Thank you for Howard Manly’s excellent report on nepotism in the Boston Public School system. I have to confess that I naively thought that a school might be one of the few places in government where folks would have the decency to refrain from this type of behavior.
Kudos also to Councilor Chuck Turner for looking into these instances. His comments about the harm that nepotism causes were right on — although they only covered part of the problem. Yes, it’s a matter of fairness in access to jobs. But more importantly, nepotism draws into question all types of decisions that impact our ability to support and provide resources to our children. Jobs in education (and elsewhere in government) should only exist to meet the critical needs of the public. There will be times when a particular position or role may no longer be needed or may need to change. When the family member of a decision-maker is hired or holds such a position — the decisions around that job are, by definition, compromised.
That element of doubt or bias, in turn, can lead to poor utilization of resources and outright corruption. And that directly hurts the delivery of education to our kids.
If we truly care about our children’s future, we should take this issue very seriously. We must realize, remind each other, and teach our children that government-funded jobs and public resources are not “spoils” to be doled out ... but rather, vital tools to be used wisely and with good stewardship.