Congratulations to the Class of 2016!
Did you know that students have only been graduating from Wyoming high school since 1879? High school education was not common until the early 20th century. Cheyenne opened the first secondary school in the state in 1874, followed by Buffalo in 1881 and Newcastle 1889. This meant that either the family had to move to town or the child was sent to board with family and friends. It also meant that graduation from 8th grade was similar to graduating from high school today.
Wyoming’s state constitution did include a compulsory education requirement, but it only that:
…the legislature shall require that every child of sufficient physical and mental ability shall attend a public school during the period between six and eighteen years for a time equivalent to three years, unless educated by other means. (Article VII, Section 9)
In 1907, the Legislature passed an act mandating compulsory education for all students between the ages of six and fourteen years of age equating to 6 months per school session (school year).
By 1916, the number of high schools around the state had grown to 25. Today, there are 141 high schools in Wyoming.
Buried in the Crook County Superintendent of Schools records are copies of questions from the 8th grade examinations given in 1913-1915. These questions give insight not only into the curriculum of the district, but also into the values of the local community, or at least the County Superintendent.
Would you have passed the test? Below are the questions from the test given at 10 schools in Crook County in November 1913.
Physiology and Hygiene
- Name the principal organs of digestion.
- Name the chief parts of the nervous system. State clearly their use in the system.
- Beginning with the right auricle, trace the course of the blood through the circulatory system.
- Discuss the importance of ventilation in the home and in the school.
- Give three uses of the bones. Name the bones of the hand and the arm.
- What are the organs of special sense? How may we increase their usefulness?
- What is hygiene? Give several important rules of hygiene.
- Why is the use of tobacco more harmful to a boy than to a man?
- Give the general effects of alcohol.
- Define the following: lymph, corpuscle, cardiac, vertebra, tendon
- Define agriculture.
- Define humus. Name several kinds of soil.
- What are some of the importaint elements that plants require from the soil? What is meant by the term “texture of the soil”?
- What is irrigation? What do you understand by the term “dry farming”?
- What is soil mulch? How is it obtained?
- What plants are called root crops? Name some plants having tap roots.
- What three conditions are necessary for germination? How should a seed bed for wheat by prepared?
- What is a cutting? What plants are propagated by cuttings?
- What are fiber crops? Cereal crops? Name the most important ones of United States?
- Name the different classes of insect pests.
- Name the three departments of the state. Of what does each consist?
- Who is our governor? Give the length of term, salary and duties.
- Who represents our district in the state legislature? Give the length of the term of office.
- How often does the legislature meet? Give three of its powers.
- When was Wyoming admitted as a state?
- How are the public schools supported? What subjects does the school law require taught in our public schools?
- Name and locate the state buildings.
- Define treason; bribery; alien; citizen; jury
- What is meant by equal suffrage?
- Who is the judge of our district? What are his duties?
- What is geography?
- Describe the motions of the earth.
- Explain the cause of seasons.
- Name the grand divisions in order of their size.
- Compare North America and South America in reference to position; drainage; climate; people.
- What is the leading production of [the] United States? Brazil? Germany? Cape Colony? Australia?
- Where and what are the following: Gibralter? [sic] Popocatapetl? Bombay? Shasta? Afghanistan?
- Bound the United States. Name and locate five of its leading cities.
- Name the states of the United States bordering on the Gulf of Mexico and give their capitals.
- Sketch a map of Wyoming and show the Principal mountains and rivers; a place noted for scenic beauty; locate the capital and two largest cities.
- Give two rules for spelling.
- Define prefix; suffix; affix; antonym; homophone
- Give the use of the hyphen
Detach these and pronounce:
- Reduce to decimal fractions: ½, 1/5, ¼, 7/8, 2/3, 2/5. Find the least common multiple of 3, 5, 8, 15, 24
- Find the sum of 2/3, 2/5, 7/8, 13/15, 5/24. How many feet in a mile?
- A man bought a hat for $3 and sold it for $4. What was his gain in per cent? One of these hats was damages and he sold it for $1.50. What was his loss per cent?
- What do you mean by saying that a fraction in an indicated quotient? Multiply 25 ¾ by 45 2/3
- Write a negotiable promissory note. How many parties to a note? What is each called?
- What sum put at interest January 1, 1909, will amount to $343.75 February 1, 1911, interest at 7%?
- A square field contains 622521 sq. rods. Find the distance around it.
- Find the cost of flooring a bridge 60 feet long and 12 feet wide with boards 2 inches thick, costing $40 per M.?
- Define mixed number, fraction, percentage, insurance, commission.
- Find the interest on $144 from August 1 to December 1. Find the interest on $8100 for 179 das. At 4 ½% interest.
- Name and define the parts of speech.
- What is a sentence? Classify sentences according to use; form.
- Parse the underlined words:The spider’s web is a wonderful piece of work.
- Write a sentence using a personal pronoun, second, singular, as an attribute complement.
- Distinguish between regular and irregular verbs and illustrate.
- Give the principal parts of the verbs: see, sit, lay, lie (to recline)
- Write a sentence using “they” as the subject, object, attribute.
- Write the possessive plural of these words: wolf, donkey, sheep, man, I
- Give three uses of a noun in the nominative case and illustrate.
- Analyze or diagram: As we traveled onward many important places were pointed out to us.
- Describe briefly the life, manners and customs of the inhabitants of North America at the time of discovery.
- Name four explorers of different nationalities; and tell what each of them did.
- Name the thirteen original colonies and tell about the settlement of one.
- Give the direct cause of the Revolution. Name three generals on the American side and give an event in which each was an important actor.
- What was the Constitutional Convention?
- How was slavery introduced into United States and how was it abolished?
- Name four territorial acquisitions of the United States of which Wyoming was a part.
- Name four inventions of the nineteenth century. Which do you think was the most important and why?
- Who were the Hugonots? [sic] Pilgrims? Quakers?
- Name the cabinet offices.