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...

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