Is this altruism or what?

Monday is the start of this year’s high-stakes standardized testing in Florida, when millions of kids will fill in the bubbles so they, their schools and their teachers can be evaluated on how well they all do.

And because it is super-important that students do well on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) being given in math, reading and science this week, participating McDonald’s restaurants offered kids a free breakfast Monday.

From 6-9 a.m., kids could get an Egg McMuffin, milk or orange juice, and apple dippers. (Students had to be present at the restaurant; parents couldn’t just pick them up, lest they eat the meals themselves.)

According to the Naples News, the Collier and Lee school districts went one better: They are providing free breakfast for students all week while testing is underway. And local schools in other counties are doing the same.

The planning that goes into test taking rivals that of some of our more recent war efforts. School officials send tips to parents about making sure their kids get a good night’s sleep the night before, and teachers are trained in proper test administration.

And, of course kids are urged to breakfast because we all know it is the most important meal of the day. And sure, it’s better that kids eat breakfast on a big day than not.

But the fact that this is perceived as being such a big day is wrong. And there’s something off-putting about a big company jumping into the frenzied effort to get kids ready for the test, using the opportunity to hand out free Egg McMuffins, each of which has 300 calories and 78 percent of the maximum recommended daily intake of cholesterol.

Sometimes it s just fine to look a gift horse in the mouth..

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