone would pass the students who did pass still had to learn about the damned thing until they graduated. Most of it was teaching the test, and not actually teaching the course. You couldn't escape it because every class from math to gym you had to do it.

Kinda funny (pathetic) when I went to college, most the stuff seemed to be things I learned in middle school and not high school.

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 06:22 PM
Oh dear lord.......
I failed miserably LOL!!!!!

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 06:42 PM
Some time in the near future (2030...) we will be physically connected to the internet/infonet and be able to download years of study and information within seconds. We are still in the birth of the Information Age. Some huge advancements still to come.

edit on 19/2/13 by Phantasm because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 06:48 PM
Do you think an eighth grader back then would pass an exam about knowledge of cells, DNA, or electronics?
No, that's an exam from a different era, where different things needed to be known.
Do you ever need to calculate the number of bushels of wheat in a barrel? Did they?

Not to mention there's already been several threads on this same exam....

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 08:51 PM
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school" - Einstein
edit on 19-2-2013 by Redwhiteandblue because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 09:06 PM
I have no problems with kids or adults using calculators or given tools to solve problems. Yes, I can do most math in my head, but for the really hard drawn out problems I use a calculator(or just put it in excel).

I do think the education system fails horribly. I have helped my daughter from 1st through 12th grade(ugh, still can't wrap my head around she's a senior) and have several times gone down to the school to talk to the teacher about crappy instructions. I have found for the most part teachers are apathetic and don't care about the kids education or the ability of kids to learn the material. A good amount of them don't know the materiel. I have caught tons of mistakes on math and science homework and test. Hell, I gave a presentation on astronomy back when she was in 5th grade, and the teacher was arguing me over jupiter and saturn. And had the nerve to tell me it was impossible for a backyard telescope to produce pictures of jupiter. *facepalm*.

Critical thinking and problem solving are skills kids aren't learning. They learn you cry enough the teacher will pass you.

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 09:18 PM
This "test" has been around for a long time and wrongly been used to suggest education has gone downhill in the last 100 plus years. Here is a link to Snopes that has a good article about it and why it is false.

Dumb and dumber

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 10:39 PM
I'm going to play this test as stupid as I can.

1895 - Final Exam 8th GRADE
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
1)lolspeak 2)alphabet soup agencies 3)Computer Keyboard 4)Highway signs 5)Kindergarten class 6)Proper nouns. 7)Writing to the President 8)License Plates 9)Gravestones

2 . Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.
Tongue lips and teeth. The second part is a trick question because there are tongue studs, lip implants, and braces.

3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
These are cars made by Nissan and Honda.

5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
One is a suitcase, that holds clothes. The other is a briefcase, that holds office papers.

2. A wagon box is 2 ft deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
Silly, we don't drive wagons anymore.

3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1050lbs. for tare?
This is another questionable question because there is no measurement for the term "load".

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?
Hundred bucks and forty cents? What is a district and a levy? What kind of school lasts only 7 months? Bogus question.

6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
This depends on your bank. Are weekends and holidays included? Are there any penalties for early withdrawal? Are there any fees to be taken out at the end? Like, math fees?

7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per meter?
This is hard to believe it's from the past because there is the inches measurement, the American standard, and then the "meter" standard. The true question is going to ask for "yard", so it's a questionable question.

9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance
around which is 640 rods?
What are these animals called squares?

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
Pre 9/11 and post 9/11

2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
Man comes in on three boats, from Spain, lands in Ohio, takes over the place.

5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
Land of Dorothy. See Wikipedia page on it.

7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
Famous dead guys.

1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
English language code symbols, App on my smart phone, The surgery my grandma had on her hip, bug science, that vacation you take after writing a syllabus.

2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
There is the one that says class is starting, the fire drill, and the earthquake drill.

3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, sub vocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
Chewing gum ingredient, speakers in those Honda cars, something a porn star wears, ?, upside-down backwards e's

6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
LOL and OMG.

7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup
They can all be added onto the word sex.

9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
I have never heard of the words fane or fain before.

My brain crapped out on the open-ended questions. But the math is the same as what I had in 7th grade. The geography is stupid compared to today's technology of seeing the planet. The history dates are insane unless I'm primed with culturally-appropriate events. And of course I screwed the answers on purpose.

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 10:58 PM
"9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane,
fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays."

This question today would read "Use the following correctly in a sentence: there, their, they're. where, we're were. then, than"

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 11:07 PM

Originally posted by Phantasm
Some time in the near future (2030...) we will be physically connected to the internet/infonet and be able to download years of study and information within seconds. We are still in the birth of the Information Age. Some huge advancements still to come.

edit on 19/2/13 by Phantasm because: (no reason given)

I agree with you 100%, Phantasm. There are several responses to the OP claiming that our population is less intelligent because we seek out answers externally, as opposed to knowing the answer independently. My response to that is, aren't we seeking answers and solutions internally, just as we would externally, say with a search engine, by accessing our information database located in our brains?

Once we are able to internally store all available information, and access it as quickly as we access it now, wouldn't it seem as though there is no difference compared to how we organically do it now? Would it not be considered 'knowing' the information?

posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 11:52 PM

Originally posted by Phantasm
Some time in the near future (2030...) we will be physically connected to the internet/infonet and be able to download years of study and information within seconds. We are still in the birth of the Information Age. Some huge advancements still to come.

edit on 19/2/13 by Phantasm because: (no reason given)

I doubt that very much. We'll still have to learn s***. I think you're making the mistake of pushing too hard and too fast. Humanity is smart, but we move more cautiously than you give us credit. Futurists are popularly known for doing this. Everyday people are guilty too. The problem is that the future is both exponential and unpredictable. Even if you correctly project exponentially, you can still be wildly wrong. What looks smart today can look terribly stupid in the future.

Here's a peak at the future (this is my stab at it - but it's happening right now): -
IBM's Watson Gets Its First Piece Of Business In Healthcare...

Pricing was not disclosed, but hospitals and health care networks who sign up will be able to buy or rent Watson’s advice from the cloud or their own server. Over the past two years, IBM’s researchers have shrunk Watson from the size of a master bedroom to a pizza-box-sized server that can fit in any data center. And they improved its processing speed by 240%. Now what was once was a fun computer-science experiment in natural language processing is becoming a real business for IBM and Wellpoint, which is the exclusive reseller of the technology for now. Initial customers include WestMed Practice Partners and the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine & Blood Disorders.

I have a feeling in the next 30 years you and me are going to feel a lot older. Right now we mostly feel young, maybe middle age at most. But soon we'll be swept away by time and made to feel clumsy. We'll watch as young men and woman pass us by and unable to catch up or grasp the circumstances. Right now, things look bleak. Climate change and terrorism and economic depression is made us jaded. But the future won't stop. It never does. Youthful enthusiasm and persisting optimism will overcome. If you watch carefully, people will recover and technologies will be created. Things will start to look brighter. Unfortunately, you and me will keep getting older and our imminent mortal death will rise before us like our shadow does when the falling sun shines on us from behind.
edit on 20-2-2013 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

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