Consider this a warm-up to the election! Yesterday, City Comptroller Bill Thompson accused the Department of Education of inflating graduation stats. His audit noted, "The permanent records of one out of every 10 graduated students sampled did not indicate that graduation requirements had been met," (90,000 students between 2003 and 2007 were in the sample) and "Schools routinely awarded students multiple credits for passing the same course two or more times."

Thompson said, "The New York City Department of Education has become the Enron of American education. Showing the gains and hiding the losses," and said Schools Chancellor Joel Klein should step down. Mayor Bloomberg frequently touts the rising graduation rates—15% since 2001— and his mayoral campaign shot back, "Instead of politicizing the comptroller's office with phony attacks, Mr. Thompson should be explaining his own failed record on education. The facts are clear: When Bill Thompson ran the old dysfunctional Board of Education graduation rates were flat and dropout rates increased."

Cut to today, when DOE official David Cantor was not allowed at Thompson's press conference; Cantor said, "The comptroller's staff refused to let me in or give me a copy of the audit, which is piled high by the door... This is the first time i've ever been barred from entering a government press conference." CityRoom reports there was a "heated verbal altercation." Bloomberg said of Klein, "Joel Klein has done what he's supposed to do, make the very tough decisions," said the mayor. That's never popular, but it's because of he and all of the other people working in the Department of [Education] who, instead of pandering and caving into every special interest group, made the decisions that have given tens of thousands - hundreds of thousands - of our children the opportunity for a great life."