Of Mites, Mice, and Men

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The always entertaining struggles between Randi Weingarten (president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration got a little dirty this week as the two sides proved they can't even agree on whether or not they agreed on something. In this week's episode of the Odd Couple, Weingarten demanded the city clean filthy classroom rugs that young children sit on as their teachers read to them. To underscore the need, Weingarten cited the results of an analysis commissioned last year to inspect the city's carpets that found mold spores, animal hair, feathers, wood chips, human skin cells and even an occasional mouse dropping. Responding, Deputy Mayor Dennis M. Walcott claimed the city had already agreed to clean the carpets and had plans to begin cleaning next week. Meanwhile, Chancellor Klein, he of micromanaging fame, was reportedly drafting guidelines regarding the proper use of mice during literacy instruction.