by Marty Faigin
I'd appreciate feedback on these columns, particuarly if you get
different results or you don't agree with something I've said.
First, why build them at all? According to Dargahi/Bremer (p.125)
"cities with a low EQ have a greater chance of both unemployment
and rioting". So there you are; educate the sims or suffer the
consequences.
The D&B book states that a school (1) will serve 15,000 sims, (2)
will hold up to 1,500 students, and (3) can have up to 60 teachers.
They also provide a table that shows that you need a
studenttoteacher ratio of 14 to get an "A" and that a s/t ratio
of 24 will give you a "D".
After a review of several cities, I discovered that SimCity
actually has two school grading systems. Under normal
circumstances the s/t ratios shown in Table 227 (p.128) are
correct in both the DOS and Windows versions. In other words, if
you let your s/t ratios rise into the 20's your grades will drop
rapidly. Over 25 students per teacher will give you an F. Putting
it another way, "A" level schools are small; usually under 800
students.
However, under certain conditions, cities with too few schools will
try and cram more students and teachers into each school to
compensate. For example, in one city I checked there was a school
with 1607 students and 59 teachers (s/t ratio of 27) The grade
should have been "F" but instead it rated a "B".
As an experiment I took a city of 81K which had only 6 schools and
checked each one. The size range was quite wide (1,5091,719) and,
despite s/t ratios in the low 30's, the schools all had "C+"
grades. Total student population was 9,829. I then doubled the
number of schools to 12. When I checked again the size range was
small (909917), the s/t ratios were around 16, and the grades had
returned to normal; "B+". Even more interesting was that the total
school population increased 11% to 10,954.
So, in summary, keep your schools small (750900). The D&B "15K"
rule is much too conservative partly because it's difficult to get
60 teachers in one school. Good systems will generally require a
school for every 8,000 or fewer sims.
