Earlier this month, as it became apparent that the DOE had pretty seriously botched the pre-kindergarten admission process, Eduwonkette offered up a multiple-choice question to describe the DOE’s damage-control options. Should the DOE issue a heartfelt apology and plan for improvement; deny that the problem exist; or minimize the significance of the uncertainty for the many families affected? At the time, the DOE was doing everything except apologizing.

Now, it looks like the DOE came up with a fourth option: gloss over the problem as long as possible, release no information about how or whether it’s being cleared up, and then try to avoid a similar problem with gifted and talented admissions decisions by hand-delivering letters over the weekend at the cost of $5 a pop. The DOE says using a courier service was much cheaper than overnighting all of the letters. But completing the process accurately and according to the original schedule would have been even less costly, at a time when the schools are facing 1.4-6 percent budget cuts.