Could You Have Passed the Eighth Grade in 1895?

We modern folks, with our computers, televisions and outer-space satellites love to smugly look back on the good old days as quaint and innocent. However, a trip back in time to an 1895 classroom could wipe that smug grin right off our faces. Turns out, grandma and granddad could have run rings around us in the knowledge department. Of course, they actually had teachers plying students with academic knowledge instead of psychologists intent on messing with our minds.

Thanks to activists Kay Bentley and Henry Lamb’s publication, eco-logic, we have obtained a copy of an original 1895 eighth-grade final exam from Salina, Kansas. How many could you even attempt to answer?


1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.

2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.

3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.

4. What are the Principle Parts of a verb? Give the Principle Parts of do, lie, lay and run.

5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.

6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principle marks of Punctuation.

7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.


1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.

2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?

3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cents per bu., deducting 1050 lbs. For tare?

4. Find cost of 6720 lbs. of coal at $6.00 per ton.

5. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.

6. Write a Bank Check, A Promissory Note, and a Receipt.


1. Given the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.

2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.

3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.

4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.

5. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?

6. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865


1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?

2. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e’. Name two exceptions under each rule.

3. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.

4. Use the following correctly in sentences:

Cite, site, sight

Fane, fain, feign

Vane, vain, vein

Raze, raise, rays

5. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.


1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?

2. Of what use are rivers? Of what use are oceans?

3. Describe the mountains of North America.

4. Name all of the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.

5. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

6. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of the rivers.

7. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.



* Parents in rural western Connecticut are outraged over an explicit school survey that asked students questions about oral and group sex, drug use and contraception.

The 95-question “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” asked public school students – some as young as eleven – about sexual orientation, physical or emotional abuse at home, alcohol consumption, if they were victims of forcible sex, and whether they are infected with HIV or AIDS virus. One question graphically used and defined the words fellatio and cunnilingus.

Students were not told that the test was voluntary nor were parents informed that it was to take place. Parents met with a lawyer and have written the U.S. Department of Education saying the survey violated the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, which requires schools to obtain written parental permission when they use federal money to survey students about certain sensitive issues.

As usual, in cases where the schools get caught committing such outrageous violations of parental rights, school officials “apologized.” Of course they didn’t tear up the survey answers and blot it from the record. They dutifully completed the survey and sent it to the designated department which had mandated it in the first place. The “apology” is standard operating procedure in today’s federally-controlled public school system. It ’s designed to silence critics while getting the mandated results. Nothing changes. Administrators are well trained in handling such anticipated complaints. Parents are to be tolerated while the behavior-modification of their children goes on unabated.


* First there was Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) And Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), now there is “Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD).

According to Dr. Nicholas Putnam of the San Luis Rey Hospital in Encinitas, California, PDD is characterized by an inability to read faces, body language and tonal shifts for emotion and context. You see, Dr. Putnam believes he has found the reason some of us are “cool” and others become “Nerds.”

Nerds, says Dr. Putnam, suffer social problems because of a painful learning disorder – PDD. Ostracized from their peers because of their social awkwardness, nerds suffer repeated rejection that often leads to profound depression and aggressive acts. Ostracized nerds, says Dr. Putnam, brought on the Columbine shootings.

Of course, with his PDD therapy (and possibly a large grant from a medical foundation or government agency) Dr. Putnam is convinced nerds can learn to function socially. Of course, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, public buildings and sports arenas will probably have to provide special nerd seating – especially in the restrooms.


Oxford, Cambridge, Shakespeare, Churchill. Great Britain has always been looked to for refinement, dignity, courage, culture and the highest standards in academic excellence. But one college in jolly old England has just sunk academia to new lows with its issuing of new politically correct guidelines in a new student handbook called “Equal Opportunities: Policy into Practice.”

Stockport College in northwestern England has declared war on what it calls “unacceptable language” and students caught using it could be denied admission or employment at the college.

The offending language: don’t call a female a “lady.” Equally offending are the terms “gentleman,” “history,” “chairman,” “manmade,” “Mrs.,”” “normal couple,” and “postman,” along with thirty two other terms. According to the school, words like “history” and “postman” were sexist while “lady” and “gentlemen” had “unwanted class implications.” “No one can say “queer” and “cripple” except in cases where gay or disabled people have reclaimed them.”


Political Correctness has also shown its ugly head at Texas A&M University in a state that is making every effort to cleans its once proud Confederate heritage. Recently a portrait of a former Texas A&M University president was removed from a campus building named for him because the portrait background included a likeness of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The intolerance of PC dictators has spread like a cancer into all aspects of society. Jokes, language, public symbols, burial grounds, museums, legislation, and private property are all being systematically stripped of language a tiny minority of agitators have deeming “offensive.”

How dare these mindless Nazis attack the noble soul of Robert E. Lee. Were he alive today they would dare not even walk in his presence. How much longer will sane people in the world allow them to destroy our culture?

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.