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Klein Declares Martial Law

(GBN News): Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, whose planned escape to the United Arab Emirates was thwarted yesterday by the UAE's ban on Blackberry service, was forced to revert to Plan B and declare martial law under NY State's emergency powers act. The Chancellor's first move was to displace a school for autistic children by moving a charter school into PS 94 in Manhattan, despite a court order forbidding it. But GBN News has learned that this action is only the first of many under a law that purportedly lets the Chancellor take any action he sees fit to "preserve student health, safety, or general welfare."

The martial law declaration came as a surprise to those who had expected the Chancellor to resign in disgrace after the huge gains in test scores under his regime were exposed as wildly inflated. But a defiant Mr. Klein was said to believe that the emergency powers law would buy him six months during which he could legally circumvent the laws and the courts. With the full support of Mayor Bloomberg, the Chancellor reportedly plans to use that window to "finish the job" before the law finally catches up with him.

"He's blowing the whole wad," a DOE official told GBN News on condition of anonymity. "To save time, he's going to make each school use all four of Arne Duncan's turnaround strategies simultaneously. Fire the principals, fire the teachers, close all the schools and turn them into charters, merit pay, the works. And when he's done, in three months he's going to do it all again. He's calling it 'the most creative destruction ever.'"

Education Secretary Arne Duncan was effusive in his praise of the Chancellor's martial law declaration, calling it "even better than Katrina." And surprisingly, there was no immediate objection from the teachers' union. "We want to make sure that we still have a seat at the table,� a UFT spokesperson told GBN News, explaining the union's decision to reserve judgment. But the official added, "Of course, that's assuming there's still a table, or any of us left to sit at it."

— Gary Babad
NYC Public School Parents


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