Councilman Bill deBlasio at PS 154, which stopped using styrofoam trays this spring. Photo from Gowanus Lounge
Councilman Bill deBlasio at PS 154, which stopped using Styrofoam trays this spring. Photo from ##http://gowanuslounge.blogspot.com/2008/03/pm-update-windsor-terrace-school-tosses.html##Gowanus Lounge##

First Councilman Bill deBlasio waged war on Styrofoam lunch trays. Next Councilman Lew Fidler took up a crusade for energy-efficient light bulbs, pushing the issue at one and then another recent Council hearing. And now, there is a new petition urging Governor Paterson to make the state’s schools “incorporate green-minded curriculum into the classroom.”

So far, the Department of Education has made no indication it is boarding this bandwagon. But there was a little bit of tree-saving inside this week’s Principals Weekly, the regular memo from Chancellor Joel Klein. The memo discloses that the DOE is launching a pilot program to make surveys of teachers and students paperless. The Learning Environment Surveys, used to determine schools’ progress report letter grades, now are mailed to schools and completed by hand. Under the pilot, parents would still fill out the surveys with paper.

That could be a baby step towards footprint-reduction. Or, it could just be a way to cut costs.