Doing the sums
Let's do a few sums with regard to teacher numbers.
In case it escaped your notice, they're down in Scotland by 975 over the past year.
Labour's Rhona Brankin reckons that should add up to the sack for the Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop.
It will scarcely surprise you to learn that Ms Hyslop dissents. She wants to show us the working behind the raw calculation.
Pupil-teacher ratios and class sizes are in record good standing, she says. Still, she is making no effort today to suggest that this performance merits a gold star.
At the very least, it may make it still more difficult to achieve the SNP's manifesto promise to "reduce class sizes in Primary 1, 2 and 3 to eighteen pupils or less".
(Shouldn't that be "fewer"? Depends, I suppose, on whether it's linear or quantitative.)
Anyway, grammatical quibbles aside, that particular pledge is looking increasingly problematic, not least because sundry local councils have indicated they're less than thirled to the concept.
And therein, also, lies an element of today's controversy. Ms Hyslop points out several councils have increased teacher numbers and others have maintained their figures.
Just four, she notes, are responsible for more than half the decline.
Those four are Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Renfewshire and Aberdeen. Politically diverse in terms of control - or, at least, about as diverse as Scotland gets.
Ms Hyslop offer soothing reassurance. With the ministerial "partners" at Cosla, efforts will now be made to help and assist those particular councils and others.
Under the concordat, councils have relative freedom - but they are bound to act towards agreed targets including, say ministers, the maintenance of teacher numbers.
As one might expect, teachers' unions are fretting. The EIS said they were "both disappointed and angry". They said promises were being broken.
And the line from Cosla? They note that the "figures may not be as robust as we would expect."
Translation? They could be mince.
Still, presumably, we can expect robust stats to be drawn up between now and the next Holyrood election. Judge us, say Ministers, at that point.