Monday, March 10, 2008

The Answers, Please

By Mitchell

Last week we offered a sixth-grade test that had appeared on a 1963 episode of I've Got a Secret, and we invited you to take a stab at the ten questions. Did you take the challenge? For those of you who did, here are the answers:

  1. JFK was the 35the President of the United States.
  2. The first permanent English settlement in this country was in Jamestown, VA.
  3. The largest city in Africa as of 1963 was Cairo, Egypt.
  4. There are 100 halves in 50. Add three and you come up with 103.
  5. The three parts of an atom, in no particular order, are Electron,
  6. Proton, and
  7. Neutron.
  8. The lowest geographical point on Eart is the Dead Sea.
  9. The Roman numeral MDCIX is 1609.
  10. That odd-shaped diagram is called a trapezoid.

So how did you do? I'll tell you, you'd have to go some to top Hadleyblogger Bobby, who scored 9 out of 10. The top scorer on the I've Got a Secret panel was Bill Cullen, who got 8 of 10.

We are, of course, forced to ask why it seems that the tests back then were tougher than they are today. There are many who link the collapse of public education to the rise in power of the teachers' unions, and, frankly, it's difficult to disagree with this. Some have suggested that the education establishment has done more damage in this country than terrorism. I will mention, on a personal note, that from my 20 years in political life I have not one good thing to say on behalf of teachers unions. Not one.

Now, this isn't meant as an indictment of individual teachers, many of whom are asked to perform above and beyond the call by a system that cares more about putting forward a liberal political agenda than teaching basics to children. However, if I had a child of school age I'd do just about anything humanly possible to keep that child out of public school - homeschooling, if I could. But one of the ultimate tragedies of American society is the total destruction of our education system by an invidious ideological monster, and if there is any justice in the hereafter, as I belive there is, there will be a special place in hell for those who have done so much to distort and misshape helpless young minds for their own craven purposes.

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