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'The Longest Daycare,' Oscar-Nominated 'Simpsons' Short, Takes Swipes At Education System

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You’d be forgiven if you lived the rest of your life without considering that "The Simpsons" could win an Oscar, but six years after "The Simpsons Movie," a digital short starring Maggie might do just that.

"The Longest Daycare" packs witty and topical swipes at the country's education system into its four minutes and 30 seconds. The story sends Maggie, the Simpson family's youngest child, to daycare, where she's checked for lice, screened for weapons and sorted separately from the "gifted" students by a machine that admits its own fallibility (standardized tests, anyone?). While trapped in the "nothing special" section of the Ayn Rand School For Tots, Maggie risks it all to save a butterfly she found in a room full of paste-eaters with a "honest bunny" poster saying, "You have no future."

Simpsons creator Matt Groening and staff have admitted an occasional liberal bias, and were criticized early on by conservatives including President George H.W. Bush. So it's no leap that the writers would find fault in No Child Left Behind, the other President George W. Bush's sweeping education law that governs the country's public schools. The law has highlighted tremendous gaps in performance between groups of students, but has done little over the last 12 years to narrow them.

"Simpsons" writers also targeted the act in a 2009 episode titled "How The Test Was Won." Then Springfield’s public school system ships its less intelligent students away to improve its schools' standardized test scores mandated by the "No Child Left Alone Act."

"The Longest Daycare" is directed by David Silverman and is a sequel to "A Streetcar Named Marge," the franchise's first short film. Silverman also directed "The Simpsons Movie."

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