Over the weekend, parents who had flocked to Brooklyn Tech for the city’s High School Fair were given the depressing news that 100,000 city children had applied for the 5,000 seats available in the 800+ specialty programs around town.
That makes the Specialized High Schools about twice as selective as Harvard.
At least, if school placements were hard to come by, there was plenty of fattening food for the taking. Several Brooklyn Tech groups took the opportunity to sell cupcakes and cookies, and it just might be for the last time. On Friday, the Times reported that the Department of Education has released new guidelines that ban bake sales in the hopes that decreasing baked revenues will also decrease student waistlines.
Brooklyn Tech already seems on board with the nanny state: only water and diet drinks were stocked in vending machines, and baked Fritos and Lays have replaced traditional potato chips.
But when it comes to attracting parents to your little-heard-of school, sugar and fat are still in. At the fair, the smaller specialized schools were handing out baked goods and junk food to get the word out about them. Doritos. Oreos. Packets of M&M’s. Cans of soda.
There’s nothing like a goodie bag to get attention. Even after bake sales are banned, we’re willing to bet that you’ll still be able to have your cake and eat it, to…as long as it’s free. (After all, the new guidelines stipulate what you can sell, but not what you can give away.)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 5, 2009