The lead editorial in the Jan. 26 New York Sun recounts some stories from Lydia Segal’s book Battling Corruption in America’s Public Schools:

[There’s] the custodian who used his school basement to raise chickens for cockfighting, telling inspectors that the hundreds of labeled eggs he was incubating there were to feed students. Another custodian “let his boiler operator store his gun collection near the lunchroom and live in the basement, where he slept, entertained women, and kept a dog,” the book says.

The harshest portraits come from transcripts of undercover investigations of community school board members. “I’m a political leader, that’s why I’m here…. I make sure my people get [expletive] jobs,” one said. Another laughingly admitted, “I’ve never heard the word ‘children’ or ‘education’ enter into our discussions in the last few years… with anybody.” Another board member recounted, “If we recommend somebody,” the district had to hire that person so long as “they’re not illiterate or deformed or something the matter with them.”

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