Several weeks ago, during a high-stakes assessment of our school system from its accrediting body, the accreditation committee’s chairwoman took time to explain the school system’s rating to the school board members.

In one area, stakeholder communications, she commended Opelika City Schools’ for “turning around in a complete 360 from where you were,” praising us for doing better in that area.

Or did she?

If the school system did a complete 360, as she suggested, we would have undoubtedly ended exactly right back where we had started. We wouldn’t have improved a bit.

Why she would commend our system for standing in one place and completing one full rotation, I couldn’t immediately ascertain, but, being from such an august and admirable reviewing body, how could I hope to quibble with her response?

Well, madame, I may have gone through a school system you reviewed as simply adequate in some performance areas, but even I know that 180 degrees gives you an opposing change in direction.

You may be in charge of accrediting us, but you did a severe discredit to yourself by not remembering basic math principles. A pity.