In response to recent conjecture as to the future of the No Child Left Behind legislation, the following is presented to further illustrate the benefits of government involvement in educational programs.
No Circular Library Books
Dateline, Washington DC, January 20, 2001: With great fanfare today, the President announced his new educational program, No Circular Library Books, designed to prove once and for all, that the federal government could, and would, play a role in our children’s educational process, whether we liked it or not.
To a packed press conference room, George W. Bush enthusiastically outlined his broad new approach to applying his knowledge and expertise in the arena of education. He began by announcing boldly, “I have decided that circular books have no place in our liberry system. They lead students on a path of confusion and conipulation.”
“Sir?” The hand was almost timid.
“Yes? My esteemdest colleague from the Washington Post?”
“If you please, that last word you just spoke? What was that word again?”
“Uh, the previous sentence, Sir?” An aide standing beside W, stepped close and whispered in his ear.
“Conipulation, you know, kind of like being in the dark. A lot of our school teachers are seriously conipulated, so we got to get rid of these circular books.”
“Back in the back, could you speak up?”
“What is a circular book?”
The President exhibited extreme patience. “Of course, you would ask that. Circular books are hard to read, cause you don’t know where they begin, and you don’t know where they finish. You get all tangled up, and when you try to get entangled, you get the hook caught on your sleeve. They’re just plain hard to read.”
“So you want to get rid of them?”
“Sure do. Wouldn’t you, if you were President?”
“I guess so. How are you going to go about the process?”
“I thought you’d never ask. We are going to send out clear announcements, that all circular books are to be removed from school liberry shelves, beginning in January, 2002, and continuing rhythmatically until no more circular books remain, no matter when that doesn’t take place.”
“Are you saying there is no timeline on this legislation?”
“Of course. By 2014 we will have removed all circular books from the shelves.”
“What assessment tool will you use to determine the effectiveness of your program?”
“Huh?” The aide leaned forward again, and whispered in the President’s ear. “Oh, yeah, I knew that. We’re going to count all of the circular books which still remain on the shelves and make a determination at that point. The goal is to be at 100% by the year 2014.”
“100% of what?”
“Of circular books. What the hell have we been talking about? There’s a lot of disgusting going on about the federal goverment not knowin’ what it’s talking about, but I’m here to stand here and tell you that it does.”
“Does what, Sir?”
“Any doggone thing we want, that’s what we does. And no one’s not going to tell me different. I been wrong before but I’ve never been right without knowing that the truth was there, staring me right in the nostrils. Nothing gets my dander up like a passel of reporters, asking me dumb questions, and expecting that I should have to answer them. Half the time I don’t even know what they’re asking, so I just give them background information, so’s to satisfy them that I know what I’m talking about.”
“That explains a lot, Sir.”
“Well, when those school teachers start thanking me for all I’ve done, I just want to say in advance that I deserve everything I get, and that’s the honest truth. I believe in getting involved in the reconstructuring of our country’s schools, and our cities’ schools too.”
“So by removing all circular liberry-er, ah, library books, you hope to go down in history as an innovative and education-conscientious President?”
“Well, I ain’t going down, but I am conscious, so you’re batting 500 percent there, Boy.”
Afterwards, it was agreed that W had followed through on every word he said, since there was no one home, with whom to argue-period.