Friday, July 3, 2009

Mike to Arne: You Can Do It Too

July 3, 2009 (GBN News): Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as part of an ongoing effort to export his NY City school reforms nationwide, has been quietly trying to persuade the Obama Administration to let the No Child Left Behind law expire this fall, sources told GBN News. While this may come as a shock to many – after all, the Mayor’s educational policies consist largely of putting NCLB on steroids – Mr. Bloomberg pointed out that when Mayoral control of the schools expired in New York, it left him with even greater power than before. The Mayor has told Education Secretary Arne Duncan that if NCLB expires, the Administration could similarly use the situation to assume total, unchallenged control of the nation’s schools.

Secretary Duncan was reportedly interested in the Mayor’s suggestions, but expressed both practical and legal concerns. On a practical level, Mr. Duncan worried that even an amended version of NCLB, if passed, could derail the plan. However, Mr. Bloomberg went so far as to offer his personal assistance to forestall that possibility. “The US Senate is even easier to gridlock than the NY State Senate,” the Mayor reportedly told the Secretary. “They need 60 votes to break a filibuster and pass a law. Without those votes, goodbye NCLB, then you’ll be in charge just like me. And in the spirit of nonpartisanship, I’m even willing to pay off - I mean, persuade both Democrats and Republicans myself.”

Mr. Duncan’s other concern involved the legality of a massive takeover of the country’s schools. But Mr. Bloomberg told him not to worry. “All you have to do,” he said, “is to warn them there’ll be a disaster if you don’t have control. In New York, we told them there would be riots in the streets. New Yorkers hate riots, they tie up traffic. On a national level, you can warn everyone that terrorists will take over the schools. Nobody wants a terrorist in charge of the schools. Look at Joel Klein.”

The Mayor went on to show Mr. Duncan just how easy it was to assert control after the law expired. “We just took over,” he told the Secretary. “Got our own people on the Board of Ed, Joel is Chancellor for life, no more financial oversight – why, we don’t even have to let those annoying parents into the Board of Ed meetings any more. Just like that Bush aide said, ‘We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality.’ You can do it too.”

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