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Voice: Nepotism, other problems rampant in Calexico schools, beyond

October 19, 2001

I've followed your articles on the teacher shortage with interest. One point that you have missed is that the education system does not want new teachers. It wants clones.

The system has much to lose if students are taught to think critically. The current simulation of education cannot stand up to criticism. According to current practices, prospective teachers must be broken of independent thinking, just as students must be dominated, so the old hands at the shell game can continue to rack up their fat salaries and pensions, undisturbed by the idea that learning should be taking place in the schools.

One of the most effective ways to replicate teacher-clones is through nepotism. Imperial County schools are rife with nepotism.

Calexico Unified School District is an example of an organization that appears to be a school district but actually is a job mill for members of prominent families, as well as a college-entry scam for the children of those same families. Kids from the right families can get into good colleges whether they can read or not — this is the purpose of the highly discriminatory Advanced Placement scam. Kids from poor or socially marginal families can count on going to continuation school, independent studies or other covers for getting kicked out as undesirable.

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Nepotism among staff starts at the top, with the superintendent's son and the deputy

superintendent's daughter filling spots at the high school. The deputy superintendent's daughter is on an emergency waiver as is the mayor of Calexico, while certified teachers have been shown the door. The high school counselor's wife and three daughters working in the district. The high school principal has her job because an administrator at San Diego State University is her husband. The president of the parents' committee is an instructional aide and has the principal at her beck and call.

These are just some of the most obvious examples of featherbedding in local schools. The furthest thing from these folks' thinking is education. If they actually taught anyone to think critically, the gravy bowl would be overturned

Why do parents tolerate this charade? The answer is they were conditioned by it. The greatest hope is that students will refuse to continue to put up with boring and irrelevant courses taught by pompous clowns.

Why do students put up with it? Have they become too comfy, too? Are low-performing schools a symptom of a low-performing community?

There is no indication that such an excuse exists. Change will not come from within an ineffective system. Why do the people in this valley put up with such rotten schools? And why would a qualified teacher work in them?

JOHN WELSH

Mexicali

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