Books: Paperwork Jungle

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE by Bel Kaufman. 340 pages. Prentice-Hall $4.95.

New York City's "Calvin Coolidge High" is an anachronism, up-to-date only in its paperwork. The guidance counselor records students' negative motivations; the nurse, their positive Wassermanns. But the faculty's interest is , more clerical than clinical, and even dropouts are a problem more of tabulation than of salvation. After 15 years of teaching in schools like Coolidge, Bel Kaufman, a granddaughter of Yiddish Author Sholom Aleichem, in 1962 published a satirical anthology (From a Teacher's Wastebasket) of staff directives, lesson plans, and faculty memos, and she has now extended it to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!