Seeing high-school student Rachel Jeantel — who can’t read cursive or speak proper English but boasts a B average — testify at the recent George Zimmerman trial certainly could make one wonder what passes for education in 2013 America. And now this question has been brought into even sharper focus by the publication of a 1912 Bullitt County, Kentucky, test required for eighth-grade graduation — a test that most of today’s college graduates couldn’t pass.
The exam, published at Lew Rockwell, asks questions such as “Adjectives have how many Degrees of Comparison?” “Through what waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?” “Define Cerebrum; Cerebellum” and “Name three rights given Congress by the Constitution and two rights denied Congress.” And such apparent academic rigor has prompted many to ask, as a Daily Mail headline on the topic puts it, “Were children smarter a century ago? Test for eighth graders in Kentucky dated 1912 ignites debate over kids' intelligence today.”
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