Politicians, get out your No. 2 pencils!

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 Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William Hite has pleaded with city officials for recurring funding. So far, no dice. (NewsWorks file photo)

Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William Hite has pleaded with city officials for recurring funding. So far, no dice. (NewsWorks file photo)

One activity America’s lawmakers really seem to enjoy is inflicting high-stakes testing on America’s schoolchildren.

Well, if there’s one group whose performance is distinctly more disappointing that that of America’s schoolchildren, it would be America’s lawmakers.

The thought dawns: What if we forced lawmakers to pass regular tests with do-or-die consequences? Flunk the test, and you’re booted out of office. No more expense accounts or BMW’s leased on the taxpayer’s dime.

Here are few questions that could be on such a test:

Q. Imagine you’re sitting in a restaurant across from a shady character, who pushes an envelope full of Benjamins and Franklins across the table at you. What do you do?

a) Say, “Thanks very much; when can we meet again”?b) Say, “Actually, I’d prefer a WaWa gift card”?c) Decline the envelope, end the meeting and contact authorities to report the bribe attempt.

Q. When the federal government offers to pay for health insurance for a large group of your neediest citizens, what do you do?

a) Ask, “What’s the difference between Medicaid and Medicare again?”b) Denounce the idea as the evil spawn of an America-hating Indonesian Islamist terrorist.c) Say yes, gratefully.

Q. When a qualified company offers to buy your city’s biggest white elephant, raising a billion dollars to address your city’s biggest fiscal problem, what do you do?

a) Ask company officials to meet you at that restaurant.b) Order a costly analysis of the plan, ignore its results, then refuse to hold a single hearing,l.c) Conduct full hearings, with input from all stakeholders.

Q. When people wearing tin foil hats in designer colors float the rumor that a routine U.S. military training exercise is actually a bid to invade and enslave your state, what do you do?

a) Flee to your personal bunker, armed with an Armageddon supply of Lone Star Beer and Red Man dip.b) Issue a press release saying you share your constituents’ concerns and demanding reassurances from the Pentagon.c) Laugh it off as a dispatch from the Crazytown Daily Bugle.

Q. In the sentence, “Your local school system desperately needs recurring funding,” what does the word “recurring” mean?

a) Less than zero.b) Ginned up from one-shot gimmicks.c) Stable and available year after year.

Folks, any lawmaker who did not answer C to every one of these questions does not deserve your vote or any office that puts them anywhere in proximity to your tax dollars.

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