Maybe Center Moriches should follow suit too.
Wyandanch school board OKs strict
September 16, 2009 by JOHN HILDEBRAND / email@example.com
After decades of flagrant insider hiring, a divided Wyandanch school board Wednesday night adopted one of the strictest anti-nepotism codes on Long Island.
The new policy, passed with four yes votes and three abstentions, generally requires a board “super majority” – at least five votes out of seven – to hire any school worker, from teacher to janitor, whenever the applicant is related to a board member. The provision goes well beyond state law, which requires such votes only when hiring teachers and other professionals.
Moreover, Wyandanch’s policy broadens the definition of “related persons” to include not only blood relatives, but anyone who has formed close ties with a board member. Examples include romantic relationships, work at common job sites, or mutual participation in PTAs and civic groups.
“I believe we’re making history for schools,” said board president Denise Baines, shortly before the vote.
Some veteran administrators in other districts question whether rules so broad can be enforced. But many Wyandanch residents insist such measures are necessary to stamp out patronage hiring that has demoralized a district struggling to raise test scores and graduation rates.
Supporters of the new rules, including a board majority that has solidified its control over the past two years, add that they want to promote fairer selections through public disclosure of any ties between candidates and school officials.
“Wyandanch has been riddled with nepotism for years,” said BarBara Wright-Blue, a lifetime resident active in the Long Island Progressive Coalition, a liberal grassroots organization. Another group member, Marva Worrell, said, “We’re looking for qualifications, not relations.”
The coalition helped arrange the drafting of Wyandanch’s rules by volunteers at Hofstra University Law School.
In Albany, state school officials are reviewing Wyandanch’s rules to see whether some could be incorporated into the state’s own guidelines for school boards. Those guidelines already include recommendations for avoiding financial conflicts-of-interest, but nothing on nepotism in hiring.
Albany‘s review was prompted by Roger Tilles, the Island’s representative to the state Board of Regents, which sets educational policy. Tilles, who worked closely with the Progressive Coalition, said in a written statement that Wyandanch was “a groundbreaking school district.”
Experts call nepotism a widespread problem in small, suburban school districts – but particularly in communities with high poverty such as Wyandanch, where schools are the biggest local employers.
In 2008, a major issue in Wyandanch’s school board election was the fact that then-board president, the Rev. Michael V. Talbert Sr., was married to a district administrator. At the same time, then-Superintendent Sherman Roberts was under fire because his wife was a district secretary.
Talbert was defeated in May by Nancy Holliday, a retired teacher and local civic leader. Subsequently, Holliday’s brother, Robert, was rehired as a counselor in the district, touching off complaints that the election amounted to little more than a patronage fight.
Holliday, who abstained from last night’s vote on nepotism, has insisted her brother is qualified for a job he held once before, in 2005. The conflict of interest resolution passed with five yes votes and two abstentions.
TABACCO: Newsday’s Hildebrand was impressed in 2009; I wonder if he feels the same way about Wyandanch’s “strict” Nepotism Law in 2013!
With our recent experience of disparate Wyandanch Board Cliques joining in to play “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”, a 5-Vote Plurality has been proven to not be a Vaccine against wanton Nepotism and Patronage.
So I proceed to reverse the tables and see if I can interview John Hildebrand on 2-points:
As of this Publication, I have received no critical response from Mr. Hildebrand although we have been in constant contact since I e-mailed John with my 2-points.
John may feel he cannot ‘interfere’ because he is an unbiased observer, but it never hurts to ask!
Whether the Trustees are Allen, Baker, Crawford, Holliday, Reed, Robinson & Tolliver – OR – 7 Saints, it matters NOT! So long as those 7 Wyandanch Trustees have the POWER of Hiring & Firing, Creating “New Positions” and Excising “Old Positions”,
will continue as before!
And it’s the CHILDREN STUDENTS, who will suffer!
ALL 7 MEMBERS of the Wyandanch B.O.E. have SERVED BEFORE!
What is that ‘definition of insanity’? Oh yes,
The Battle is NOT over – it has just begun! But at least now we have a chance to
It is difficult indeed for Board members, whoever they may be, to give up power. This is especially true for 7 guys and girls, who get not a penny of recompense from Wyandanch. I understand and empathize with your quandary! I hope to one day PAY THE BOARD TRUSTEES for their work! To do otherwise is “pennywise and pound-foolish”!
2 OUT, 2 IN – THAT DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN POSITIVE CHANGE! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN, BUT THE FUEL OF MIRACLES IS THOUGHT & EFFORT, NOT JUST PRAYER!
To the New B.O.E., comprised of 7 “EXPERIENCED” Trustees, I say, “DON’T BLOW IT THIS TIME!”
“B.O.E. means BOARD OF EDUCATION, NOT BOARD OF EMPLOYMENT!”
Getting rid of the Old and replacing it with the NEW in and of itself WILL NOT EDUCATE THE CHILDREN! Yes, those Jobs filled between July, 2011, and June, 2013, WITHOUT BENEFIT of advertising, competition or any other FAIR & HONEST HIRING & FIRING MUST BE RECTIFIED! But that RECTIFICATION must be done in an Honest, Transparent Manner to REVERSE Wyandanch’s HISTORY of FAVORITISM!
The B.O.E. must hire the BEST AVAILABLE CANDIDATES, not the “Best Available Church members” or the “Best Available Friends” or the “Best Available Family members”!
Anyone, with Roots in Wyandanch, MUST PLAY THE FAVORITISM GAME!
Even I could NOT be completely unbiased if I had the Job. And neither can the “Magnificent 7”: You CANNOT be unbiased!
That is why an NOT have its fingerprints on the TRIUMVIRATE! That would solve NOTHING! is the BEST SOLUTION! I have not worked out all the kinks in the Selection Process, but I do know that the B.O.E. must
NYC did that with its “Civilian Review Board”, which includes a large percentage of Retired Police Officers! You call that a “PACIFIER”, NOT a “PANACEA”!
When you have a Problem, you must replace it with a Solution, not another Problem! Amending the Problem rarely works! Just look at Constitutional Amendments vis-à-vis the Constitution itself if you doubt that wisdom!
On July 2nd this year, we will have a pretty good idea as to whether the NEW BOARD will be an improvement on the TALBERT BOARD and by how much! By July 10th and July 17th that Assessment will really take shape. I will report on the Projected Improvements we can anticipate – and the “BUSINESS AS USUAL”.
And the 1st Reports to you, parents and non-parents alike, won’t take long to reach your attention!
My Job does NOT end now; and NEITHER DOES YOURS!
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
WYANDANCH/WHEATLEY HEIGHTS CITIZENS’ COALITION