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State Journal: A lesson for the class of '98; Another hat out of the ring; Advice from a two-week dropout

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Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts recently took time off from his Presidential campaign to visit an elementary school in Cambridge, where he gave a group of 2nd graders an impromptu lesson in civics--and wishful thinking.

While sitting in on a reading lesson at the Longfellow School, Mr. Dukakis decided to ask the students if they knew what he did for a living. According to the Boston Globe, the discussion went as follows:

Mr. Dukakis: "What's a governor?"

Class: Silence.

Mr. Dukakis: "What's a president?"

A student: "He's the boss of the United States."

Mr. Dukakis: "If a president is the boss of the United States, what's a governor?"

Student: "Is he the boss of the United States, too?"

Mr. Dukakis: "Not for a couple of years yet."

Later, the Governor observed that "in my house growing up, there was one tough rule: No tv on school nights," prompting one student to moan, "Oh my gosh!"


Rudy Perpich of Minnesota has added his name to the list of Democratic "education Governors" who will not seek their party's nomination for President.

Governor Perpich, a leading advocate of greater parental choice in education, told a newspaper in Hibbing, Minn., this month that he has rejected advice from advisers and family members to enter the race. He said he will emphasize economic development during the remaining three years in his term.

Other prominent noncandidates include Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas, who has built a national following on his reputation as a school reformer, and Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York, who has successfully pressed to raise state aid to schools by more than 50 percent during his five years in office.


Gov. Ned McWherter of Tennessee recently confessed to a group of students that he had dropped out of high school during his sophomore year, but returned two weeks later at the urging of an illiterate auto mechanic.

"When I was a sophomore I quit for two weeks," he told students at Hickman County High School during a visit there on Sept. 8. "A shop foreman in a garage said, 'Ned, I own half this business, but I'm the mechanic and shop foreman because I can't handle the paperwork."'tm

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