Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Old news is new news

Over the last few weeks the media has been full of reports of various scandals involved altering test scores on teacher candidate tests, sending lists of applicants to politicians, bribes and other unsavory practices.

Yesterday, the police raided some offices of municipal and prefectural boards of education in Oita because they suspect some principals paid bribes to get their positions.

I remember talking to a newly hired teacher in Toyama in the early 1990s who had just passed the teachers test on her 3rd try. How did she do it? By studying harder? Maybe, but according to her, she was able to get someone in a position to influence such things to pull strings for her. She was quite open about it, at least to me and my wife and friends.

I suppose the latest scandal may be a surprise for some, but more than one person has told me that sort of thing is an old custom. Nothing new, so I wonder why all the coverage of it now.

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