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Can You Pass An Eighth Grade Arithmetic Test from 1908?

Last week saw the release of the 2015 Nation's Report Card scores in reading and math. When it comes to math, Americans were appalled to learn that only 25% of high school seniors are proficient in the subject.

Unfortunately, things aren't all that much better for students in 8th grade. In 2015, only 33% of 8th graders scored proficient in math after answering questions like the ones below:


These questions are interesting, especially in light of the arithmetic exam 8th grade students took a century ago. The quiz below is taken from a 1908 examination booklet prepared by the Minnesota State High School Board. Students were expected to pass this exam - without a calculator, mind you - before being admitted to high school.

If today's students were required to take the 1908 examination, do you think math proficiency would be even lower than 33%? Is it time to raise the bar on rigor in modern education?

Image Credit: The Martin Homepage

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