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B-52 Mistakenly Flies with Nuclear Warheads Aboard: No, We Don't Mean Margaret

Another in the series News You Will See Nowhere Else.

by Susan Ohanian

A B-52 bomber mistakenly loaded with five nuclear warheads flew from the U. S. Department of Education on Maryland Avenue in Washington, D. C. to an undisclosed location in northern California.

A spokesman for the U. S. Department of Education would neither confirm nor deny that Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings was aboard. "We don't discuss her flight plans."

A staff member at Rep. George Miller's home office in Concord, who declined to be identified, denied rumors that that the warheads were a warning to the chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor that he'd better deliver on NCLB reauthorization. "Margaret doesn't need to make threats. George and she both want what is best for the children of our great nation."

Philip Kovacs, director of Educator Roundtable, a group circulating a petition calling for the end of NCLB, said, "I put nothing past Secretary Spellings, but why bother? Representative Miller is already in her pocket." Kovacs added that Spellings would do better to direct heavy armament at Chester Finn, head of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. "Checker has been stepping out of line lately."

Sen. Edward Kennedy, member of the U. S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, assured the public that there is no need for alarm. "Although U. S. Department of Education standards were a little shaky there for a time, Air Force standards are very exacting when it comes to munitions handling," he said. "There was never a danger to the American public. The public knows they can trust high standards."

Kennedy also expressed full confidence in Secretary Spellings. "I join her in insisting there can be no retreat from high standards. We pledged in the No Child Left Behind Act that the federal government would do all in its power to guarantee every child in America, regardless of race, economic background, language or disability, the opportunity to get a world-class education. And we will keep this promise. We must belly up to the bar. No. . . I mean, raise the bar. Yes, raise the bar. Onward."

Rep. Miller, busy at a power lunch with Harold McGraw and Eli Broad, was unavailable for comment.

— Susan Ohanian
News You Will See Nowhere Else



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