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News Link • American History

Middle School Reading Lists 110 Years Ago vs. Today

• http://www.dcclothesline.com by Annie Holmquist

 It provided instructions on everything from teacher deportment to recommended literature lists for various grades. As a book lover, I was especially interested in the latter!With the exception of a few textbook-like anthologies, the chart below lists the recommended reading material for Minnesota 7th and 8th graders in 1908:

With such a list in hand, I decided to examine if the common accusation that today's education standards have been dumbed down is really true. To make sure I wasn't unfairly weighting this survey in favor of the past, I went to one of the Twin Cities metro area's finest districts, namely, Edina Public Schools. Again, with the exception of a few textbook anthologies, the list below offers the reading options for their 7th and 8th grade students:

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