Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Price Is Right, Brunswick version…


School consultants, COME ON DOWN!  It’s your turn to play The Price Is RIght!

Amazing sometimes how things happen in streaks.  Just a few days ago we posted on the subject of Brunswick schools and the worthiness of consultant services they’ve funded in recent years.

Then just this morning, as the Poppycocks were taking their breakfast at a local dining establishment, we came across an article  heading down the very same track.  It contains thoughts that are just too amusing to let slide without passing them along to loyal readers, who are always looking for a good laugh. 

As often is the case, the usual suspects seem always ready to stand up and prove our points.  Let’s begin with this:

The School Board ……. is seeking requests for proposals from consulting firms to create a five-year plan for the School Department that will describe where the schools are today, document where various stakeholders would like to go in the future, and provide ways to measure progress towards those goals.

Savor this language slowly….let it brighten your day.  It’s not clear if this is the reporter’s language alone, or whether she simply took notes as she heard the words uttered by a school department official.  To begin with, though, we think the School Board should seek proposals, rather than ‘requests for proposals,’ which is what you issue when you seek proposals.

But it really doesn’t matter.  I’m convinced that with only a few hours effort, I can easily document where the schools are today, and I'll even throw in photos and maps.  As to where they might go in the future, let’s get real here; how many other locations around town could accommodate them? 

Few as the choices obviously are, we’re convinced it will be a piece of cake to measure the progress as the schools are moved from where they are today to where they might go in the future.  It’ll be easy enough to do by following them as they move and taking pictures. Should things begin to get out of hand, we can always hire a helicopter with an eye in the sky to record the trip.  Modern day technology will make it easy to measure the progress; can you say GPS?

Here’s another little tickler:

She (the Board chair) said every year the board asks itself what to spend money on, and the answer is usually dictated by how much money is available.

So I said to myself, self……

Seems the Board is thinking about spending $25,000 on consultants for this effort, which probably won’t draw much interest.  So we should have a good shot at the job, charging, oh, $200 an hour or so, which will only cover our expenses and leave us with no-profit, allowing us to maintain our editorial purity.

Time to finish up on our little flight of frivolity.  We’ll close with this whopper from another board member, which nearly had us coughing up our bagel and lox; only a nearby flute of champagne saved us:

"I just want everyone to understand that the town of Brunswick has in fact spent an exorbitant amount of money and time to create exactly what we’re talking about here tonight ... and nobody pays any attention to it…."

The funny part is, based on what we described about past consulting services funded by the School department a few days ago, we’d all be better off if nobody paid any attention to what they submit.  Which might suggest not bringing them aboard in the first place.

Present company excepted, of course.  Because we’re very good at consuming all the money that is available when that is the first priority.



  1. Thanks for a really amusing post. If the schools would concentrate on teaching the basics of reading, writing and math, the students, often lost in the edu-babble, would be so much more prepared for personal success.

  2. Welcome to the comment team, Earl.

    I assume you are as disappointed as I am to find out that School Board members don't even know where the schools are, let alone taking responsibility for how they operate and perform.

    If you can't find the darn things, it can be really tough to set standards for them.

    Reminds me of the old joke - "Have you seen them? Which way did they go? I must know! I am their leader!"

    Perhaps one of these days The Ostrich can run a special full page insert showing where the schools are to help the board members out.