SHOCKED AND OUTRAGED!
Scores of elected officials, many of whom know better, will be on hand, along with a bought-and-paid-for chorus of false reformers - all to dance to the tunes of Randi Weingarten of the teachers' union, who has been trying to derail real reform since Mayor Mike wrested control of the schools from the educrats some five years ago.
They bill themselves as part of an effort "to put the public back in public education" - but that's a base lie.
Those who are not actually members of the United Federation of Teachers are in thrall to it - financially, for the most part, but ideologically as well.
And the real public be damned.
What is their goal?
First, to kill School Chancellor Joel Klein's sweeping reorganization of the school system, due to take effect this fall.
Then, to roll back school governance to the days when they ran the show - not City Hall.
When there was no accountability.
When billions were spent every year, and everybody got a piece of the action - everybody, that is, save the children of New York City.
Klein's reorganization will shake the bureaucracy to its roots - and cost a lot of drones their jobs.
The mayoral-control law expires unless the state Legislature renews it by 2009.
Weingarten wants it to die.
And she's well positioned to see that it does.
Tonight's shill rally features a full rogue's gallery of public officials - including mayoral contenders like City Comptroller Bill Thompson and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion.
Lesser lights like Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and Beeps Scott Stringer of Manhattan and Helen Marshall of Queens will also be dancing to Weingarten's ditties.
But what of the "independent" groups and "concerned" citizens that Weingarten has lined up?
You mean the ones on the UFT dole?
* A media advisory yesterday announcing the rally, for example, bore the logo of the Working Families Party.
But Weingarten's union helped pay for the notice, according to the party's director, Dan Cantor. Indeed, the UFT helped found the WFP in 1998, and has given it mountains of moolah - hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2005 alone, state campaign-finance records show.
* Similarly, the UFT has donated mightily to a radical left-wing activist group, ACORN, whose director, Bertha Lewis, is also expected tonight. Last year, ACORN and the UFT teamed up to form a new labor group, the UFT-ACORN Family Day Care Providers Union, to sign up and represent day-care workers.
* The union has also given handsomely to Thompson and to City Council Members Letitia James, David Weprin, Bill DeBlasio, Vincent Gentile and Eric Gioia - all marquee names at tonight's rally.
To be sure, Bloomberg and Klein have occasionally stumbled as reform has progressed. But much progress has been made.
And let's be clear on one fundamental point: When it comes to public-school reform, they are the only game in town.
Nobody else - least of all, Weingarten - gives a damn about New York's schoolchildren. Her loyalty is to her members.
The United Federation of Teachers is one of the richest special interests in America. It has purchased a claque comprising some powerful political figures - and they will be in evidence tonight and in the weeks and months to come.
Shame on them, and on the UFT.