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Friday, December 14, 2007

Mitchell Sets Sights on DOE

December 14, 2007 (GBN News): The ink is barely dry on former Senator George Mitchell’s report on steroid use in Major League Baseball, and already he is reportedly turning his attention to a new target: The NY City Department of Education. Sources at the DOE told GBN News that Chancellor Klein has been embarrassed by massive criticism surrounding the new school Progress Reports, and he has been hard pressed to explain the discrepancies that have resulted in some schools getting A’s on their progress reports despite having been put on the state list of failing schools.

Mr. Klein is said to have decided that the only way such struggling schools could have performed so well is if their principals had bulked up on steroids. “To go from ‘failing school’ to an A grade in such a short time is like a player going from 16 home runs to 41,” the Chancellor was said to have told Mr. Mitchell. “We know that kids’ test scores depend on how good the principal is,” he went on to say. “What else but steroid use could have led to such a rapid gain in principals’ performance?”

While the use of certain steroids is not explicitly banned by the DOE, the Chancellor is said to feel that any principal using them would have a competitive advantage in a system where schools can be closed and principals fired if their schools fail. “If anyone is going to have an unfair advantage,” Mr. Klein reportedly said, “It’s the charter schools and small schools we create, not some principal whose head has outgrown his hat size.”

Mr. Mitchell will work closely with the Chief Accountability Officer, Jim Liebman, who will analyze ARIS computer data to provide clues as to potential suspicious activity. It is unclear what if any penalties will be assessed if wrongdoing is found. However, one source at the DOE said, “It’s not out of the question that some of those A’s could end up with asterisks.”

Ed. Note: Of course, the preceding is parody. In all seriousness, the Mitchell report is a long overdue wake-up call to Major League baseball and the sporting world in general. If only there could be a “Mitchell Report” on the DOE and Mayoral control, not for steroid violations, of course, but for violations of parents’ trust.

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