kitchen table math, the sequel: how to play

Friday, March 23, 2007

how to play

Last week, New York State revised its list of schools under registration review, the so-called SURR list. These are schools that are performing so badly that they are being considered for closing.

The idea of closing schools departs a bit from reality. Demolition crews do not come in and level the building. Usually "closing the school" means changing the name and number of the school, removing the principal and some, if not all, of the teaching staff. Most importantly for educrats, the school is now considered new, not failing, so it is removed from the SURR list.

I know of some schools that have had three different numbers in recent years. But changing the number doesn't change much. Five of the nine new schools just added to the SURR list have been there before under a different number. This is the strategy of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, a sad reality for the children.

The city's Department of Education has found a brilliant way to reduce the total number of schools on the SURR list and make itself look better in the public eye. The education bureaucrats do a preemptive strike and "close" schools before the state designates them as SURR. Thus the department can boast of a decline in the number of SURR schools and give the "new" school a free pass for a number of years.

The Numbers Game ($)
Andrew Wolf

I almost have to admire the resourcefulness here.

1 comment:

Instructivist said...

It sounds like word magic. If you hang a label with the word "Rose" around a pig's head, it's still a pig.