The mayor, the schools chancellor and Obama's education chief walk into Sousa Middle School... No punch line required, because that's exactly what's happening Thursday morning.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is scheduled to join Mayor Vincent Gray and Interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson at Sousa at 10 a.m. for a meet-and-greet with students, teacher, and staff. Duncan will talk Obama's education initiatives — primarily, No Child Left Behind (which Michelle Rhee endorsed to — who else but — Stephen Colbert).

Sousa, in Southeast, was one of the District's worst-performing public schools, called a "dumping ground" for burnt-out teachers by DCPS faculty. Four in five students are from low-income families, and only about one in five students were proficient in math or reading when Rhee intervened with a new principal in 2007.

After Principal Dwan Jordon fired a majority of the staff, reading proficiency increased to 39 percent, alongside a jump in math proficiency to 42 percent — the biggest gains of any public middle school in D.C.

While Rhee's report card on D.C. school reform has been mixed, Sousa is one of her triumphs. School meet-and-greets among big cheeses are common photo ops, but this particular event will be interesting as Gray — a Rhee critic — join hands with Henderson — a Rhee disciple — and Duncan — a Rhee fan.