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Pick a level. Depending on which level you choose will determine how much money you are given to start off with.

When game starts, you are given the task of building a school for twenty students. You have to purchase books, computers, science equipment, a school building and hire teachers. After one round the school enrolls ten more students. You have to then expand the school and add additional supplies and personnel. However, it is at this point that you are given an option. You can either hire more teachers to keep the class sizes small or same money and make classes larger.

In addition to worrying about updating books/supplies and hiring new teachers, the player also has to keep their “PTA” happy. The happier the PTA is the quicker they will help you with items such as a playground or sports equipment. You can help keep the PTA happy by updating supplies and keeping classes small.

After you finish ‘one school year’, the player is then taken to the School Board. There, the player is given the scores that their students received on their standardized testing, in Virginia, the SOLs. If the score is above an 85% the player will get additional money to add into their budget for the following year. If it is lower, the player gets a very small amount of money. After this the player then begins a new school year.


The goal of my game is to show players that there is a lot more that goes into education than just the knowledge that students learn. In fact, in my game the only mention of knowledge is at the end of the game when the scores are given for the students SOLs. Other than that, there is no mention of the education that students should learn. Instead, players are forced to focus on the money issues that schools face and the pressure of test scores. At first, the game seems easy enough. Buy what you want/need to have a nice school. However, after a few minutes when the player is presented with additional students they are forced to choose between keeping class sizes small or saving their money for something else and increasing class size by not hiring additional teachers.

In addition, every few minutes when new updates are presented to the players, they are forced to see that there are new updates to their supplies and must pick and choose carefully which ones they would buy to help advance their school. This is a common thing that most schools have to face, especially now when many schools have less money now than they did even a few years ago.

In addition to all of these problems that the player faces, at the end of the school year, the only thing that the School Board cares about is the standardized test scores. As the player plays the game they will notice that no matter what kind of quality supplies or how happy the PTA is all that is considered is the test scores. As the game continues, it will become apparent that there is no real way to win. All the player can do is attempt to keep up with the changing technology and try to keep their test scores up.


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