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Were children smarter a century ago?
The Daily Mail ^ | 7-31-13

Posted on 07/31/2013 5:25:21 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic

Test for eighth graders in Kentucky dated 1912 ignites debate over kids' intelligence today

A general examination to test eighth grade students in Kentucky's Bullitt County school system in 1912 has stumped some adults and ignited a debate over the intelligence of children today.

The arithmetic, geography, civil government, physiology, grammar and history questions range from 'What is a personal pronoun?' to 'Who first discovered Lawrence River?' and 'Define Cerebrum'.

Posted on Lew Rockwell, the type-written test has promoted some adults to try and answer the questions, and caused some parents to critique the U.S. school system.

'I performed poorly,' wrote Jezebel's Laura Beck. 'But to be fair/excuse my stupidity, some of the answers, especially history, are very different now that we know more of the truth.'

Some questions are specific to Bullitt County, such as 'name five county officers in your region,' while other aspects of the test are antique.

But many parents argue that the children in 1912 who took such tests were no smarter than the children of today.

One commenter noted: 'Most of these questions are memorization-based. They prompt memorized answers with specific words that would have been used in classes back then.

'There are very little critical thinking questions or any other questions that require more than rote memorization to complete.'

Another woman, under the name of Leah Jaclyn, agreed, writing: 'Often people who think our kids are dumb fail to realise that rote memorisation is a skill that is not often required anymore.'

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; History
KEYWORDS: education; kentucky; lewrockwell; randsconcerntrolls; school; standards
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Could you pass this test? A general examination to test eighth grade students in Kentucky's Bullitt County school system in 1912 has stumped some adults and ignited a debate over the intelligence of children today

1 posted on 07/31/2013 5:25:21 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

More parts of the test at the source. Also, more excuses from today’s educators.


2 posted on 07/31/2013 5:27:21 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I wouldn’t have passed the spelling test, especially with words like “eneeavor.”


3 posted on 07/31/2013 5:29:01 AM PDT by Jess Kitting
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Today’s educators denounce “rote memorization” as a skill.

It’s a required basis for the rest of learning. It’s part of the “grammar” stage of learning, on which being able to think logically and discuss logically.

Of course, those last two stages would be detrimental to the communist movement, so knock the foundations out before anyone gets started on that “logic” nonsense.


4 posted on 07/31/2013 5:29:58 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: MrB
True. You can't do 'critical thinking' without facts that had to be rote memorized.

/johnny

5 posted on 07/31/2013 5:31:26 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Dummies for Democrats


6 posted on 07/31/2013 5:33:13 AM PDT by stars & stripes forever
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I had to look up “kalsomining”.


7 posted on 07/31/2013 5:35:33 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia (Truth/Lies; Liberty/Tyranny--WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE??)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Wrong question.

“Are schools much, much worse than a century ago?”


8 posted on 07/31/2013 5:35:56 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Were children smarter? Unlikely. However, those who reached 8th grade had been taught what they needed to pass this test over the prior 8 years. If they didn’t pass - and it would be interesting to see the pass rate - they were done with formal schooling and went to work.


9 posted on 07/31/2013 5:37:14 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Ask me about the Weiner Wager. Support Free Republic!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Were children smarter a century ago?

No. They just weren’t as dumb—which has to do with the information they are given to work with.


10 posted on 07/31/2013 5:39:03 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: Future Snake Eater

Bump.

Dear Lord, please guide our course.
Tatt


11 posted on 07/31/2013 5:46:29 AM PDT by thesearethetimes... ("Courage, is fear that has said its prayers." Dorothy Bernard)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

A century ago, children were taught the moral and critical thinking skills they needed for life. Now, they are taught there is no moral authority and to think what the group is told to think, that is facts by consensus.


12 posted on 07/31/2013 5:47:12 AM PDT by Ingtar (The NSA - "We're the only part of government who actually listens to the people.")
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Just watch Jay Leno’s Jaywalking routine for proof of the moron eruption in an “enlightened” stronghold like LA.


13 posted on 07/31/2013 5:50:13 AM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us about 0bama's America)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Rote memorization? I challenge the person making that statement to answer the math questions with partial fractions.

Sure, it’s not the way these things are taught now, but, it can be done and the question was designed that way.


14 posted on 07/31/2013 5:51:24 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: MrB

Rote memorization...of your own name, birthday, address and phone number. No, we can’t have that.


15 posted on 07/31/2013 5:51:54 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
'Often people who think our kids are dumb fail to realise that rote memorisation is a skill that is not often required anymore.'

Disgusting.

I used to have my multiplication tables (through 12) memorized to the point that a teacher could stop the class, propose a multiplication problem, and I wouldn't need to write or think. It was automatic.

Same went for spelling tests and vocabulary.

Rote memorization was the cornerstone of my upbringing and my education, and it's still the cornerstone of education in countries like India and China where they are kicking our collective scholastic asses across the globe.

This country is lost.

16 posted on 07/31/2013 5:52:33 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: MrB

There is a base of facts. Understanding, “what is a fact, what is not” is the core of what should be taught if one is teaching critical thinking.

That’s NOT what this teacher is talking about. To her - ‘critical thinking’ amounts to moral relativism, being taught to challenge the morals of their parents, church, etc. (but never to challenge the teacher or society that their ideas might be wrong). It is exactly as posted before that principles are stripped away to be replaced with questioning.


17 posted on 07/31/2013 5:54:42 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: JCBreckenridge

Too many people understanding “what is fact and what is not” would be highly detrimental to the leftist cause.


18 posted on 07/31/2013 5:56:50 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: rarestia

My kids had a 4th grade teacher in CA (in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s) who used to teach the times tables by memory. BUT the parents of the kids in her classes were sworn to secrecy about the practice because she swore that she would be fired if the administration found out what she was doing.

She was about 5 years from retirement.


19 posted on 07/31/2013 5:57:16 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: MrB

Hence why I teach it to my students in my second class of the term. :)


20 posted on 07/31/2013 6:01:38 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: rarestia

Have you ever seen a parent in a store on one knee lecturing his/her 2 year old about “why it’s not okay to pillage the aisles”? The attempt to reason with the unreasoning, where basic cognitive functions aren’t in place yet reeks of overreach and a failure to understand what the mind is/is not capable of performing at the different stages of development. It’s the same idea with education. Somehow libs got it in their heads that children 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, are reasoning creatures and need to be “taught” using more advanced methods to address their “innate higher learning abilities.”

Truth is, education today fails to lay the proper foundation for learning and, thus, doom their young charges to a lifetime of either a) head scratching or b) smugness about why things they don’t know/can’t do are unimportant.


21 posted on 07/31/2013 6:02:12 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: afraidfortherepublic

To answer the question simply, no I dont think children were smarter a century ago. They just knew more.


22 posted on 07/31/2013 6:04:38 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: MarDav

My 11 year old cousin was “reasoned with” by my aunt from a very young age.

He’s the most petulant, rude, disrespectful, ignorant little shit I’ve ever met, and my aunt wonders where she went wrong.


23 posted on 07/31/2013 6:06:19 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

They were certainly better educated, no question.

But, then, hey, we have to bolster the self-esteem of our young morons as they destroy society all around us.


24 posted on 07/31/2013 6:12:15 AM PDT by Jack Hammer (American)
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To: Tax-chick

Intelligence is not the difference. Discipline is the difference. Teachers weren’t paid to babysit and propagandize back then; they were paid to teach.


25 posted on 07/31/2013 6:12:52 AM PDT by antidisestablishment (Mahound delenda est)
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To: Jack Hammer

They were also better disciplined. They didn’t dare back talk the teacher.


26 posted on 07/31/2013 6:13:20 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

27 posted on 07/31/2013 6:23:37 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Oh no, students are sooo much better at critical thinking these days.

View it and weep (or laugh):

Students Sign Petition to Legalize "4th Trimester" Abortions

In honor of the Kermit Gosnell / Wendy Davis wing of the Democrat Party, the Media Research Center’s Dan Joseph went to one of those bastions of Obama’s low-information voters, the college campus, to ask students to sign a petition legalizing "4th trimester" abortions. Sadly, the results are predictable.

28 posted on 07/31/2013 6:25:08 AM PDT by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
The spelling I would not have passed but the Arithmetic is basic word problems that are not that difficult.

The main issue would be understanding how many feet in a yard or mile and how much a cord was but I would have known how to get the answers to all of these by the time I finished sixth grade.

29 posted on 07/31/2013 6:30:46 AM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: MarDav
I teach 8th grade math, and no, most of my students could not perform all of the math required from this exam, even if some of the vocabulary in the math problems were updated/simplified.

However, it doesn't mean the kids are dumber... these questions do not reflect the standards required of 8th grade students. I'm sure the 8th graders from that day would struggle with some of the concepts that are taught today.

Students can't learn what they aren't taught.

I start every class with a short "math fact" drill. I think it's important that students can perform basic operations with simple numbers quickly and accurately. I also teach using calculators... but as a convenience, not as an crutch. We don't use calculators when we couldn't do the same problem without one.

I know some teachers believe a calculator should never be used. I'm not one of them; we live in a world where technology is widely available, and students need to use it responsibly.

30 posted on 07/31/2013 6:33:10 AM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: afraidfortherepublic

‘But to be fair/excuse my stupidity, some of the answers, especially history, are very different now that we know more of the truth.’
Does that mean that now history has been changed to reflect the truth as the teachers see fit?


31 posted on 07/31/2013 7:00:27 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: rarestia

Not having to memorize times tables/ core curriculum:
For the moment, we’ll look at the third factor, because of the other seemingly endless debate (in addition to calculators): times tables memorization. We’re going to try to end this silly debate once and for all (ha!). There is sufficient rationale for knowing one’s times tables: even at the highest levels of mathematics, there comes a time that two numbers must be multiplied. But beyond its obvious utility, there is greater depth to the times tables than just memorization. There are important patterns inherent in the times tables that can lead to a deeper understanding of the nature of numbers and ultimately, lead to more profound problem solving and abstract abilities. The times tables can play a central role in fostering some fairly advanced mathematical thinking, even in elementary school —Once again, there are problems with the Common Core starting at the very beginning of its treatment of a topic: how it introduces the concept. CCSSI begins a piecemeal approach to multiplication in 2.OA.4:

“Use addition to find the total number of objects arranged in rectangular arrays with up to 5 rows and up to 5 columns; write an equation to express the total as a sum of equal addends.”

Without saying as much, this is repeated addition. Certainly that’s how one begins, but then what? Following CCSSI, students will spend an entire summer after second grade thinking that 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 20, and so what? It is both ridiculous and demeaning to leave students hanging with repeated addition as the way to total an array.

Instead, finding the total number of objects in an array by repeated addition should culminate in an introduction to multiplication as a shorthand notation. There’s no rhyme or reason for separating these two concepts.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/a-critical-analysis-of-common-core-math-standards/2012/09/18/1584fd0c-f6b4-11e1-8253-3f495ae70650_blog.html


32 posted on 07/31/2013 7:07:11 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604

Yes. That really raised my hackles!

I have to say that I could have answered more of these questions when I was IN the 8th grade (or the 10th grade) than I could now. I can no longer diagram a sentence, for instance, but I was prtty good at it back then.

But, I think this test is a good example of why my late father in law (an orphan) could leave school after 8th grade and become an engineer with G.E. with 17 patents to his name after only a few night school classes.

Also, I dare to surmise that he did not have his time wasted during the school day with “diversity studies”, “sec ed”, PE, etc. And those kids who did not keep up were passed over and dropped out. A college education was not required for most jobs in those days, so high school was more rigorous.


33 posted on 07/31/2013 7:09:37 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Tax-chick
If they didn’t pass - and it would be interesting to see the pass rate - they were done with formal schooling and went to work.

And even if they did pass, many were done with formal schooling and went to work on their family farms or in their family businesses. And were better educated than many college grads today.

34 posted on 07/31/2013 7:11:31 AM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely expressed as advice)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

http://www.mcguffeyreaders.com/


35 posted on 07/31/2013 7:12:47 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I used to teach adult ed at a community college; helping prepare students for SAT and GED classes. I was shocked at some of the people that had rec’d a HS degree and could hardly read or add.


36 posted on 07/31/2013 7:13:51 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: afraidfortherepublic
But, I think this test is a good example of why my late father in law (an orphan) could leave school after 8th grade and become an engineer with G.E. with 17 patents to his name after only a few night school classes.

Excellent example. Good for him.

37 posted on 07/31/2013 7:14:34 AM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely expressed as advice)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Obviously I did not learn to type properly. This danged keyboard causes these errors. (Does that sound like Obama?)

sec=sex; prtty=pretty;


38 posted on 07/31/2013 7:14:46 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: TontoKowalski

I, too, teach (HS English) and am always “amused” by what it is that students don’t know (basic facts, basic operations, basic learning components) and then, by what they are asked to do at the secondary level (write research papers, solve complex word problems, evaluate implications in the sciences, etc.) Having not been hard-wired with the basics (through techniques such as rote-learning of multiplication tables, for instance), students are often over-matched in the secondary classroom. Their brains have not acquired the kind of functionality that these early steps of learning provide, thus rendering higher-level critical thinking skills out of reach (in many cases).

The use of technology should serve as a quick route to helping to solve complex math problems—after the basics (adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing) have been mastered. To do otherwise, is to eliminate a necessary step toward higher-level thinking. Same is true of the idea of spell-check in word processing programs.


39 posted on 07/31/2013 7:21:37 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: Liberty Valance

Thank you for that link!


40 posted on 07/31/2013 7:22:35 AM PDT by Nea Wood (When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.)
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To: Rusty0604

And people wonder why Indians and Asians, in general, constitute the majority of computer programs both domestically and abroad.

For the record, I learned numbers on an abacus.


41 posted on 07/31/2013 7:36:10 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Rusty0604

I returned to college to finish a biz degree after a 40 year absence, and I could not believe some of the people in my class who also could not read, or add. We all received the same “degree” at the end of the line, however. I got a special award for having the highest grade point in the class, but I did not qualilfy for “summa” or “magna” because most of my credits came from UC Berkeley so they didn’t count! LOL.

We had to do a lot of team projects, a very popular type of assignment these days. I think this is supposed to teach work place cooperation. To me it is just a device where the weaker members of the team ride on the coat tails of the stronger members. I always volunteered to prepare the final paper because that was the only way I could be confident that the paper would be formatted, footnoted, and prepared according to the prof’s specifications. No point in losing credit for margins that are the wrong width! Use a ruler, FGS.

One day I was typing up a paper for my group, and the work from one of my team members sounded awfully familiar. I looked up the topic in my text book and found that she had COPIED the entire first chapter! I called her up and pointed out that she was plagiarizing the author’s work. She said, “No, it’s a ‘block quote’.” I pointed out that block quotes could be 2 or 3 lines, not a whole chapter — that she had to turn it around and put it in her own words. She just said, “Do whatever you want” with it.

I re-wrote her whole section, and we got an A.

BTW, her uncle had formerly been Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools and was an adjunct prof at Marquette U at the time. Oh, and her promise to help me with my statistics course in exchange? All a fake. The course where I saved her (and myself) from a plagiarism charge was her last. She graduated, never to be seen again.

She was attending this private college on a full scholarship and even got extra money for a typist because she was suffering from “carpel tunnel syndrome”. Did I mention that she was one of “Holder’s people”?


42 posted on 07/31/2013 7:45:00 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Veto!

Good point.


43 posted on 07/31/2013 7:49:20 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Ask me about the Weiner Wager. Support Free Republic!)
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To: Liberty Valance

Spencerian Handwriting for Rachel Jeantel

44 posted on 07/31/2013 7:50:01 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Liberty Valance

Those Sower biographies look really interesting.


45 posted on 07/31/2013 8:07:34 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

WE had a group project in a college class. I was outnumbered by some morons, especially one guy that thought that all he had to do in this world to succeed was throw around fifty dollar words and he became the leader of the group. Ironically the project was to explain some technology and we were taught to always write at 8th to 10th grade level.
I had a high grade point average, so when the professor called me into her office to tell me that our project had earned a D (said she couldn’t even understand what the paper was talking about), I just laughed, told her that since the project wouldn’t affect my grade that much I just let those people make fools of themselves, and told her that in the real world I would have just fired them. She changed my grade.


46 posted on 07/31/2013 8:08:06 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604

Unfortunately, and my University, they believed so strongly in the group project that all members of the group received the same grade, no matter what. I resented that, but I just had to go along.

I found that all of the smarter students resented that form of grading. Our defense was to try to manipulate the system so that we could get assigned with the other smarter students. It didn’t always work. Some of the teachers would assign groups according to where you sat in class, some would allow the groups to “self form”, some would make assignments alphabetically.


47 posted on 07/31/2013 8:14:50 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: MrB

As recently as 45 years ago a small, Christian based, liberal arts college in Florida had an education program based on subject material expertise. If you were going to teach, lets say history, your major was history and you minored in education.

A decade later the priorities were changed - you majored in education and minored, if at all, in the subject you were going to teach.

The fallacy behind this theory was brought home in the mid-1990s when my children were in middle school and high school. I got into a minor contest with one of the teachers who claimed, because she had a degree in education, she could teach anything. Things got ugly when I asked her to teach me thermal dynamics inside a breeder reactor. It wasn’t much better when I asked to be taught Mandarin Chinese.

When she tried to hide behind I didn’t know what it meant to be a teacher I showed her my Florida State Teacher’s License to teach high school history.

Bottom - line: We, the tax payers, have bought into a false theory of education supported by college professors that have no outside, of the classroom, experience. And the ones that are paying for this worship of the false god “PhD” are our children.


48 posted on 07/31/2013 8:15:16 AM PDT by Nip (BOHEICA and TANSTAAFL - both seem very appropriate today.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

So, wow, that happens at college, too? In secondary school, group activities are almost required - and making sure you have the correct mix of low/middle/high achievers in each group. In this way, it is thought, the low-enders will be brought along by the high-achievers.

What a sham! The result is to slow the on-grade-level students down to the level of the languishing ones—the dumbing down of education. And you say this happens at college, too...hmmmmm....


49 posted on 07/31/2013 8:22:32 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Me and two other people made an A on a finance test and were ostracized by the rest of the class for messing the grading curve for them as they collectively decided that if everyone failed (to learn anything)they could still pass.


50 posted on 07/31/2013 8:30:49 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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