New Educational Standards

Reacting to Federal Guidelines, the state of Massachusetts, which has
been highlighted as a role model for student testing by the two U.S.
Senators from this State, released the following memo:

In response, the Federal No Child Left BEHIND Act, students will have
to pass it to be promoted to the next grade level. In the hopes that
it will be uniformly adopted by all the states, thus illuminating
Massachusetts to a glorious front runner position in education, it
will be called: the Federal Arithmetic and Reading Test (FART).

All students who cannot pass a FART in the second grade will be
retested in grades 3-5 until such a time as they are capable of
achieving a FART score of 80%. If a student does not successfully FART
by grade 5, that student shall be placed in a separate English
program, the Special Massachusetts Elective for Learning Language (SMELL).

If with this increased SMELL program the student cannot pass the
required FART, he or she can graduate to middle school by taking a
one-semester course in Comprehensive Reading and Arithmetic
Preparation (CRAP).

If by age fourteen the student cannot FART, SMELL or CRAP, he or she
will earn a promotion in an intensive one-week seminar. This is the
Preparatory Reading for Unprepared Nationally Exempted Students

It is the opinion of the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Instruction
that an intensive week of PRUNES will enable any student to FART, SMELL or

U.S. Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry stated that this revised
provision of the student-testing program should help clear the air.



  • 22 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Priceless! My wife's a teacher and I know she'll appreciate a copy of this. Thanks for the contribution. Prunes Indeed!
  • That's great. In Mass, students must pass a test called MCAS in order to be promoted and ultimately graduate and its gotten alot of bad press. One principal has been suspended for telling her students to cheat on the test. My cousin teaches 2nd grade in a public school, she'll love this. I luckily didn't have to deal with this nonsense when I was teaching preschool and I got out before Bush wanted us to push flashcards and reading drills on 3-5 year olds.
  • I doubt Bush knows a flashcard from a reading drill and doubt even more that he pushed either. Apparently those tools were not popular when he was in the system.........x:D
  • Good point Don, and one I brought up when I heard his horrifying ideas on HeadStart reform. Good lord, it was all I could do to teach many of them to hold utensils and not think domestic violence is normal. They got literacy and language development in so many different more age-appropriate ways!

    Sorry, in case you can't tell, this is my soap box...I may work for a corporate giant right now but my heart will always be with HeadStart xhugs .
  • The education of our children. Talk about a soap box issue....
    We have home-schooled our boys for all but one year of their school aged years. This coming year one will be in the 9th grade and the other in the 7th grade. Every year my wife and I are more solidly convinced than ever that we made the right decision.
    Good luck,
  • I wish I could do the same thing. In our school district the teachers are teaching students to pass state assessment tests and have told the students that they do not have to pass the class, just the assessments to step to the next grade. Boy, what an improvement that is, huh?
  • Reading about the horrible mess our schools are in, unfortunately, makes me think about the county I live in which began levying an income tax on every resident starting last year. The proceeds are supposed to go to the county school system.

    Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, being a single, no-kids kinda guy who voted AGAINST the tax because I have no kids in the school system, I STILL had to pay a few hundred bucks toward educating someone else's kids.

    Personally, I think that if you have children who will utilize the school system, you should pay a tax to subsidize their education. If you have no children in the system, you shouldn't have to (heaven knows we already pay WAY too much in taxes now).

    Sorry. I'm off my soap box now.
  • I don't have any kids either, Parabeagle, but I look at it this way: The kids that you don't want to pay to educate will grow up to run the nursing homes that we'll inevitably be hauled off to, the government that will run our lives, and the corporations that make the products we'll consume. Think about it.x:o

    My property taxes are getting close to a thousand bucks a month and I don't bat an eye, because I've worked in public education throughout my entire career and know how much it hurts when it's underfunded. Yes, I resent government waste, but not education. NCLB (No Child Left Behind - or as I like to call it, No School Administrator Left Without a Nervous Breakdown) is a bad joke from a semi-literate man who thought it would be cool to be the Education President. Can I get a witness?
  • "The kids that you don't want to pay to educate will grow up to run...the government that will run our lives..."

    Hmmmm.... was Dubya a product of the public school system (before Yale, of course)? x;-)

    Your point is well taken, Whirlwind. And that very argument has been pointed out to me before and I can understand it intellectually - but it still didn't make it any easier to write the check or make me any less resentful of the whole thing.

  • No, but you can get a question: A THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH??? What kind of house do you live in? I thought I lived in a tax hell, but my house would have to be worth three quarters of a million to pay a thousand a month in real estate taxes.

    I usually don't begrudge the school system their money either, and that's in spite of the fact that my kids went to parochial schools and I paid tuition in addition to taxes for the public schools.
  • I live in a 1850 sq.ft., 3-BR, 2.5 BA house. I think it's valued at about $350,000 for tax purposes, which is way too much for the size of course, but you know what they say about real estate -- location, location, location. When I write my house payment check each month, I console myself with all I save on transportation expenses by living 5 blocks from work. Since the tax payment is in there with the principal/interest/insurance payment, I don't have the exact figure on the tax part but it's right around $900. I'm sure that will round out to $1000 within the next year or so. On the other hand, no state income tax here.
  • Well, OK, we have all three; real estate tax, income tax, and sales tax. : (
  • Whirlwind - is that $900 per month or year? Your original post said $1,000 per month. My home in a suburb of Nashville is valued around $300,000 and my taxes are 1,385 per year and I thought that was bad.
  • I double-checked when I got home from work today and the portion of my MONTHLY housepayment attributable to real estate taxes is $775, so that's $9300 per year. Not quite as bad as what I thought I remembered x:-8, but way closer to $900 per month than per year.
  • I've been beaten to it, but your argument borders on assinine. I live in a retirement community and every once in a while someone presents that arguement and my response is, don't pay any taxes, (non)contribute to shoody schools and then you'll be mugged, murdered and raped by the products of the school systems.

    I am very lucky that I do not need to worry about home schooling. My son goes to a public school that is incredible. Principal, teachers, parents and kids have one common goal. To learn. I had to camp out all night in the freezing cold to get him in there. All the parents had to. If your going to camp out all night to get them in the school, the chances you'll be involved are pretty good.
  • First of all, perhaps I didn't make myself clear. As I said, I can intellectually appreciate the argument, it's just that emotionally it irritates me no end. I should point out that it's not as if everyone forks over a few hundred dollars per year and that's all the money that goes to the schools. We are ALREADY paying an arm and a leg for schools in addition to the county tax I mentioned earlier. It's not that I pay taxes for schools that bothers me. It's that I had to pay an ADDITIONAL tax for the same thing because Multnomah Co. can't figure out how to adequately manage the tax revenues they're already getting.
  • My son just finished the 4th grade and had to take the state test called WASL. I'm torn between whether I like it or not. I like the get back to basics approach of the testing. Remember when you were in school and you had to write endless papers that included an introductory paragraph, three supporting paragraphs and then a conclusion? That's what the English section of the WASL tested on. I like the fact that my son had to go through that process & I like the fact that his teacher had to teach it to him & she had a stake in whether or not he learned it & learned it well. However, one Wednesday a month for about 3 months was completely devoted to preparing for the test. There's something wrong with that.
  • Ahh, the logic of it all. Since I don't have kids in the system any longer, I should be exempted from paying that portion of my taxes which supports the system? As if I no longer have any stake in what the system produces? When my kids graduated, the educational system in my community no longer has value to me? Because I don't have children there, I don't care about the system, what it produces or how it might be improved? That's the same logic the non-driver might use in saying they should not be taxed to pay for the highway system and traffic lights and highway patrolmen.

    I'm not on welfare either, but I certainly pay taxes to support those who are. I don't listen to NPR but my taxes pay for it. The public education system in this country will spell either our success, or our ultimate doom.
  • Don,
    I was sure that you were a "Car Talk" fan on NPR or maybe even "What Do You Know", or yet "Lake Woe Be-Gone.
  • Wow - if someone decides thats how taxes work I'm all set - I have no kids, I don't drive, don't own property and I (thankfully) have no need for public assistance. I'd be able to afford WAY more shoes. But I'd much rather not have a generation of idiots deciding my fate when I'm old.
  • If you're unlucky enough to develop diabetes and have both feet amputated, you won't need shoes. Think of the savings! And perhaps you can go on SSI and some state welfare programs and coast. No kids, no car, no owned residence, no shoes. Ahh, government at its best. x:-)
  • Stop it, Don...I'm daydreaming of the good life again! No feet, no shoes? But I've got a very slender friend who still wears a, um, oh, never mind! :oo
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