Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lobsters, Charts and Shoes on Crappy! Chart! Thursday!

I know that it's Crappy! Chart! Thursday! (and look, I know it doesn't have the same ring, but maybe it should be every other, or every 3rd Thursday of the crappy charts), but... my mind is full of unchart-y questions. I do still have a couple of charts. On the un-chart-y front:

Curly wants to be a lobster for Halloween.

On the one hand: fantastic. I do not have to sort out a way to keep a shivering princess in a gauzy dress warm, nor do I have to put my foot down about her not being allowed to dress in in a costume that makes her look like a baby hooker. Nor – and this may be the best part – do I have to make the costume.

On the other: really? How does a little girl with a fondness for pink decide that what she wants, really, reallyreally wants, is to dress as a scrumptious crustacean? Sure, this is the same kid who named her beloved stuffed T-Rex "Rainbow" and never even considered that Rainbow could be anything but a girl T-Rex. She and Rainbow also have matching dresses. They play Go Fish and hockey together (card-playing pictured below). She even dressed as Rainbow one Halloween. It was awesome. But I digress. Again. Anyway, this is the same kid who has the fashion sense to pick out these gladiator sandals (rubber soled, I might add, so that she can run, jump and climb in those suckers). I've long adored her shoes, but this is the first pair, ever, that made me ask if they came in my size and... score! They did. In black, even, so I can continue to dress like a grumpy, schlumpy Sicilian widow. With kick-ass shoes. But... lobster?

Anyway. It'll remain a mystery, I guess. On to charts. I mentioned that last year the State Auditor released a report looking at central administration functions in Seattle for 2004-2006. Recapping: the State Audiot told Seattle Public Schools that they had waaaaaaay too many administrators. SPS responded to the auditor by saying that they were more complicated than other districts in the state. SPS continued to staff up in the central office. End of recap.
The chart below compares students per Central Office Employee for a bunch of the biggest districts in Washington state. For the sake of fairness, the second chart gives you a gander at just how much bigger Seattle is than the next largest district.
So, it's quite a bit bigger, no? Spokane, the #2 in the state, comes in at around 27,000 to Seattle's 42,000. The thing is, even if SPS is more complicated, its size SHOULD allow it to achieve some economies of scale, especially on the administrative front, and thus, have many, many more students per central office staffer than other districts. Or... at least be about even. If you're having trouble reading the chart, Seattle is the shortest pairing in the chart, which means it's the furthest below those two little dotted lines (the lower line is the average for 2000-01, the upper one is the average for 2008-09) indicating the average. If you look, you'll see we've gotten less efficient. Quite a bit less efficient, as it happens. Bummer, dude.

1 comment:

Amanda Hosch said...

Hi Meg,

I'm a TM-APP parent and I have to say that your charts rock!

Thank you!

Plus the shoes are pretty cool, too.