Friday, April 10, 2009

You Can't "Pick" Your Friends And You Can't "Pick" Your Relatives

The FBI investigating the Wilkes Barre Area School district hiring practices discovered the "pick system." In today's Times Leader Jennifer Learn-Andes writes about the "pick system" employed(no pun intended,not)when looking at applicants for elementary teaching positions in that district.

As part of a federal investigation, Wilkes-Barre Area School Board members were asked to review a list of elementary teachers hired since 2004 and put their initials by the ones they recommended for interviews, according to board members Joe Moran and Jim Height.

Namey supplied board members with a list of teachers with check marks by all the ones hired for elementary school positions, the board members said. He asked board members to review the check-marked names and initial the ones they had recommended for interviews, they said.

The focus was on elementary positions because there’s little competition and sometimes a shortage of applicants for more specialized secondary education and special education positions, the board members said.

A recommendation to interview an applicant is important in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District because of the way the district’s unwritten hiring process is set up, said School Board member Lynn Evans. Hundreds of applicants apply for elementary teaching positions, so the administration relies primarily on recommendations from board members to decide who is interviewed, Evans said. It’s nicknamed the “pick system,” she said.

No one has been charged with any crime in this investigation.

No comments: