"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, January 26, 2006

No Dollar Left Behind

Next week the Super Bowl will be held in Detroit, ground zero for the American jobs implosion and the birthplace of large scale corporate job exporting. In fact, the big game will be played in Ford Stadium, whose CEO, Bill Ford, just announced cutting 30,000 jobs, a third of its American work force. I wonder how many fans will be wearing that big foam finger (yes, that one) we saw on Jon Stewart the other night. And one of the teams is called the Steelers, a term that harkens back to when some say that steel was manufactured here?

Well, it is not just football stadiums whose names are for sale anymore. The days of Washington, Franklin, or King High seem to have gone the way of real steelers, not the 300 pound ones that run like deer. The big question in Philadelphia these days is what corporate name will grace its new state-or-the-art high school. Cost? $5 mil. No biggie--it's a write-off.

Here is a clip from the Times story:
PHILADELPHIA — Next fall, a stunning $55 million high school will open on the edge of Fairmount Park here. For now, it is called the School of the Future, a state-of-the-art building with features like a Web design laboratory and a green roof that incorporates a storm-water management system. But it may turn out to be the school of the future in another sense, too: It is a public school being used to raise a lot of private money.

A glossy brochure offers dozens of opportunities for donors to get their name or corporate logo emblazoned on the walls : $1 million for the performing arts pavilion, $750,00 for the gyms or the main administrative suite (including the principal's office), $500,000 for the food court/ cybercafe, $50,000 for the science laboratories, $25,000 for each of the classrooms, and so on. Microsoft, a partner in designing the school, has already committed $100,000 for the Microsoft Visitors Center.

For a cool $5 million, a donor gets the grand prize — naming the school.

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