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The US Congress Education Committees to Host Super Teacher Sunday Play-Offs

Washington, D. C.--U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has confirmed that bipartisan education policy is alive and well in the nation's capital. Working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, ALEC, State Farm Insurance, NCTE, and Taco Bell, the U. S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions and the U. S. House Education & Labor Committee will host Super Teacher Sunday Play-Offs. "It's time we recognize and reward the highest level of teacher performance," said Secretary Duncan in a meeting with education editorial writers from the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Weekly Reader. "We hope this will be an annual event.

Duncan revealed that the Super Teacher Sunday Play-Offs will be held at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. "Chicago is where every education innovation has received full implementation--from Mastery Learning to School Turnarounds, Chicago shakes things up," said Duncan. He added, "This venue, with its Jules Guerin's frieze of 17 murals illustrating commerce through the world, represents the important work teachers do�preparing our children to be competitive workers in the Global Economy."

Chicago mayor Ron Emanuel agreed that Chicago is a good choice. "O'Hare can handle the private jets of all the hedge fund chiefs who will be here because they care about education reform." Better Education for Kids founder and 258th richest person in the world, David Tepper admitted, �We were hoping for a NY-NJ venue but we're behind Super Teacher Sunday Play-Offs all the way. Teachers need to show they know their stuff and not hide behind the unions," added Tepper, whose $4 billion payoff ranked him as the highest paid hedge fund manager in 2009.

John Stossel has agreed to host the event, saying, "I'll be there to encourage a free market of ideas in America's classrooms." David Coleman, Common Core architect, has offered to coach Stossel on key points.

Participants will be chosen from President Obama's Listening Tour and from Congressional nomination. "Sending me nasty messages on Twitter doesn't get you anywhere," advised Duncan.

In addition to Congressional and Presidential nominations, sons and Daughters of Deceased or Disabled Teachers are eligible. This category is reserved for sons and daughters of deceased or 100% disabled teachers whose death or disability was certified by the U. S. Department of Education, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, ALEC, State Farm Insurance, NCTE, and Taco Bell to be classroom-connected, and for sons and daughters of school personnel civilians who are in a missing or captured status.

""We've been ever-poised for a seat at the table and we're proud to be part of this endeavor," said Barbara Cambridge, director of the NCTE D. C. office.

Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.5 million member American Federation of Teachers said that while she is not opposed to mud wrestling being included as one of the Play-Off events, she wants to be sure that events highlight how teachers execute the Common Core Curriculum. "This is what Al Shanker wanted," she said.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel pledged to lead the 3.2 NEA members into building on the Teacher Play-offs. "We will translate the energy generated by the Star Teacher Play-offs into action in preparing are youth to be competitive workers in the global economy." Van Roekel said NEA officials will be on hand to insure there are no wardrobe malfunctions during the event and to serve complimentary Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne to the finalists.

Eva Moskowitz, founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, has offered to lead a stair climbing event. "We've perfected this activity at Harlem Success Academy. Kids do it every Friday afternoon for detention. Two by two. No talking. A super teacher should be able to climb as many stairs as a 5th grader, who, after all, doesn't yet have the motivation to succeed."

Jay Mathews suggested that it might be fun to see how KIPP teachers perform in comparison with public school teachers. "Maybe a singing contest could be included," he said. Wendy Kopp said, "Don't forget our Teach for America folk. They know as many chants as KIPP teachers!"

Mobile-device apps will offer viewers games, quizzes, and prizes--all linked to the teachers' lesson plans. Each day, the app will give users a code; if the code matches the tattoo appearing on Secretary of Education Duncan's head during the show, the viewer can win prizes, including the chance to attend a senior prom of his/her choice.

The NCTE Executive Committee has written a letter to the U. S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions and the U. S. House Education & Labor Committee, suggesting that the Super Teacher Sunday Play-Offs be moved to Monday, making it a national holiday. "We have a book series in the works to inform our membership of the importance of this event and to provide examples of how to uphold NCTE principles of effective professionalism while participating in a Super Teacher Play-Off."

— Susan Ohanian



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