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Norm's Soapbox- My corner of Hyde Park


How well educated are you? An aspect that is frequently ignored is the fact that it is to prepare you for life in society. The items that are critical in one setting are pointless in another. What is needed depends on the setting. Critical thinking is more important now than in the past as arithmetic is relegated to the calculator, with analytical thinking always at a premium. The years involved are often more a factor of when the young are needed in the work force than what needs to be taught, and what is valued. How much do you think great grandpa had to learn? He had only an 8th grade education? Could you have graduated in 1895?

The following eighth-grade final exam from 1895 Salina, Kansas, USA, was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

Eighth Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS - 1895

Grammar (Time, one hour):

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours):

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes): Orthography (Time, one hour): Geography (Time, one hour):

And for the important modern question, do you understand the full significance of each question?
A fully capable, contributing citizen needs to be able conduct his own affairs, understand what he is doing, including why, and participate in the governing of his community.  Can you make a wise decision if you do not understand the situation? We have elected more than one turkey.

Copyright © 2003   Norman Montgomery ; All rights reserved.