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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, 20 2013 @ 12:35 AM
"1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters. "

I probably can't give 9, but I could get partial credit by naming nearly 9. Is that so hard and we look at this test as if it is difficult?

First word of a sentence

Pronouns, including first and last name, place names, names of asteroids, planets, ships, etc...

A personified value, such as Providence, from our founding documents

In a person's name, such as Mr. Lincoln, Mister is capitalized, Mrs., Ms., Dr., Esquire, a person's credentials following their name.

There, I'm sure the teacher could find at least 5 correct answers in there.

Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.

Nouns have modifiers called adjectives, verbs have modifiers called adverbs. Then you have prepositions, direct objects and a couple others I forget.

What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.

Contractions, commas, exclamation points, question marks, what is hard about that?

On the math, when we were a farming society, don't you think most people knew what bushels and rods were? The same way a sailor knows knots and nautical miles, or we may use imperial or metric conversions today. It's not difficult.

"Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?"

Hopefully you know Lincoln (president), Penn (Quaker founder of Pennsylvania), and Bell (telephone guy, metal detectors). Fulton was the guy who invented the steamboat, important in transportation up the Mississippi for instance. Morse, early innovator in communications. Howe, I don't know, maybe the sewing machine.

A similar list today may look like this: Eisenhower, Einstein, Mark Zuckerberg, Nixon, Schwarzkopf, ...

Surely we know who those are.

"cite, site, sight, fane,
fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays."

Two of those I don't know since fain and fane aren't even used at all today.

The orthography one is difficult since we don't learn that in school anymore.

The climate could be difficult, but some are answerable.

Basically, it's a test smart people today could barely pass, if even come close to a 70. But then the average person would struggle to get even 30% I imagine.

But also remember, no one needed college degrees in those days unless you wanted to be a top executive or politician. Most people didn't need anything more than an 8th grade education, and most people even then didn't need that. High schools were sort of like elite institutions that only a few people in an area may have any need for.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 12:37 AM

Originally posted by Fiddlebocker
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.


Teaching was a profession that in 1895 had plenty of men in the ranks. John Taylor Gatto exposes how school districts around this period started offering higher pay to the women in order to lure men out of the profession. If you want to know why, go read Gatto, I can't remember.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:19 AM
Originally posted by jonnywhite

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.

I have to disagree with you, respectfully. Yes, humanity will always need to learn new things, assimilate new information, however, the link between humanity and all knowledge and information will not impede that need, nor will it allow today's "cautious" movement.

In fact, the types of technological breakthroughs that Phantasm and I refer to are the very things that will allow humanity to break free from the things that facilitate cautious growth and slow progress, IMHO: Religion and the Monetary System. Those biomechanical technologies will help facilitate an exponential increase of knowledge across every discipline, across every aspect of our lives and the known universe.

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)

Though we know not of the time and circumstances of or deaths, we do know, without a doubt that we will meet death at one point. This is true, for the most part. There is a silver of doubt though, now. We know now that we can create new, organic organs utilizing 3-D printing, stem cells, etc., and future technologies yet to be created. We also know that, though only theoretical, it may someday be possible to upload our consciousness into a computerized reality when our bodies die, with memories and all, thus not really dying just transferring bodies.

Mankind has a funny way of making mere fantasy into reality, just ask Philip K. Dick, Asimov, etc.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:35 AM
The sad thing is that in elementary school, our notepads had the conversions on the back cover, and bushels were included. And in my catholic elementary school we used dip pens. Which I figure goes along with the frilly handwriting we were taught. It looked very similar to Spencerian Script. I suppose formal script handwriting is also a lost art.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 02:24 AM
reply to post by Chrisfishenstein

I am going to give this a real go when i have some free time. What's funny is as a creative writing and english major the grammar part looks to be the hardest. Some things have gone out of style, or we know without thinking about it.

9 uses for capital letters:
To begin a sentence
Personal pronoun
Abbreviations (acronyms - ATS is good at this one FBI, CIA, FEMA, ETC.)
Proper nouns I think they count this as three)
- person
- places
- things
Titles of books, films, etc

The last one I looked up and it said newspaper headlines, and corporations (it actually listed 10). I would have included organizations in with my pro nouns. I think I would have passed that part of the English part and with 10 minutes of studying the other parts as well.

The point of the thread is dead on though.. they (in public schools) don't teach us what we used to know from the basics, and they aren't far ahead enough on the future. So students are coming out ill prepared. I have always hated my school for not offering REAL computer classes that taught photoshop and video and audio editing software. Powerpoint is clown shoes.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 02:27 AM
I don't think many kids are very well educated these a days nor are they very well disciplined. I think it is most mistaken to hold that being able to operate a technological device is the same as being smarter and or having a higher education than those before us. A good education can, however, lead up to technological innovation by those minds who have a love for such persuits and who ever strive to keep learning and properly applying that learning.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 04:20 AM
reply to post by apokalupsis33vital

Matilda Nutbag is full of crap. What she means to be saying is that a lot of "Christians" have been responsible for a lot of societal ills, and that is from only a dubious reading of the history. Christianity itself, when applied correctly is a very valuable system.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 04:57 AM

Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by Chrisfishenstein

This stuff comes from 1895...half this stuff isn't even relevant anymore.

....Like what? I'd say 95% of it is completely relevant. Remember, relevant doesn't mean "useful to me, personally."

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Originally posted by Witness123
reply to post by apokalupsis33vital

Matilda Nutbag is full of crap. What she means to be saying is that a lot of "Christians" have been responsible for a lot of societal ills, and that is from only a dubious reading of the history. Christianity itself, when applied correctly is a very valuable system.

No, the organizations behind Christianity cause just as many if not more societal ills than individuals within the church. Like the Vatican's decision to tell Africans that god will protect them from AIDS if they don't use condoms. Just an example, the same type of horrible # happens with every major sect of Christianity.

And don't start up with the semantics of "Catholics aren't Christians." Catholic, Protestant, Other, if Christ is your idol you're Christian.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 05:07 AM
I'd like to know the pass / fail results of this supposëd '8th grade test'. For even with my apparent 150 IQ¹, I'd be struggling to get more than a basic pass mark on a test like this...

(¹ citation need)

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 09:08 AM
In addition to having gaps in their academic education, I've noticed that people in their twenties lack some basic life skills. Few of them can do basic sewing, cooking or carpentry.

And though this generation is supposedly extremely computer literate, few of them really are.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 09:19 AM

Originally posted by Witness123
reply to post by apokalupsis33vital

Matilda Nutbag is full of crap. What she means to be saying is that a lot of "Christians" have been responsible for a lot of societal ills, and that is from only a dubious reading of the history. Christianity itself, when applied correctly is a very valuable system.

Oh, yeah, and the Christian crusades were a huge help in propelling humanity's knowledge, intelligence, and intellect! Ha

Because of arrogant and ignorant Christians of the time period we saw destruction of culture, books, libraries, cities, history, etc., of which propelled humanity into the Dark Ages. How was that "valuable" to humanity? How is that part of history dubious, other than that it does fit your blindly made mold of the world and people? Give me a break. Smh

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 09:47 AM
I agree that people are dumbing down in terms of their linguistic skills - just look at all those commas splices and greengrocers' apostrophes.
The geography is also much harder than we'd expect of modern-day 8th graders. I guess that's the inevitable result from developments in the sciences, however. For example, modern 8th graders would be expanding and factorising polynomials, constructing geometric proofs, proving trigonometric identities, and so on. Had 19th-century students even heard of all that stuff?

I'll try out some of the grammar ones just for fun:

1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
-Proper nouns
-At the beginning of sentences
-In titles of books, films, music, etc.
-For emphasis
2 . Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.
The parts of speech are: noun, verb, adverb, adjective, conjunctions, complementisers (considered subordinating conjunctions at the time), interjections, pronouns, prepositions, articles, determiners
Those without modifications: complementisers, prepositions, pronouns, articles, conjunctions, interjections, determiners
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
LOL, no idea what the difference between stanza and verse is.
A paragraph is different in that it is a division of prose.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of lie, lay and run

5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
There are only three cases in English:
-The nominative case: I am a boy.
-The objective case: Don't eat me!
-The genitive case: That pie is mine!

English has no distinct accusative or dative case, so I lumped them together in objective.

6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
o_0 Don't you need an hour just to do this question?

7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
I'm not gonna do this one.
edit on 20/2/13 by diqiushiwojia because: (no reason given)

edit on 20/2/13 by diqiushiwojia because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 09:49 AM
reply to post by Chrisfishenstein
I have a list of some of these questions to answer just out of curiosity, I mean some of these questions are really interesting. I remember some of this from the military school I went to as a kid, we even read a cursive written book once (not writting, written), don't remember what about but remember it was very hard.

No doubt we have been dumbed down, for what reason I'm not sure but what ever it was it certianly worked for someone's agenda.............might explain the situation we are in now.

The only real problem is we let it happen. this has been talked about for 30 years and the question was "why" well take a look at the political base that has been built. If the socialist/ communist did not create this over the last 100 years then they sure saw it as a tool to be used to bring what was a free country into the folds of communism........but thats just my opinion and one way to look at the whole "dumbing down" scenario

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:17 PM
First Off...
I Dont Think My Own Teachers Would Be Able To Answer This Final Exams Themselves.
Second, If This Is Hard For You, Just Imagine What College Must've Been In Those Days. And What Did They Teach Them Then...

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 02:13 PM
reply to post by Chrisfishenstein

I don't want to sound rude, but you really need to post this here? I mean, I can link to 25+ threads that have been posted in the last 10 days that have 10+ pages that proof that the population has been retarded to the point where I think we should have to take a test before being allowed access to things like a car, a bank account, the

"Dumbing" down the need an article to make your point? Sad, just sad?

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 02:28 PM
reply to post by Chrisfishenstein

Regrets to say, I have failed.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 03:28 PM
reply to post by VforVendettea

It's funny you say that. I dropped out of school when I was 14 and I already felt like I knew more than most people. I didn't have the social acumen down but then again, not being another brick in the wall worker drone can be lonely. I went on to college at 18 after easily passing the GED (it was a joke to me). So my opinion is that if you are intelligent, you will not learn much from school, you'll learn some stuff yes, but mostly you will learn from your own power of observation and natural ability to think critically.

I agree that it breaks up the family and is designed to do that, as is everything else in society today unless you are well-off. My mom is going to die young and my biggest regret is that she spent my childhood and adult life working and I spent mine going to school and we were like two ships passing in the night and now, she has all but left, even before she got to properly retire (had to take a medical retirement 3 yrs early). My experience is that is all a big #ing waste of time.

I have a 6 and an 8 yr old. I homeschooled 2011-2012 and did a poor job of it, or so I thought, but my 3rd grader jumped into 3rd grade at a public school head first and has been scoring very high (which is all schools care about now, is test scores). BUT, she has lost her natural curiosity and a lot of her zest for life. I am considering homeschooling again next year because I CAN'T FIND A JOB to save my life! I am being punished for staying home to raise my kids. Now no one wants to employ me. I am really lost in my life right now, and have been for some time. I don't know if anyone understands but I hope at least someone does? It feels like everything these does is just so wrong. As an aside, I had lunch with my 3rd grader the other day. School lunches are atrocious. I don't have the budget for it but after seeing what they feed these poor kids, I vowed to always pack her a lunch. A lunchable would be a step up! I imagine a LOT of GMO stuff, and it tastes bloody awful and she doesn't even eat it which in part explains her weight. I had NO idea, bless her heart, she never complains much and she never told me she doesn't really eat,she only drinks the chocolate milk.

My kids both miss being homeschooled. At first I thought my 3rd grader liked the social scene, and sometime she does, but more often than not she comes home defeated because some girl she thought was her friend was a doosh, or the teacher made her stop drawing in class, which is her life passion, and I just feel like yes they are learning the basics but they are losing their individuality. I am thinking about letting them go one more year and then pulling them out for homeschooling. I miss them to be honest. I can't find a job and I'd rather be schooling them and spending time with them than alone all day. Last time I homeschooled, we went on our own field trips, googled whatever interested my daughter at that moment, watched movies about the topic..etc..
Now her school wants her to do her homework online so that "the students can be better prepared to take state tests which are now given online." So all they care about is test scores. Sad. Very sad.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 03:51 PM
This is obviously a test for childs. As for many questions any elaborate answer would be well beyond the 1hour limit. "What are rivers good for?" Are you kidding me? What kind of question is that? There is no logic answer to that. I would agree that society has dumbed down, for the simple fact that it is utterly stupid and these fora would be evidence for this claim. However i have the feeling that prior generations were even more stupid. Just looking at my parents. High regarded professionals (finance), but god, are they stupid. Then the american school system in one word: ridiculous. Its ridiculous to compare my university degree with that of a us college. I did my PhD in Boston though, which was ok. But, I'd say the better half were foreign doctorates. Which means that the highschool and colleges really arent good at promoting clever student, but rather slows them down... Or dumbs them down.

posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 04:39 PM
Much of this is archaic.

We don't use bushels and rods in math too much any more. We don't teach English parts of sentence structure like that anymore.

I don't think that 8th graders from the 1800s would have done very well on use of computers or the internet.

The educational needs of a society change.

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