WASHINGTON, D.C. Supporters of federal education reform efforts have something to cheer about today as U.S. students outscored their competition around the globe on both the written and parallel parking aspects of international standardized driving tests.
“We’re not ‘Losers’ any more!”
“This is a great day for those of us who have said all along that if America’s teenagers take something seriously enough, they will eventually become competent at it,” said Ron Furlong, Vice President for Community Affairs for NASCAR, the stock car racing sanctioning body. “They just needed to put in the necessary time and effort, as they do with learning to French kiss.”
“Why are your driving on the right side–are you going to major in English?”
American students have historically lagged behind their peers in Asian and Scandinavian countries in boring subjects such as math and science, but have made dramatic gains in driving competency due to arcade games that simulate the reckless driving experience, according to Foster Finley, President of the American Society of Drivers Education Instructors.
“Now gun it past that Asian kid in the Toyota!”
“The No Car Left Behind Act has resulted in a real increase in the status of drivers ed instructors,” Finley notes. “Where before we were down below aluminum siding salesman, now we’re right up there with manicurists and closing in on pipefitters.”
Officials in Asian nations say their students are handicapped by a lack of parking spaces in which to practice, and that the test was skewed to favor American teens. “Kids in the US can watch NASCAR anytime they want,” complained Matsui Tashimoto, assistant principal at Tokyo’s Ichiro Suzuki High School. “In Japan, our students must study for college entrance exams and share available vehicles with Hello Kitty dolls.”
Scandinavian educators say their students are depressed by drivers training movies produced by Ingmar Bergman, the lugubrious director known for films filled with bleakness and despair.
Bergman: “If my films depress you, I have succeeded.”
“It is bad enough that our children must sit through instructional movies made by a man who was locked in a closet for wetting his bed,” notes Anders Ekman, chief examiner for the Swedish Registry of Motor Vehicles. “Then we put them in Saabs and Volvos, and their depression is inevitable.”
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “education is pretty important.”