Thursday, January 02, 2014

Teaching Jobs Are Often Like Hereditary Titles

Still looking around the internet on sources about the rampant nepotism in public education, and I came across this beauty of a 2011 thread on Teachers.net, where the truth more often than not gets written.

This was on the New Jersey discussion board, but it applies everywhere. Responses to a question of how common nepotism is in respondents' districts:

If you are the son, daughter, niece or nephew of someone or or close to someone such as a chief school administrator
or are an ex-mayor or ex-cop on a hefty pension you have a shot of getting hired.

If you are just a hard working, smart person, with a real passion for teacher, Good Luck

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Unions cannot help with nepotism if you are not part of a union...

Unfortunately, there is not much we can do. Where I live, a lot of the teachers have husbands or wives that work in the district. It's not fair, yet. But, it doesn't seem like there will be anything we can do about it. If they go through the interview process just like everyone else they can "claim" that they were the best person for that position.

...

I am a new teacher and recently lost a job to nepotism. The teacher who was hired has a lower degree and a CE only. I can not believe that this person was the best choice. I am sure there were teachers with years of experience, and candidates who held a CEAS who would be more qualified than the one hired.

From what I have heard there were not formal interviews nor was anyone asked to teach a lesson as part of the hiring process.

This is a huge problem in the education of our children.

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The problem with nepotism is not based on a degree or certification. Who cares what type of degree you have or level of certification. I am
sure there are teachers with only a CE who are much more qualified than one's with a Standard Certification and Masters Degree. When
teaching, its more about capabilities, skill, and knowledge of the material than a piece of paper that you received from some college
that says your qualified. I know that you gain more experience by actually being in a classroom, than sitting in a desk listening to a
professor ramble about classroom management, curriculum, and teaching techniques.

But, what the previous poster, Jan, was trying to say is that people are hired based on relation to a Superintendent or Principal. This, in
fact, IS a problem. How can you say that the children are being provided with the best possible education if the teacher was hired
strictly because they know someone? In her case, they were not going through the typical hiring process. So, in the end, they hired someone
because they knew them, when there could be a better quality teacher for the students shuffled in a file drawer somewhere never to be
acknowledged.

This is not to say that a person hired due to nepotism isn't the best quality candidate. They very well might be the perfect person for the
job. But, to be fair they should go through the same interview process as everyone else.

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If nepotism was not a problem, why would they be trying to pass a bill to eliminate it? See the following FACTS here
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/assembly_bill_prohibits_charte.html. Or do you not read the news?

Everything I said in my statement was BASED off of FACTS that I read/heard about in the news. I would never comment on something that I knew nothing about. Yes, some things that I stated are my own personal opinion, but I am entitled to have an opinion aren't I? I guess having an opinion = whining.

Clearly, you did not take the time to read my post. I am every bit aware of what Jan said about having a higher degree as opposed to a CE. If you READ my first paragraph you would have noticed that I said that teaching is based more on capabilities, knowledge, and skills rather than a piece of paper handed to you by a college that says you can teach. Also, in my last paragraph I stated that a person hired do to nepotism might be the perfect candidate. BUT, they should go through the same process as everyone else (which they currently don't because they know someone who got them hired without interview. YES, this IS a FACT!).

I'm sure if this same situation happened to you, whatever your job may be, you would me mad & upset just like Jan. Please do not comment to this post, as you probably won't read it correctly anyway (just like you did with my last post).

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Nepotism is the sign of a land of opportunity.

Even an idiot can succeed (if is uncle is on the Board).

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I don't know why you guys are so resistant to the claim that there could be instances of nepotism in NJ schools.

I worked for a district where there were some candidates hired without a formal interview because they were recommended by the super or someone in the BOE. I even lost my TA job at a private school a few years back because the director's son needed a job and I was at the bottom of the totem pole.

Do I have anything to back up my claims? No, it's all first hand experience, but it does happen.

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The problem is, there is no "Journal Of Teacher Hiring" where peer-related articles about superintendents' hiring relatives are published. EVERYBODY who thinks they lost or didn't get a job because a relative/friend was hired bases it on hearsay. So Nepotism Defenders or Deniers are holding the Nepotism Accusers to a standard that can't be reached. Hearsay can't be admitted in court, but on a message board? I think the standards are a bit lower to introduce facts into evidence.

Anyway, here is some evidence: 1. My kindergarten teacher was the daughter-in-law of my first principal. 2. My first gym teacher was the SIL of my first 5th grade teacher. One of their husbands is now the HS principal, and one of the daughters is now teaching kindergarten. 3. After my 1st 5th grade teacher went out on maternity, they hired the 8th grade teacher's sister. 4. My geometry teacher was the daughter or an English teacher.

None of these teachers were bad--and there were many more where I don't know exactly who they knew/or were related to, if anyone. But the word on the street--and I have heard this from just about everybody--is that you don't get hired without a connection. Teachers are open about it, to some extent. Admissible to court? No.

None of this would matter if there were enough jobs to go around, if teachers weren't under the proverbial gun. But when you don't get
hired where you really want to work because a retiree calls in a favor to a principal (happened to me in a different district-- the
principal told my friend straight out), it hurts and people get whiny. When you find out that the person has never taught before and was going alternate route (and you have years of experience), you get mad. When results of Praxis Exams, GPA's, recommendations, college majors, certificates, etc. seem to be ignored in the hiring process, it makes a joke out of those requirements. And when those with "connections" are treated preferentially on the job (I've heard stories--hearsay, I'll admit--about people losing control of classes given second chances, for example), you wonder if the kids are affected.


It's long overdue to institute a civil service-type system on school districts and ban nepotism hiring. I'd even go further than that and get rid of double-dipping by school district retired teachers who go back into the classroom and substitute. Given the fact sub lists are most often used as hiring pools, this really screws up things for people who are trying to break into teaching or get back into it.

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