Not a very comprehensive Snopes article. It doesn’t explain how the fake originally arose, which makes me wonder if it is true after all. In any case, the dumbing down of education has been quantified. Test scores have been in decline, which is usually attributed to a greater “democratization” of the tests. But the absolute number of people scoring over a 600 on the verbal SAT declined by 64% in the 1970’s and 1980’s. See for example, “The Schools We Need, and Why We Don’t Have Them” by E.D. Hirsch.
Exactly. I looked through that Snopes article and didn’t see anything that explained WHY it was false. Sounds like the leftist who wrote it just doesn’t like the fact that it might be the case.
I still have proof education has fallen; I read Rime of the Ancient Mariner in my Senior AP English class in high school. My brother found a 1890’s literature textbook with the same poem; it was for the 5th grade!
Actually, Snopes doesn't declare that the test is false. The ONLY thing Snopes attempts to proclaim as false is the idea that the test demonstrates that children were better educated a century ago.
>>>Not a very comprehensive Snopes article. It doesnt explain how the fake originally arose, which makes me wonder if it is true after all. In any case, the dumbing down of education has been quantified. Test scores have been in decline, which is usually attributed to a greater democratization of the tests. But the absolute number of people scoring over a 600 on the verbal SAT declined by 64% in the 1970s and 1980s. See for example, The Schools We Need, and Why We Dont Have Them by E.D. Hirsch.<<<
Nice to see someone else familiar with the ideas contained in the background knowledge approach to education. That’s how I operate my classes - an emphasis on the classics, practice, hard work, and excellence. You get your self-esteem from productive effort.
Since I’m writing tests all the time, I can see how this fake arose. The Kansas test is almost a satire of the “hard-ass” test, with its focus on tiny, almost useless facts, while ignoring questions that would demonstrate real understanding and knowledge. Then there are the bizarre little twists which make my sh*t detector go off - why is the question about punctuation, in fact, have the improper punctuation? The same problem with grammar applies to the question about the parts of a verb. The history section asks for the importance of certain years without mention of 1776 or 1787 - or, for that matter, 1812. And what’s this about an entire district having a valuation of $35,000? That’s a mighty poor chunk of property, even for 1895. And Hecla is a Wyoming ghost town which lasted for a speck of time without any real settlement - what the hell value would that place have for anyone, let alone a student memorizing it in 1895 Kansas?
Perhaps it is because I have often made fun of the sorry state of American schools myself that I can see what looks to me like satire. The satire seeks to demonstrate the pathetic education many students receive in American schools, and actually does a pretty good job of it. There are many reasons for that state of affairs, but tests like this one aren’t the reason.
Snopes does not say that test is a fake.
Snopes merely says the information required in the test is not similar to the information tested in this era.
The “relevence” issue is what percentage of the students in 1895 would ace our tests. I’d bet most, if not all of them would.