Friday, September 10, 2004

Education Ain't Whut She Used To Be

From The Federalist:

"A most intriguing school test appears in the current issue of Education Reporter, describing what eighth-graders in the United States were expected to know in 1910. Among 10 grammar questions: 'In what must a pronoun agree with its antecedent? Illustrate.' Under orthography, spell: 'laudanum, beneficent, declension.' A few from the U.S. and civic history category: 'State the qualifications of a U.S. senator ... What has made the names of each of the following historical: Alexander Hamilton, U.S. Grant, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Cyrus W. Field, Clara Barton? ... Give an account of the framing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence.' After students got through rather tough questions in geography, arithmetic and physiology, there was this easy (for students of yesteryear, at least) question: 'Quote two stanzas of "America".'" --John McCaslin

Whew! And you thought eighth grade was hard!

Of course, to be fair, there's no time these days for such minutiae. Kids have more important subjects to delve into, such as: learning that our Founders were all racist pigs; gaining dexterity in putting a condom on a cucumber; understanding the insight that our Constitution is a living, breathing document (just take its pulse, if you doubt me); and taking political correctness 101, certainly not an elective in today's public school system.

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