Editor's Column

"Get ready for federal school testingOur school children will soon be submitted to testing by the federal government, where the House, Senate and President Bush have all agreed that a federal role is necessary in the classroom so our youth will not be left behind by the Ukrainians, Taiwanese, French and others whose economies we all envy.Nobody asked our youth about this, of course. They already take the Iowa Test of Basic Achievement (ITBA) each year, which is simple prep work for the big Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). Our youth probably figure they're being tested enough, especially when you include all the regular classroom tests they face. But there's no stopping the federal government, which is hard at work devising questions for the new Federal Assessment of Intellectual Learning (FAIL).The FAIL test isn't finished, but we've stumbled across a few of the questions our students can expect in their first federal testing experience for math, English and history.Congress came up with this complex word question in math:If you spent the last two or six years raising money instead of serving the people and have amassed $10 gazillion for your campaign, and your opponent who stupidly shuns PAC money has only $125.50 donated by his mother, how much more money will you need to assure victory in November?A. Another $10 gazillion.B. Probably a hundred gazillion.C. No money at all, if only you had a voting record to be proud of.The federal English test will likely include this assignment from President Bush:Considering much of the world's people live in miserableness due to moral turpitudity, write an essay describing how we as Americans can protect ourselves from their wrathfulness with a missile defense shield that will cost a billion gazillion dollars but probably won't work?Democrats in Congress contributed the history questions that our students will likely face on the federal test.Describe how President Al Gore, duly elected by the American people, came to be teaching journalism at Columbia University while that interloper George W. Bush is having all the fun expanding the role of government by supporting federal tests in local classrooms, which is exactly what President Gore would do if he were on the oval office where he should be, and in any case what difference does it make who wins?Once our students are submitted to these and other questions in the FAIR test, we can expect the dropout rate to soar which will require another massive new federal program to try to figure out why. "

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