Nepotism in the Holyoke Public Schools

by Laurel | April 7th, 2010

April 7, 1907, page 6

Family Ties Are Still Strong

With Holyoke School Board

Another Example of a Relative Member Being Elected to a Position

It had been prayerfully hoped by the many teachers on the Holyoke waiting list that before this time the members of the school board had placed their sisters, their cousins or their aunts on the teaching force, and that a chance at the new appointments to be made would be afforded them — but alas — another relative arose to be provided with a position and again the hopes of the Holyoke girls were cruelly dashed to earth. It cannot be learned from inquiry that any careful going over the list of teachers was made to pick out those having the best qualifications for a position in the Holyoke schools in this instance, the fact that a teacher appointed was a relative of a member of this school board evidently proving a far stronger recommendation than college, normal school or technical education, and it was not considered necessary to confine the appointment to the daughters of Holyoke residents.

As has been pointed out before — and at times sorrowfully denied by the school board — this qualification for an appointment to the teaching force of Holyoke has been in the past, is at present, and bids fair to be for some time in the future paramount to all others. That before a teacher is appointed the waiting list should be gone over and the fitness of the different candidates carefully weighed is self evident and that an appointment of the one best qualified for the position should follow is also true. It would seen where two candidates prove to be equal that the choice should be five to the son or daughters of Holyoke residents, and in the present instance it was wholly unnecessary to go across the river with the appointment. It only goes farther to show that members of the Holyoke school board are chronic nepotists and are unable to rise above personal or selfish reasons when appointments are to be made and that the great love they profess to bear the Holyoke schools is only second to the great love they have for the patronage of the office.

It is fair to say, however, in the present instance that the only injustice done by the board was to those teachers whose names came first on the waiting list and whose claims by right should have at least received some consideration. As far as can be ascertained no teachers were removed at this time to make vacancies for friends. Some comment is being heard as to the stand of the superintendent of the Holyoke schools on this matter and the question is asked why protest over such an appointment, unjust to those already on the waiting list, was not heard from him.

From the Springfield Republican.

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