How far can we go with this parent-grading idea?

On parenting to the test, guns and civility…

For years, teachers have been complaining about lousy parents undermining their work in the classroom. So now state Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, wants to empower teachers by requiring them to grade parents.

Call it the A+ Parent Plan.

To begin, we will need a standardized test to ensure all parents are evaluated by the same criteria — the Parental Comprehensive Assessment Test.

PCAT!

Just like the FCAT their children take, parents will have to read a series of sleep-inducing essays and then try to stay awake long enough to answer the multiple-choice questions.

For example:

In her book about raising children the Chinese way, Tiger Mom Amy Chua says you should do the following if your 5-year-old misses a note in Ravel's "Gaspard de la nuit: Trois poèmes pour piano d'après Aloysius Bertrand."

A) Let her quit piano and take up Guitar Hero.

B) Hug her and encourage her to do better the next time.

C) Blame her teacher.

D) Stop all sleepovers and burn her American Girl dolls.

Of course, the answer is D, which is why the Chinese are kicking our child-coddling butts.

For failing moms and dads, there would be remedial parenting classes. If that didn't work, bring on Parental Choice.

Nothing like a little competition to get dad to help with the homework.

Kids could choose state-approved Charter Parents, or get a state voucher that would allow them to shop for any parents willing to raise them for $3,800 a year — even fundamentalist parents who don't believe in dinosaurs.

With all the crazy legislation being put out this year by publicity-hungry politicians, it's good to see that Rep. Kelli Stargel is at least one legislator taking her job seriously.

And now, in related news…

State Rep. Jason Brodeur of Sanford has added an amendment to the A+ Parent Plan. In assessing a parent, any teacher who asks about guns in the house will be slammed to the ground, cuffed and imprisoned for five years without a trial. The teacher also will be fined $5 million and will lose tenure without an appeal. Teachers unions call the tenure provision a harsh attack on teachers and promise to fight it…

By now most people know of Brodeur's bill to imprison and fine doctors $5 million for violating the privacy rights of patients and parents by asking about guns. Well, another bill that has been filed would fine local officials $5 million for passing restrictive gun laws.

Enough beating around the bush. Let's just make failure to join the NRA a felony and fine all violators $5 million.

I hate to complain about Second Amendment paranoia. But every time some loser liberal tries to pass a ban on 30-round magazines — note I didn't say clips — the e-mails fly and there is a stampede to Walmart to empty the ammo shelves. Obama's coming! Gotta stock up! This makes the stuff so expensive that I can't afford to shoot my Beretta anymore (Oops. I hope my doctor didn't see that). I think we're being played, folks.

As Sarah Palin self-destructs on her "It's not about me-me-me-me tour," Jeb Bush continues building the case for Republicans to move beyond the whole "I'm mad as hell about everything" strategy. Long before the Arizona tragedy, Bush was promoting civility over anger and ideas over rhetoric. He has taken shots at Palin's lack of intellectual depth and stressed the need for Republicans to reach out to Latinos and end the anti-Hispanic tone that often surfaces in the immigration debate.

And in what looked like a jab at Fox News, Jeb recently said, "I have watched television... And sometimes I'm turned off by the tone, even though I agree with the particular view.''

He's sure not talking about Keith Olbermann.

Unfortunately, tone is a business decision made by Fox, MSNBC and others to drive viewership. And that will make it increasingly difficult for voices like Jeb's to be heard.

To divide is profitable.

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