In another sign that he is raising his national profile, Mayor Bloomberg has teamed up with Governor Bush of Florida to defend the No Child Left Behind Act.
Messrs. Bloomberg and Bush co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Post yesterday arguing that the federal education standards, which went into effect in 2001, are crucial but need to be built upon.
The partnership between the two Republicans is an interesting one, as both have been named as possible presidential contenders for 2008.
Mr. Bloomberg, who staked much of his political capital on turning around the city's school system, has in recent months distanced himself from many fellow Republicans. This teaming blurs
the line because Mr. Bush is both a Republican and President Bush's brother.
It is, however, consistent with Mr. Bloomberg's independent style, which could be the basis of a presidential platform two years from now.
Education officials said the city's schools chancellor, Joel Klein, has been talking to Florida officials about the school system for months. Earlier this year, Mr. Klein traveled to Florida to meet with Mr. Bush and schools officials to talk about accountability standards.
"I think they were really looking to lay out a nonsectarian, nonaffiliated overview," a spokesman for the city's Department of Education, David Cantor, said yesterday.
Mr. Klein also traveled to Washington late last month to testify in front of a congressional committee about changing accountability standards.
Messrs. Bloomberg and Bush outline four "lessons" that Congress should use as it evaluates No Child Left Behind, which is up for reauthorization.
They are making uniform standards based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress for defining student proficiency levels; switching to an A through F report card for schools, rather than a pass-fail; tracking individual student progress, and linking teachers' pay to performance.