Da-da loves teachers and professors and librarians and really anyone who teaches or leads other people toward being better people without objects of torture (like violins and oboe lessons). Anyway, Da-da ran into his oldest son Nagurski's former first grade teacher, Ms. Silver (not her real name), and asked her why the school year now starts so early. When Da-da was a kid, back before hydrogen had fused into helium, school started after the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon (which is sadly now gone, perhaps rightfully so: Jerry's un-PC-like behavior was getting rather embarrassing).

Ms. Silver, a 30-year teaching veteran, explained that the school year starts earlier now so kids have extra time to be prepped on taking the federal education tests they have to take every year -- even years when the test doesn't count toward the school's score, as those grades have to be blooded to the test.

So Da-da asked if this was a U.S. Dept. of Education thing. Ms. Silver said no.

"It's Pearson," she said, "the company that makes the test. They have everyone in every administration convinced that standardized testing is the only way to teach kids, so now most untenured teachers are forced to, 'teach to the test,' or they lose their jobs. Administrations won't even let us talk about it openly."

Pearson made over $10B last year.

Needless to say, this is creating one hellaciously underprepared and poorly educated wave of kids after another, hitting colleges and the workforce, year after year. Then you add in the distractions of texting and Facebook and Twitter and video games and the Pandora's Box internet, showing and distracting them with every kind of sensationalistic horror in existence. These kids will be your doctors and pilots and bridge builders and politicians and are you getting nervous, yet?

Sorry, Pearson, but we don't need your FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) anymore. Go prey on some other demographic. Might Da-da suggest affiliate news departments?

All two easy.

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