Vol. 1, Issue 5, June 10, 2003
Get Away From It All
The Specious Report

American Wildlife Less Well Educated Than Asian, European Wildlife

American wildlife has once again scored lower on international standardized testing than fauna in other nations, say officials at the Department of Education.

"Scores on the FIMSS tests this past winter show a continued decline in the science and math performance of American fauna," said spokesman Uri Wellesley in a press conference on Capitol Hill. "Moreover, it appears that American bears are scoring particularly low in reading and analytical skills."

The FIMSS (Fauna International Measurement Science Study) tests have been conducted since 1994 on wild fauna in 32 countries around the world. Domestic animals, including pets and livestock, are not evaluated.

Overall, American wildlife ranked 26th out of the 32 countries competing, down from 25th in 2000 when the tests were last administered. Once again, Norway and Belgium had the highest scoring groups in all categories, with China a close third - a surprising result considering its poor performance when the FIMSS tests were first conducted.

"There are several reasons for the ascendancy of Chinese wildlife scores," said congressional spokesperson Gunther Maines. "One is that the Chinese government has conducted a horrific campaign of 'culling' animals which failed introductory algebra following each test, leaving a very small cohort of increasingly smart animals. Also, our satellites have identified secret panda coaching academies in Hunan province."

The decline in scores among American fauna is widely blamed on a dietary shift to fast food and the growing use of alcohol, largely brought about by suburban encroachment into wilderness areas. Also, American animals are increasingly cited for "attitude" problems, including uncontrolled predation in mixed-group testing and early departure from testing sites.

"Our goal is to make sure every animal, every bear, raccoon and nutria, has the basic educational skills needed to succeed in the American wilderness," Maines assured the public. However, the government has been criticized for inequities in the American wildlife educational system. The international community has long condemned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for ignoring the perennially low-scoring nutria community while it pursues high-profile programs promoting reintroduction of "endangered" species such as the gray wolf and the condor, both of which traditionally perform well on the FIMSS.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife agency routinely assigns endangered status to any species that scores in the top 25% in any category of the FIMSS test," said German ambassador Gunther Schmeer. "But obviously it's not helping much."

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