Thursday, March 15, 2007
You Ask, We Get the Answers: More Info on “Children First” Game
March 15, 2007 (GBN News): Since we broke the story, GBN News has been inundated with inquiries about the prospective new Parker Brothers game, “Children First: A Game of Irony”, based on the NY City school system. (See previous GBN News article, “A New Game in Town”, March 10). The game has been shrouded in more secrecy than a DOE planning meeting, but one of our intrepid reporters has somehow been able to get hold of cards and a board from a prototype of the game. The game apparently comes with a warning informing users that the entire game is subject to reorganization and may become obsolete shortly after you buy it. However, owners of the computer version can download updates for what is termed a “nominal cost overrun”.
Following are a few examples of cards and board spaces from the game (players must amass “test points” to win):
• The school you are principal of scores in the bottom 10% of your district. Lose 100 test points and your job
• The school you are principal of scores in the top 10% of the district. Gain 100 test points but lose your job on the next turn for failure to meet higher expectations
• You must choose a “Learning Support Organization”. Whichever one you choose, lose 250 test points
• Go To Rubber Room. Go directly to Rubber Room. If you pass Go collect $200 but lose an indefinite number of turns
• Your 5 year old is given a Metro Card instead of a school bus. Lose one turn while Child Protective Service investigates you for endangering your child
• Your school bus route is cancelled: You cannot get to school, lose 100 test points
• You score “below standards” on your standardized tests. Lose 100 test points and a turn while you repeat the grade. Teacher and principal lose 200 points each for “leaving you behind”
• Cell phone confiscated. You cannot contact your parents when your train breaks down. Lose two turns while you wander the streets trying to find your way home
• Your class has 40 students. Teacher confuses you with the student in the next seat. Lose 50 test points
• ARIS computer is down. Each player loses a turn
• “Get Out of Jail Free”: If you are a Tweed administrator you also receive 500 bonus points and a job offer at a high priced consulting firm with a lucrative DOE no-bid contract
• “Take a ride on the Reading First Railroad”. Lose a turn, the train already left
• Free Parking: Pay $250 fine for failure to dig your car out of the ice by the school. You didn’t think parking would really be free, did you?
• “Just Visiting”: The Mayor skips this space. He doesn’t do visits; he’s in Florida
• Advance token to the nearest “failing school”. If unowned, you can buy it from the DOE and turn it into a charter school.
A version of the game will also be available based on the St. Louis school district. The St. Louis version is similar to the New York game but if you land on the space labeled “Alvarez and Marsal”, you go bankrupt and have to start all over again.