Three stories in Monday’s Boston Globe have some below-the-surface connections.
First, the percentage of minority Boston Public School teachers has not changed an iota in 10 years, while the percentage of minority principals has changed dramatically. The principals are appointed while the teachers are unionized. The Globe story reports that:
While union contractual limitations meant [that Boston Schools Superintendent Thomas] Payzant had to wait for teacher vacancies to change who was in front of the classrooms, he had direct control over the hiring of principals and has replaced 75 percent of school leaders during his tenure, school officials said. Black principals now make up nearly half of the 148 principals, a 58 percent increase since 1995; Hispanics represent 16 percent, a 64 percent jump.
No further word on how union representation specifically may or may not have impeded any such change. The Globe story carries a fairly rich graphic (here) which shows the populations broken down into the government-sanctioned racial classifications of white/black/Hispanic/Asian. More informative are the facts that 1) the Boston Public Schools student population has declined by 8% during the past 10 years, and 2) the student/teacher ratio in the system is 11/1, which is better than the ratio in Weston (12/1) or Wellesley (13/1).
Another Globe story tells of a dispute between two groups both claiming to represent the Schaghticoke native American tribe. Each group is seeking government certification for itself as the sanctioned representative of the tribe, which will allow it to decide how the tribe’s reservation will be developed into a gambling resort.
Finally, Washington super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has become so radioactive that members of the House and Senate are actually returning his contributions. Abramoff is being investigated, according to the Globe:
…for allegedly swindling American Indian tribes out of millions of dollars in lobbying fees and contributions to Abramoff’s associates.
No doubt Mr. Abramoff is the inside-the-beltway fixer who can help assure government certification of a particular group as the official tribal representatives (based on what criteria one might ask? Racial purity perhaps, but more likely the size of the lobbying fees which can be provided to the firm of Mr. Abramoff).
Such are the inevitable consequences when our law treats people primarily as members of particular racial groups rather than as citizens of the United States.