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."