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Sunday, June 24, 2007

GBN’s Annual “Predict Next Year’s Education News” Contest!

It’s the end of another school year, and time for the GBN News “Predict Next Year’s Education News” contest, an annual GBN tradition since 2007. What will be the top education news stories of the 2007-2008 school year? Answer the multiple choice “assessment” questions below. The reader or readers who come closest to what actually occurs in the coming year will receive a prize (or “incentive” as it’s known around the DOE). Note: There are no hot links; you’re on your own for this one.

1. The number of complete reorganizations of the NY City Department of Education during the 2007-2008 school year will be:
a. 0
b. 1
c. 2
d. One each month, based on aggregate interim test scores and ARIS computer data.

(Note: If your answer was “a”, don’t even bother with the rest of the questions. You obviously don’t know the DOE well enough to win anything)

2. The next high-salaried DOE “officer” position to be created will be called the:
a. Chief Accountability Officer
b. Chief Assessment Officer
c. Chief Cash Incentive Officer
d. Chief Cell Phone Confiscation Officer

3. The DOE will demonstrate its commitment to lowering class size by:
a. Paying students $5 to stay outside in the hall
b. Counting custodians, aides and cafeteria workers as teachers to lower student to teacher ratios
c. Squeezing the same number of students into smaller classrooms, then declaring, “the size of classes has been reduced”
d. All of the above

4. In a secret, no-bid deal, NY City will:
a. Give a consortium of private schools a 30 year lease on all NY City school buildings; however, the private schools will generously allow public school children to use the buildings on weekends and evenings after 9 PM
b. Sell the DOE to the Gates Foundation
c. Buy the military’s Guantanamo Bay prison facility, to detain school cell phone violators and troublesome Principals
d. Sell off all “failing schools” to Donald Trump for conversion to condos

5. The next DOE “celebrity” PR spot will feature:
a. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby saying, “Our schools’ success is no secret.”
b. G. Gordon Liddy saying, “If you had anyone else but Alvarez and Marsal plundering your schools, it would be nothing but a third rate burglary.”
c. Pete Rose saying, “The New York City Schools: Success you can bet on.”
d. Barry Bonds saying, “Chancellor Klein has done such a great job, you’d think the whole school system was on steroids.”
e. OJ Simpson, pitching a new partnership between the School Transportation Department and Hertz, saying, “Don’t let the school bus cuts leave your children behind. Rent a bus from Hertz, and you’ll get them to school with time to kill.”

6. In an effort to increase parent involvement in their children’s education, Chief Family Engagement Officer Martine Guerrier will announce:
a. A city-wide bake sale
b. Cash incentives for attending PTA and PA meetings will be doubled for those who attend but keep their mouths shut
c. Parents will take the interim assessments alongside their children. The motto will be, “The family that tests together, has success together.”
d. An outing for public school families at Randall’s Island. The announcement will be rescinded when she is reminded that most of the island is set aside for the exclusive use of private schools
e. All of the above

7. Mayor Bloomberg will announce that:
a. He is forming a third party, and will run for President on the “Eccentric Billionaires” line with Thurston Howell III as his running mate; analysts will say that Mr. Bloomberg feels he has more control over a fictional running mate such as the former “Gilligan’s Island” co-star
b. He will forego a run for President, fearing that if Betsy Gotbaum becomes Mayor, she will derail all of his education reforms by allowing cell phones in schools
c. He has determined that no law prohibits him from being both Mayor and President, so if elected President, he will moonlight until his Mayoral term runs out, thus keeping his promise to serve out his term
d. He has made a deal to buy the White House from President Bush for $2.5 billion, thus giving him the advantage of incumbency. After the election, it will emerge that the deal included full pardons for Mr. Bush and Vice President Cheney.

8. President Bush, in a major educational policy address, will announce that:
a. The No Child Left Behind act should be renewed, because, “If our children is left behind, the terrorists win.”
b. Joel Klein is doing “A heckuva job.”
c. He has finally finished reading, “My Pet Goat”, this time “without any silly interruptions.”
d. In a characteristic “faith based” initiative, he has ordered Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to bolster the chances of NCLB renewal by praying for better test scores
e. All of the above

9. A court will rule that:
a. Mayor Bloomberg’s ‘cash incentive” program is in violation of Federal and local anti-bribery statutes
b. The new “outside locker” plan to “take crime out of the schools and put it back on the street where it belongs” puts students and their property at risk and must be terminated
c. The DOE, with its present organizational structure, falls under Federal “anti-racketeering” statutes
d. Mayor Bloomberg’s “Congestion Pricing” plan applies to schoolchildren as well as autos. The court will order the Mayor’s EZ Pass charged for every child over mandated class size limits.

10. The ARIS supercomputer will:
a. Supercede classroom teachers and determine the educational objectives and lesson plans for every class, based on data gathered from interim testing
b. Take control of the physical plant and environment in every school building in the city, rendering custodians obsolete and breaking their union
c. Compete with the Chancellor for control of the DOE, and in April 2008 will refuse to open the Tweed Courthouse doors, thus stranding the Chancellor outside
d. Play and win 153,968,007,363 simultaneous games of solitaire
e. All of the above

Responses are due no later than the first day of school in September, 2007. Answers can be submitted via the “comments” section below. No partial credit will be given. The decision of the GBN News judges is final. If, by the first day of school, the CEO of GBN News has been given a $150,000 a year PR job with the DOE, this contest will be void.


Jan Carr said...

Gives all new meaning to the term "predictive" questions, those pesky little questions on the periodic assessments that purposely test kids on material THEY HAVEN'T EVEN COVERED YET IN CLASS! Those questions are beautifully designed to ratchet up kids' anxiety level as they're taking the test and cement their feelings of despair afterward. "I couldn't answer so many of the questions! I guess I really AM a failure!" But your test? Despite the predictive nature, I think I aced it! So when do I get my prize???

Gary Babad said...

Well, you're actually supposed to turn in your answers first and then wait till the end of next school year to see if they're correct, but I suppose I do owe you professional courtesy since you are an esteemed member of the parodist fraternity. So your prize is half of that PR position with the DOE, for which I have now upped the ante to $200,000. Plus I'm now asking $450 a day travel expenses. So what if I already live in NY; so do the A&M folks and that's what they get.

Jan Carr said...

I'm a little concerned about what our tests scores will look like when the results come in. I have some suggestions:
• Can we discourage certain readers from taking the test, those bloggers who might not do as well? If they take the test and pull the scores down, it might reflect badly on us and bring down our blog's overall score (I'm thinking about accountability here).
• Can we also devote all our blog space (from now until the due date of the test) to test prep? That would be prudent, don't you think?
• And finally, how are we going to analyze the test scores? Can we scare up a cool $80 million to purchase an ARIS computer system? Then we could compare data, Queens vs. Brooklyn, that sort of thing. Not to mention all the nifty little pie charts and color-coded data we could generate.

Gary Babad said...

Life sure has gotten complicated. Makes me long for the simple time when, if you bombed out on a test, you maybe lost dessert or TV privileges for a few days. Now, your whole future is ruined, your Principal loses his or her job, your teacher has to find another career, your blog loses credibility, and ARIS makes your computer feel like a failure. OK, test prep it is. Sorry, blog readers! Jan and I will be drilling you for the rest of the summer. And I'll check on EBay for a used ARIS system.