This is Shocking Proof of the Dumbing Down of America

In our continuing effort to focus attention on the atrocious state of our public education system, a very pointed article appeared in the Examiner. You can find the complete article here, A 1912 Eighth Grade Final Examine . We have attached some of the exam in the article for you to appreciate.

We really haven’t seen anything like this to so eloquently make the point of what we have come to accept as OK when it comes to the education of our children. Yes, we have pointed out a number of problems and we have linked to a number of studies, but nothing can make the point as clear as this examine.

The 1912 eighth grade exam was in the form of a scroll and thought to contain several typos. It turns out the spellings were correct 100 years ago. The test was administered in the county courthouse in rural Kentucky. This was the place where students would have taken tests like this one in 1912. One room schoolhouses were scattered around the county and eighth graders would meet at the courthouse a couple of times per year to be tested.  The Bullitt County Museum is located in Shepherdsville, Ky.

Ready to take a sampling of the test?


1. Spell out these numbers: .00003, .5764, 43.37

2. Solve: 35.7, plus 4

3. Solve: At $1.62 1/2 a cord, what will be the cost of a pile of wood 24 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 6 feet 3 inches high?


1. What is a personal noun?

2. Define common noun, proper noun.

3. Adjectives have how many degrees of comparison? Compare good; wise; beautiful.


1. Locate Erie Canal; what waters does it connect, and why it is important.

2. Locate the following countries which border each other: Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania.

3. Locate these cities: Mobile, Quebec, Buenos Aires, Liverpool, Honolulu.


1. How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body? Where is it located? What does it secrete?

2. Define Cerebrum and Cerebellum.

3. Where is the chief nervous center of the body?

Civil Government

1. Name and define the three branches of government in the United States.

2. Give three duties of the President. What is meant by the veto power?

3. Name three rights given Congress by the Constitution and two rights denied Congress.


1. Who first discover the following places: Florida, Pacific Ocean, Mississippi River, St. Lawrence River?

2. Describe the battle of Quebec.

3. Name two Presidents who have died in office: three who were assassinated.


We are sadly laughing with you as you read this. It is remarkable isn’t it; how far we have fallen? The education of our children is no laughing matter. Our future and more importantly their future will be shaped by their level of education. So when we hear what the political debates are about on TV, let’s consider again what WE want them to be about. Education seems to us to be much more important that the jibberish and inane BS we are listening to on a daily basis. Say, we have got an idea! Let’s make it a requirement that anyone running for office must pass the 1912 eighth grade exam from Shepherdsville, Kentucky! Surely Senator Mc CONnell would have to agree to that!