Wednesday, January 25, 2006


In today's NYTimes:
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.

"My approach is Leave No Dollar Behind," said Paul Vallas, chief executive of the Philadelphia schools...

"There are tremendous needs in this system," Mr. Vallas said, "where 85 percent of the kids are below poverty level. I'm not uncomfortable with corporations giving us money and getting their names on things. As long as it's not inappropriate, I don't see any downside."

Quoth the Simpsons:

Mrs Krabappel: "We'll finally be able to buy a real periodic table instead of those promotional ones from Oscar Meyer! Now, on with the Science lesson: who can tell me the atomic weight of Bolonium?"

Martin: Ooh ooh ooh! Delicious?

Mrs Krabappel: Correct. I would also have accepted "snacktacular."

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