Kristan T. Harris | The Rundown Live

In Kentucky, an 8th grade exam from 1912 was donated to the Bullitt County history museum. The questions feature the fundamental foundation of education that we seem to have lost due to the dumbing down of the American education system.

Now with the “Common Core” epidemic we can see our youth transformed by a cookie cut education and a near total loss of critical and independent thinking.

If you can not read the fine print or zoom in here are some examples of 8th grade level testing in 1912.

Define the following terms of government: Democracy, Limited Monarchy, Absolute Monarchy, Republic. Give Examples of Each.

To what four governments are students in school subjected?

Name 5 county officers and the principal duties of each.

Give 3 duties of the president. What is meant by VETO power?

Give at least 5 rules to be observed in maintaining good health?

Define Cerebrum; Cerebellum

Name the organs of circulation.

How many parts of speech are there? Define each.


1912 School Exam

Stumped? Here are some probable answers.

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  • K F Swartz

    OK-which of these questions has relevance to living our lives? It could be looked at as a memory test, then the subject matter immediately forgotten (except for what is actually useful). Like many of the tests I had to suffer through growing up.

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  • dredzo

    Interesting, but Turkey was not a country in 1912. It was the Ottoman Empire, and was not the Republic of Turkey until 1923

  • Ashley Worrell

    Not necessarily dumbed down, just different areas of study. This test shows the importance of government at the time (immense) since the country was in the middle of a complete economical and cultural turnaround. At this point in time, we’re trying to broaden the areas of study to all students, instead of merely focusing on the basics of each subject and including currently unimportant facts about our local government. Modern classes are also much more complex and cover a wide range of subjects that would have never ever been taught in schools in 1912, such as psychology (which really didn’t even exist back then), creative writing, anatomy and physiology, and many other classes that are now available to anyone who wants to take them. And let’s not talk about the literacy rates of then vs. now, or the amount of college graduates of BOTH sexes and all races. To simply say education has been “dumbed down” is frankly idiotic. Circumstances have changed, ideologies have broadened, and the importance of some subjects have increased or decreased. I’d also like to point out how the article says individualism has decreased since 1912 — which is completely inaccurate.