Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How Far We Have Fallen

Check out this Constitution Test from 1954. It has 100 questions and was given in the eighth grade. If it were given today, most of the parents would howl that it's too hard and that they never had to do anything that hard when they were in school. It's like I said in a recent post, this stuff was deliberately scrubbed from the curriculum so slowly that nobody really noticed. If you want to see how much people were dumbed down in the 1950s from the turn of the century, you can always peruse the famous exit exam from 8th grade given in 1895 in Salina, Kansas, you know, one of those podunk towns where no one wears shoes or can write their names. (The establishment that gave us modern public schooling would have us believing such things.)

How often do you hear, "he never finished eighth grade" in as sympathetic way when referring to an ancestor or elderly person. It's probably because the eighth grade education of 60 years ago is superior to what many high school seniors are graduating with today.

Plans are underway to replace community, family, and church with propaganda, education, and mass media....the State shakes loose from Church, reaches out to School.... People are only little plastic lumps of human dough.
--Edward A. Ross, Social Control
University of Wisconsin sociologist


  1. I'm happy to say I'd have passed that, though I would have difficulty naming today's cabinet positions and naming the members. Everything but that, I would have gotten. I was blessed. My 4th and 5th grade teachers, along with my high school AG teacher were of the old school, and really drilled this stuff into our heads. I don't expect many current teachers to even know that this subject matter should be taught, let along care if kids learn it. Much more important that we spend a month out of the year studying recycling, global warming, and Rosa Parks (PBUH!) I guess. I'd cry, if I weren't so jaded about the whole thing by now.

  2. I remember taking tests like this. Notice also the penmanship. They don't even teach cursive anymore. When I taught religious ed at our church to 7th - 12th graders they all printed and did that very poorly. It was rare for any of them to be able to write a complete sentence and never mind the spelling.

  3. I was blessed to have a wonderful AP US history teacher who taught us to be on the lookout for revisionism.

    Teaching public school kids at church is always an eye-opener. I'm still haunted by them begging me to homeschool them. It's such a joke that the government wants more teaching time and they are teaching less. They also don't teach diagramming. My friend who worked in a more urban school said that they had dispensed with spelling because everybody uses spell-check now. Seriously.
    I guess everything is going according to planners plan.

  4. republicanmother, you find the very best stuff. How truly enlightening and it makes me so sad to know that almost no one in public school today can pass that test. The test needs resurrection, and retro-active learning.

  5. I've been researching this stuff a lot in the past few years. When I started blogging, it all started rolling out. We need to get our kids away from these people. This school year, we're really going to be focusing on our American history.


Related Posts with Thumbnails