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Horoscopes for Arne Duncan's Race to the Top team

Virgo: Aug 23 - Sept 22
They say there's nothing nice about being a control freak but that depends on who's in charge. Seize the day. Or maybe lose your head. Louis XIV was a Virgo.

Virgos are known for missing the forest for the trees, which is why Brent Staples, Virgo education editorial writer for the New York Times, will score for you every time.

Libra Sep 23 - Oct 23
Just when things seem to be going your way, you'll get an invitation to meet with a group of teachers in Fresno. Gene Autry, Grouch Marx, Chubby Checker, and Mahatma Gandhi were Libras.
Call on their spirits for help. Or have a conference call with Mayor Daley and Mayor Bloomberg. No they weren't Libras, but they know everything important about the science of teaching and learning. Just ask them.

Scorpio Oct 24 - Nov 21
Arne Duncan is a Scorpio. Most habitual criminals, ad agency chiefs, and psychometricians, are Scorpios. So is Bill Gates. So is Al Sharpton.

Nobody recognizes the importance of Harvard connections as well you do, except maybe for those people who keep sending e-mail offers from Nigeria. Scorpios mistake jingoism for pedagogy and don't hesitate to make pronouncements on topics they know nothing about. An unacknowledged fact is that Scorpios have figured out a way to score standardized tests in the shower. This is the subject of a new reality TV show in the Fall.

Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21

Most people found cheating on standardized tests are Sagittariusi. Not surprisingly, most politicos are also Sagittariusi. The stars foresee a great deal of wealth and success in your future--when you leave government and go to work for McGraw-Hill.

Werner Heisenberg was a Sagittarius and he said something anybody hoping for Race to the Top to succeed had better hide, "What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."

Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 19
Like members of the Duncan team, Michel de Nostradomus, a Capricorn, looked to the stars to predict the job skills needed by youth in the 21st century. Writing in 1555, among his 6,338 prophecies, Nostradomus predicted the ascendancy of Race to the Top. For his work, President Duncan will award Nostradomus a Medal of Freedom award in spring 2010 when NCLB is renewed.

Nostradomus also predicted Velveeta cheese product.

Remember the golden rule of government service: The right connections mean the difference between success and failure. Keep Bill Gates' phone number handy.

Aquarius Jan 20 - Feb 18

Be warned: The Mars factor means you are likely to say too much. You like projecting yourself as the trendsetter for the future, but eventually people, even the press, do catch on and stop confusing innovation with lying. Dick Cheney is an Aquarius. When teachers get unruly, remember that he knows a thing or two about keeping people in line.

Pisces Feb 19 - Mar 20
Don't proclaim your love of the stars if the only constellation you can find is the big dipper. Friends can come and go, but financial opportunities are ready for those who embrace standardized testing. Dr. Seuss was a Pisces. Forget him. Not enough phonics.

Aries Mar 21 - Apr 19
Once the children stop crying, you'll be given a chance to explain your side of the story. But remember, Aries usually does the wrong thing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so maybe you'd better shut up. Keep those horns to yourself. Marcel Marceau, an Aries, had the right idea: Mum's the word.

Taurus Apr 20 - May 20
You've figured out it doesn't take a brain surgeon to know why the teachers are angry. So try asking 1,042 brain surgeons. Just because you love conflict doesn't mean you need an open bolt, blowback-operated submachine gun. Remember, money talks, and all those professional organizations are listening. You don't need to shoot Randi in the kneecaps. Remember, she's channeling Al Shanker, King of Standards, so after she puts on a show for the bleachers, she's on your side.

Dr. Benjamin Spock was a Taurus. A dangerous radical, he told parents, "You know more than you think you do.' At all costs, keep this under wraps.

Gemini May 21 - Jun 21
As Mercury, your ruling planet, turns retrograde, remember, you are brooding entrepreneurship incarnate, ready for a fight. Competition is thy name. For those difficult days, keep fellow Gemini Eli Broad's phone number handy.

And remember to practice saying "pedagogical" so you get it right on the first try at the next media event.

Cancer Jun 22 - Jul 22
So Cancers aren't risk takers. Don't feel bad that you're just perfecting your resume for law school. All of your Teach for America training will come in handy this week when your 7th graders start a slam book. Although your stars are in ascendancy, maybe you should reconsider putting your "Harvard Taught Me to Love the Underprivileged" Power Point online until after you've been in the classroom for 90 days.

Leo Jul 23 - Aug 22
Admittedly, trying to navigate your way by intellect will be difficult, but the first step is to try kissing the mirror less often. Arnold Schwarzennegger's a Leo. So were Dolores Del Rio, Milton Friedman, and Jerry Garcia. Try reading Brent Staples' collected NY Times editorials on education for proof that you don't need to know anything about education to make pronouncements.

— Susan Ohanian



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