New Year's predictions and resolutions
Inspired by the good work of our Washington Insiders (see here), Gadfly screwed up his courage to offer these predictions about what America's ten most influential ed-policy organizations (so says the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center) will accomplish in 2007:
U.S. Congress: Struggling to re-authorize NCLB, deadlocks over whether to re-name law the "It Takes a Village Act" or the "Audacity of Hope Act."
U.S. Department of Education: Bent on eliminating all ineffectual federal education programs, finds itself left with nothing but Reading First and its two employees.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Despairing of the intractable task of reforming U.S. high schools, determines to reform driver education (with emphasis on small cars).
Education Trust: Hires Borat to scour nation for vivid examples of the soft bigotry of low expectations.
National Governors Association: Abandoning hope for a common metric by which to track high school graduation rates, opts to develop common metric for counting the books on school-library shelves.
American Federation of Teachers: Selects Diane Ravitch as its next president (see here).
Achieve, Inc.: Armed with $50 million more from the Gates Foundation, and fearing the 50 states may never agree on anything, re-brands its leading project the "Inter-American Diploma Project," recruits Bolivia, Nicaragua, Chihuahua, St. Kitts, and Prince Edward Island to align their high school exit and university-entrance expectations.
National Education Association: After tangling with George Miller over teacher qualifications, brands Democratic Party a "terrorist organization" and commits all future political support to G.O.P. candidates.
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation: Reversing its ban on taking federal funds, accepts $95 million grant from U.S. Department of Education to say nothing further about NCLB.
Center on Education Policy: Heartened by Democratic electoral success, Jack Jennings shuts center, returns to Capitol Hill as chief policy staffer for both Kennedy and Miller.
Gadfly also spent the holiday at a series of undisclosed locations where he could surreptitiously overhear America's thirteen most influential ed-policy influencers make their New Year's resolutions. Here is what he heard:
Bill Gates: "I resolve to fund a new curriculum operating system that will gradually assert its dominance by pushing other instructional methods out of the market and mercilessly quashing competing lesson plans"
George W. Bush: "If Connecticut and Utah aren't with us on NCLB then they're against us. As the Decider-in-Chief, I resolve to send in the Marines under General Spellings."
Kati Haycock: "I resolve that this time around EdTrust will draft 100 percent of the ESEA reauthorization bill-and we'll begin disaggregating AYP results according to kids' body-mass index, too."
G. Reid Lyon: "I'm going to Asia to rid Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Thai, once and for all, of their whole-language proclivities."
Edward M. Kennedy: "I resolve to get 4 billion dollars for the ‘historic whaling partnerships' program."
Bill Clinton: "At least once a week, I will remind Hillary to reiterate her support for the finest domestic accomplishment of the first Clinton administration, the No Child Left Behind act."
Richard W. Riley: "And I'll remind Hillary that we were for national testing before the danged Republicans messed things up."
James B. Hunt Jr.: "I resolve once again to serve the people of North Carolina as their governor (and we'll move the National Board's office to Raleigh)."
Marshall (Mike) Smith: "I promise to stay the hell out of Washington, no matter who offers me the deputy secretary job again."
Margaret Spellings: "I, too, resolve to spend as little time as possible in or near Washington, D.C. (Foreign travel is much more fun.)"
Linda Darling-Hammond: "I resolve to go one full year without saying anything unkind about the Teach for America program."
George Miller: "I resolve not to let Kennedy go squishy on highly-qualified teachers no matter how hard the unions press him."
Chester E. Finn, Jr.: "I resolve to move higher on this damned list."