Wednesday, February 26, 2020

APS Superintendent Search for Candidates is Finished


The recruitment window has closed in the search for candidates competing to be APS’ next superintendent; “role model” specifically and deliberately excepted.


Now the process moves into the dark; meetings in as much secrecy as the law will allow, without oversight and without recording.

The next APS Superintendent will be subject to some set of standards of conduct.
That set includes
  • standards; the law and the like, and
  • ethics; higher standards of conduct than the law; most require candor, forthrightness and honesty, and
  • accountability
There being not one wit of difference between the highest standards of conduct and the lowest, if neither is enforced, accountability is paramount.

Look for due process where any stake or interest holder can file a complaint against a school board member or senior administrator, and where that complaint will see a principled resolution, free of their undue influence and powerful enough to hold them accountable even against their will.

  • To what ethics and standards of conduct will the next superintendent be held?

  • By what due process will they be held accountable?

If School Board President David Peercy and the Board are unwilling to respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly to those questions, you have to wonder why.

Why except that they are ashamed of the truth; except that they don’t want to suffer the consequences of the truth being known?

A textbook example of a lack of character and courage.

Not unlike the media's ongoing refusal to investigate and report upon the ethics, standards, accountability and role modeling scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Only Defense of an Indefensible Position is to Hide It


APS School Board President David Peercy has to defend an indefensible position;

that student standards of conduct can be lowered in order that his and other school board members and their next superintendent's standards of conduct can be lowered concurrently.

Peercy and the Board’s position is indefensible.
Peercy and the Board are in hiding.

Rather than respond to legitimate questions about their individual and collective ethics, standards, accountability, and role modeling, they are in hiding behind;
  1. ridiculous rules on public participation in their decision making,
  2. their publicly funded private police force, and behind
  3. a complicit, complacent or completely incompetent local “news” media.

Peercy and the board deleted two enabling documents in
  1. APS’ student standards of conduct, 
  2. their own standards of conduct, and in 
  3. the district’s only character education program.

Within one of those documents, the Pillar of Trustworthiness, and within it standards to which students were to hold themselves honestly accountable. Obedience to which; compulsory, if students to were to develop and maintain their good character.

• Honesty in communications is expressing the truth as best we know it and not conveying it in a way likely to mislead or deceive. There are three dimensions:

• Truthfulness. Truthfulness is presenting the facts to the best of our knowledge. Intent is the crucial distinction between truthfulness and truth itself. Being wrong is not the same thing as lying, although honest mistakes can still damage trust insofar as they may show sloppy judgment.

• Sincerity. Sincerity is genuineness, being without trickery or duplicity. It precludes all acts, including half-truths, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading.

• Candor. In relationships involving legitimate expectations of trust, honesty may also require candor, forthrightness and frankness, imposing the obligation to volunteer information that another person needs to know.


The Albuquerque Public School Board of Education lowered student standards of conduct in order that they and their next superintendent cannot be held accountable, even as role models, to standards of conduct that require them to respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly to legitimate questions about the public interests and about their public service.

Else, there is a good and ethical reason to have lowered student standards of conduct; a reason that I cannot imagine and no one of them will articulate.

Right, and a bag of Mint Milano Cookies serves five.

Character, courage, honor, and higher standards of conduct than the law.


There is a difference of opinion on the standards of conduct to which school board members and senior administrators are, and should be held accountable.

  • Standards; clear and unequivocal
  • Accountability; due process wherein a stake or interest holder can hold a school board member or senior administrator actually and honestly accountable under a process assuring a principled resolution.

Willingly or not, holding oneself accountable to the law is required by the law.

Holding oneself accountable to the law means holding oneself accountable to the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

The law is the enunciation of the standards of conduct that the entirety of higher standards of conduct, is higher than.

Holding oneself accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law requires character and courage and honor in proportion to what the recently deleted standards of conduct would call a person of character’s “willingness to do more than the law requires and less than the law allows”.

Should APS School Board Members
  • Expect students to model and promote honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law? And if they do,
Should stake and interest holders
  • Expect school board members and senior administrators to step up as role models of honest to God accountability to the same standards of conduct that they establish for, and enforce upon students?

More importantly, should this decision be made in secret;
behind closed doors, without recording and without oversight?

One last question; why is none of this of any interest to the people who are supposed to be informing the Democracy?

APS/Journal Criminal Cover Up Remains Unresolved

The leadership of the APS and their lawyers CAN NOT produce a public record that proves that the felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of the APS’ publicly funded private police force was ever investigated by any other agency of law enforcement or that any evidence or testimony or investigative report was ever turned over to the DA.

The leadership of the APS by and through their lawyers, WILL NOT produce public records including the reports of investigations of those allegations of criminal misconduct, done by private investigators working for the board or for their lawyers.

Nor can the Journal provide any evidence that the Journal investigated and reported upon the board’s COVER UP of the state and federal felony criminal misconduct that the Journal first reported.

APS  Top Cop (the second in a row)  Finds Himself on Hot Seat, link


Or they would

David Peercy; Senior-most Role Model in the Entire APS Of what, exactly?


In the past month or so, APS School Board President David Peercy has

• Continued to keep off any school board meeting agenda; the restoration in executive and administrative standards of conduct, of a role modeling clause that used to read;

in no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
• Ensured that “role model” and role modeling will not be listed among the desirable characteristics in the next superintendent.

• Deleted two enabling documents from APS student and adult standards of conduct;
1. The Aspen Declaration, and
2. The Pillars of Character Counts!
• Thereby, simultaneously lowering both
a. student standards of conduct and
b. adult role models standards of conduct.
• Refused to answer questions in public and on the record, regarding the deletion of the enabling documents and the cascade effect on student and adult standards of conduct.

And most importantly;

• Announced that the rest of the candidate selection process will take place in meetings in secret from stake and interest holders; meetings he will not allow to be recorded and over which there will be no oversight.


David Peercy and the Board voted unanimously to end the district's only district wide commitment to help students develop and maintain their good character.




And what about the media; KOB, KOAT, KRQE and Journal?
Where are they?

What are they going to do about this?

KRQE, KOAT, KOB TV and the Journal Say “No” to Scandal Coverage


Local news outlets were asked whether they were willing to investigate and report upon the ethics, standards, accountability and role modeling scandal in the leadership of the APS.  My email to them read;

I write to you wondering if you are willing to report, given sufficient incontrovertible proof, that

· the APS Board of Education has reneged on a still binding school board resolution by

· lowering student standards of conduct, and because they are the district’s senior-most role models of student standards of conduct,

· lowering their own standards of conduct.

· Further that they accomplished this by deleting from the existing standards of conduct, the enabling document and definitions; a 2021 word long nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct called “the Pillars of Character Counts!”

Yes or no, please

To the extent that when the question is;
are you willing to tell the truth?
any answer except “yes” means “no”, their answer is no; witness the absence of one single investigation or report upon the scandal, even to report that there isn’t one.

APS Superintendent Search Proceeds in Secret and Under a Cloud


The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education is in the process of hiring a superintendent.

The remainder of the candidate selection process will be conducted in meetings in secret, without oversight, and without recording.

The board in recent unanimous decisions, has

1. Stricken “role model” from their next superintendents standards of conduct, and

2. Lowered standards of conduct district-wide by removing from them, a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethics. and

3. Ended, at once and for all, any district-wide effort to help develop and maintain good character in students.

Their votes were taken under circumstances that prohibited questioning them about what they were doing and why. Public forum was limited to two minutes in front of an empty room.


Their sway over the local media continues unabated.

There has not been a single report on the lowering of APS standards or on the abdication en masse of the entire leadership of the APS, from their duties and obligations as role models of student standards of conduct.


Monday, February 24, 2020

APS School Board Dumps Another Enabling Document from APS Standards of Conduct

When the APS School Board voted unanimously to lower their own standards of conduct, in so doing, they rejected another of the enabling documents forming basis for character education APS standards of conduct.

Their 1994 Resolution to begin character education in earnest in the APS, was based on the board's endorsement of the Aspen Declaration link.


The Aspen Declaration consists of eight core beliefs about the nature and importance of character:

1. The next generation will be the stewards of our communities, nation and planet in extraordinarily critical times.

2. In such times, the well-being of our society requires an involved, caring citizenry with good moral character.

3. People do not automatically develop good moral character; therefore, conscientious efforts must be made to help young people develop the values and abilities necessary for moral decision making and conduct.

4. Effective character education is based on core ethical values rooted in democratic society, in particular, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, justice and fairness, caring, and civic virtue and citizenship.

5. These core ethical values transcend cultural, religious and socioeconomic differences.

6. Character education is, first and foremost, an obligation of families and faith communities, but schools and youth-service organizations also have a responsibility to help develop the character of young people.

7. These responsibilities are best achieved when these groups work in concert.

8. The character and conduct of our youth reflect the character and conduct of society; therefore, every adult has the responsibility to teach and model the core ethical values and every social institution has the responsibility to promote the development of good character.

APS School Board Meetings in Secret Need a Watcher


The APS Board of Education intends to meet in the next few weeks to hire the next superintendent; the one who is not expected to be a role model.

A number of those meetings will be conducted in secret from stake and interest holders.

By the board’s own deliberate decision, their meetings in secret are not recorded.

The APS board has a history (many of which have been admitted by former school board members) of violating the NM Open Meetings Act in meetings in secret.

Having, with forethought and after deliberation, removed the “Pillar of Trustworthiness” from their own standards of conduct, the board and their search for a superintendent, can no longer be considered trust worthy.

At the very least, their meetings in secret should be recorded – from doors closed to doors open.

Better; include a trustworthy watcher to witness meetings and to report violations to stake and interest holders.

Instead; they will meet in secret and hire whichever candidate looks like they will do the best job covering up the ethics, standards, accountability and role modeling scandal in the leadership.

And still, not newsworthy

Pete Domenici must be spinning in his grave


25 years ago, US Sen Pete Domenici became a Founding Father in Character Counts!. He brought the character education model and $30K in federal grant money to the APS school board.

It became a flagship program and in the few years it flourished in the APS, Domenici must have been quite proud.

Last week, the APS School Board voted unanimously to lower APS standards of conduct by removing from them; the Pillars of Character Counts! and, worse still, to close the door on character education in general in the APS.

Currently, there is no district-wide effort whatsoever, to help students develop and maintain their good character.

Because, and only because, the APS Board of education cannot summon individually or collectively, the character and the courage to show students what honest to God accountability to higher standards of conduct looks like.

If we want students to grow into adults who embrace character and courage and honor, someone is going to have to show them what those look like.

They're called role models.

Still, even in the face of hiring the senior-most administrative role model, none of this is “newsworthy”

New APS School Board Sees Things Differently


25 years ago, School Board Member standards of conduct had a role modeling clause. It read;

in no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult 
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
Today’s school board’s new standards of conduct do not. Nor will the board consider replacing it.

25 years ago, the APS School Board was concerned about students making bad choices. They passed a resolution that addressed students making better choices in their lives by beginning character education in earnest.

The current school board is concerned about students making bad choice. Their solution is to abandon the still binding resolution and the character education if began.

Though it is still binding, having been neither amended nor rescinded, the current board will not even acknowledge its existence, abandoning character education and their duties and obligations as the senior-most role models in the district.

25 years ago, the board expected their superintendent to be a role model of honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct.

The current board made a deliberate decision to not include the words “role model” among the desirable characteristics of their next superintendent.

What has changed over 25 years?
Except the character and courage of school board members

25 years ago, the board recognized;

• the need to join with other community groups to actively engage in the development and demonstration of ethical behavior among youth, adults, and

• the need to provide learners of all ages the skills and knowledge needed to become successful and productive members of a dynamic society, and

• and that students in our schools are more likely now than in the past to experience family disintegration, homicide, drug use, teen age pregnancy, dishonesty, suicide, and strong messages from media and society that undermine home teaching of ethical values, and

• that no single community institution can instill ethical behavior in youth and adults if it is acting without the support of other institutions and groups, and

• important role played by teachers and other adults in school settings in modeling good character for young people

Their solution 25 years ago was to;

• endorse the Aspen Declaration on Character Education as well as the Character Counts! Program as ways to develop character based on six core ethical values; trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship and to

• enter into community-wide discussions with other institutions and groups to reach agreements about the role of each in promoting ethical behavior among young people, and adults in various aspects of life; and commitment to creating models of ethical behavior among all adults who serve students and schools; and to promise that

• the core curriculum should continue to give explicit attention to character development as an ongoing part of school instruction; and that

• materials, teaching methods, partnerships, and services to support school programs shall be selected, in part, for their capacity to support the development of character among youth and adults; and that

• all schools examine school curriculum and practices to identify and extend opportunities for developing character, especially through the utilization of violence-prevention programs, mediation training, community service programs. fair rules which are fairy enforced, democratic practices in classrooms and organizations, and extracurricular activities which help students learn and model caring and ethical behavior.

What has changed over 25 years?

Except the character and courage of school board members

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Why did APS school board members lower student standards of conduct?


Given;

• Student standards of conduct have been lowered .
• School board member standards of conduct have been lowered
• The next superintendent’s standards of conduct have been lowered
• School board members and senior administrators want not to be held accountable as “role models”
• School board members will not respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly to legitimate questions about the public interests and their public service, whether asked in person or in writing.

Why would the board want to lower their own standards of conduct?
• School board members and senior administrators are now, arguably unaccountable even to the law ; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.
• Higher standards of conduct include trustworthiness.
 A 927-word definition of the Pillar of Trustworthiness has been removed from student and school board standards of conduct. The new definition will be determined by school board lawyers in the interests of school board members
Representative samples of those 927 words read;
• Honesty in communications is expressing the truth as best we know it and not conveying it in a way likely to mislead or deceive

• Truthfulness is presenting the facts to the best of our knowledge.

• Sincerity is genuineness, being without trickery or duplicity. It precludes all acts, including half-truths, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading.

• In relationships involving legitimate expectations of trust, honesty may also require candor, forthrightness and frankness, imposing the obligation to volunteer information that another person needs to know.

If the motive of the school board in lowering standards of conduct is not their lack of character and or their lack of courage, then what is it?




APS Superintendent Search; future cover up?



If the Alb Journal, KRQE, KOAT, and KOB TV, at the managerial level. are willing to cover up the APS School Board’s lowering of student standards of conduct,

what will they be willing to cover up for the board, in the search for the next superintendent? You know, the one who won’t be a “role model”.

Food for thought

Any answer except yes, means no

When the question is;

will you tell the truth?

Any answer except yes, means no.

KOB, KOAT, KRQE TV and the Alb Journal have been contacted and asked straight out if they will report on the lowering of APS student standards of conduct. yes or no

A letter was sent to the news departments at each news outlet which reads;

I write to you wondering if you are willing to report, given sufficient incontrovertible proof, that

the APS Board of Education has reneged on a still binding school board resolution by

lowering student standards of conduct, and because they are the district’s senior-most role models of student standards of conduct,

lowering their own standards of conduct.

Further that they accomplished this by deleting from the existing standards of conduct, the enabling document and definitions; a 2021 word long nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct called “the Pillars of Character Counts!”

Yes or no, please

Expect to be stonewalled.

Stonewalling the question, means no.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

New APS Superintendent Will Have Much Lower Standards of Conduct

School Board President David Peercy and the Board have drastically lowered student standards of conduct. They have voted unanimously to remove the enabling document and the foundation of student standards of conduct.

The document they deleted is a 2,021 word long nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

Because Peercy and the Board are the senior-most role models in the district, when they lowered student standards of conduct, they lowered their own.

When they removed the 927 words from the Pillar of Trustworthiness in student standards of conduct, they removed every one of those words from their own.

Peercy and the Board voted unanimously to delete the enabling definition for the groundwork of student standards of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!.

Peercy’s new lowered standard of conduct is;

the President of the School Board is expected to model and promote “trustworthiness” (without definition).

If pressed to define “trustworthiness” in response to a complaint filed in State District Court against Peercy and the Board alleging their lack of trustworthiness, the board’s eloquence of lawyers and the Operational Fund will be used to define trustworthiness in a way the will allow Peercy and Board to admit “no guilt” in the settlement.

Unfortunately for Peercy and the Board, they have failed to remove the double standards of conduct in the APS.

Students are still accountable to higher standards of conduct than their senior-most adult role models.

For example, and with respect to “trustworthiness”;

Peercy and the board are expected to

“… model and promote trustworthiness (undefined) ... “

Students are expected to
",,, model and model and promote trustworthiness …
(also undefined but only since the board deleted the 927 word enabling definition)


The standards of conduct appear identical.  That is the illusion that Peercy and the Board want stake and interest holders to buy.

There is a huge difference; the student standard of conduct is enforceable because the standard is written in their standards of conduct.

In stark contrast, APS executive and administrative standards of conduct do not include in writing anywhere;
School board members and senior administrators are expected to model and promote trustworthiness (subject to definition).


No one in the entire leadership of the APS is actually, honest to God accountable as a role model of accountability to the same standards of conduct that they establish and enforce upon APS students.

They are not accountable as role models of anything. They are striking the words "role model" from whatever standards they can.

They made a deliberate decision that the next superintendent will not be expected to be;
a "role model" of honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within his or her public service.

Local media investigative teams, the Journal's in particular; are still apparently disinterested in any investigation and report.

APS School board voted unanimously to lower their own standards of conduct.

Incontrovertible evidence; irrefutable logic

Below please find, "the Pillars of Character Counts" . This reference was removed from student standards of conduct in order to remove them from school board members standards of conduct.

School Board President David Peercy claims removing them makes no difference; nobody's standards of conduct have been lowered.

see for yourself


The Pillars of Character Counts! (2021 words)

1. TRUSTWORTHINESS

When others trust us, they give us greater leeway because they feel we don’t need monitoring to assure that we’ll meet our obligations. They believe in us and hold us in higher esteem. That’s satisfying. At the same time, we must constantly live up to the expectations of others and refrain from even small lies or self-serving behavior that can quickly destroy our relationships.

Simply refraining from deception is not enough. Trustworthiness is the most complicated of the six core ethical values and concerns a variety of qualities like honesty, integrity, reliability and loyalty.

Honesty

There is no more fundamental ethical value than honesty. We associate honesty with people of honor, and we admire and rely on those who are honest. But honesty is a broader concept than many may realize. It involves both communications and conduct.

Honesty in communications is expressing the truth as best we know it and not conveying it in a way likely to mislead or deceive. There are three dimensions:

Truthfulness. Truthfulness is presenting the facts to the best of our knowledge. Intent is the crucial distinction between truthfulness and truth itself. Being wrong is not the same thing as lying, although honest mistakes can still damage trust insofar as they may show sloppy judgment.

Sincerity. Sincerity is genuineness, being without trickery or duplicity. It precludes all acts, including half-truths, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading.

Candor. In relationships involving legitimate expectations of trust, honesty may also require candor, forthrightness and frankness, imposing the obligation to volunteer information that another person needs to know.

Honesty in conduct is playing by the rules, without stealing, cheating, fraud, subterfuge and other trickery. Cheating is a particularly foul form of dishonesty because one not only seeks to deceive but to take advantage of those who are not cheating. It’s a two-fer: a violation of both trust and fairness.

Not all lies are unethical, even though all lies are dishonest. Huh? That’s right, honesty is not an inviolate principle. Occasionally, dishonesty is ethically justifiable, as when the police lie in undercover operations or when one lies to criminals or terrorists to save lives. But don’t kid yourself: occasions for ethically sanctioned lying are rare and require serving a very high purpose indeed, such as saving a life — not hitting a management-pleasing sales target or winning a game or avoiding a confrontation.

Integrity

The word integrity comes from the same Latin root as “integer,” or whole number. Like a whole number, a person of integrity is undivided and complete. This means that the ethical person acts according to her beliefs, not according to expediency. She is also consistent. There is no difference in the way she makes decisions from situation to situation, her principles don’t vary at work or at home, in public or alone.

Because she must know who she is and what she values, the person of integrity takes time for self-reflection, so that the events, crises and seeming necessities of the day do not determine the course of her moral life. She stays in control. She may be courteous, even charming, but she is never duplicitous. She never demeans herself with obsequious behavior toward those she thinks might do her some good. She is trusted because you know who she is: what you see is what you get.

People without integrity are called “hypocrites” or “two-faced.”

Reliability (Promise-Keeping)

When we make promises or other commitments that create a legitimate basis for another person to rely upon us, we undertake special moral duties. We accept the responsibility of making all reasonable efforts to fulfill our commitments. Because promise-keeping is such an important aspect of trustworthiness, it is important to:

Avoid bad-faith excuses. Interpret your promises fairly and honestly. Don’t try to rationalize noncompliance.

Avoid unwise commitments. Before making a promise consider carefully whether you are willing and likely to keep it. Think about unknown or future events that could make it difficult, undesirable or impossible. Sometimes, all we can promise is to do our best.

Avoid unclear commitments. Be sure that when you make a promise, the other person understands what you are committing to do.

Loyalty

Some relationships — husband-wife, employer-employee, citizen-country — create an expectation of allegiance, fidelity and devotion. Loyalty is a responsibility to promote the interests of certain people, organizations or affiliations. This duty goes beyond the normal obligation we all share to care for others.

Limitations to loyalty. Loyalty is a tricky thing. Friends, employers, co-workers and others may demand that we rank their interests above ethical considerations. But no one has the right to ask another to sacrifice ethical principles in the name of a special relationship. Indeed, one forfeits a claim of loyalty when he or she asks so high a price for maintaining the relationship.

Prioritizing loyalties. So many individuals and groups make loyalty claims on us that we must rank our loyalty obligations in some rational fashion. For example, it’s perfectly reasonable, and ethical, to look out for the interests of our children, parents and spouses even if we have to subordinate our obligations to other children, neighbors or co-workers in doing so.

Safeguarding confidential information. Loyalty requires us to keep some information confidential. When keeping a secret breaks the law or threatens others, however, we may have a responsibility to “blow the whistle.”

Avoiding conflicting interests. Employees and public servants have a duty to make all professional decisions on merit, unimpeded by conflicting personal interests. They owe ultimate loyalty to the public.

2. RESPECT

People are not things, and everyone has a right to be treated with dignity. We certainly have no ethical duty to hold all people in high esteem, but we should treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they are and what they have done. We have a responsibility to be the best we can be in all situations, even when dealing with unpleasant people.

The Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you — nicely illustrates the Pillar of respect. Respect prohibits violence, humiliation, manipulation and exploitation. It reflects notions such as civility, courtesy, decency, dignity, autonomy, tolerance and acceptance.

Civility, Courtesy and Decency

A respectful person is an attentive listener, although his patience with the boorish need not be endless (respect works both ways). Nevertheless, the respectful person treats others with consideration, and doesn’t resort to intimidation, coercion or violence except in extraordinary and limited situations to defend others, teach discipline, maintain order or achieve social justice. Punishment is used in moderation and only to advance important social goals and purposes.

Dignity and Autonomy

People need to make informed decisions about their own lives. Don’t withhold the information they need to do so. Allow all individuals, including maturing children, to have a say in the decisions that affect them.

Tolerance and Acceptance

Accept individual differences and beliefs without prejudice. Judge others only on their character, abilities and conduct.

3. RESPONSIBILITY

Life is full of choices. Being responsible means being in charge of our choices and, thus, our lives. It means being accountable for what we do and who we are. It also means recognizing that our actions matter and we are morally on the hook for the consequences. Our capacity to reason and our freedom to choose make us morally autonomous and, therefore, answerable for whether we honor or degrade the ethical principles that give life meaning and purpose.

Ethical people show responsibility by being accountable, pursuing excellence and exercising self-restraint. They exhibit the ability to respond to expectations.

Accountability

An accountable person is not a victim and doesn’t shift blame or claim credit for the work of others. He considers the likely consequences of his behavior and associations. He recognizes the common complicity in the triumph of evil when nothing is done to stop it. He leads by example.

Pursuit of Excellence

The pursuit of excellence has an ethical dimension when others rely upon our knowledge, ability or willingness to perform tasks safely and effectively.

Diligence. It is hardly unethical to make mistakes or to be less than “excellent,” but there is a moral obligation to do one’s best, to be diligent, reliable, careful, prepared and informed.

Perseverance. Responsible people finish what they start, overcoming rather than surrendering to obstacles. They avoid excuses such as, “That’s just the way I am,” or “It’s not my job,” or “It was legal.”

Continuous Improvement. Responsible people always look for ways to do their work better.

Self-Restraint

Responsible people exercise self-control, restraining passions and appetites (such as lust, hatred, gluttony, greed and fear) for the sake of longer-term vision and better judgment. They delay gratification if necessary and never feel it’s necessary to “win at any cost.” They realize they are as they choose to be, every day.

4. FAIRNESS

What is fairness? Most would agree it involves issues of equality, impartiality, proportionality, openness and due process. Most would agree that it is unfair to handle similar matters inconsistently. Most would agree that it is unfair to impose punishment that is not commensurate with the offense. The basic concept seems simple, even intuitive, yet applying it in daily life can be surprisingly difficult. Fairness is another tricky concept, probably more subject to legitimate debate and interpretation than any other ethical value. Disagreeing parties tend to maintain that there is only one fair position (their own, naturally). But essentially fairness implies adherence to a balanced standard of justice without relevance to one’s own feelings or inclinations.

Process

Process is crucial in settling disputes, both to reach the fairest results and to minimize complaints. A fair person scrupulously employs open and impartial processes for gathering and evaluating information necessary to make decisions. Fair people do not wait for the truth to come to them; they seek out relevant information and conflicting perspectives before making important judgments.

Impartiality

Decisions should be made without favoritism or prejudice.

Equity

An individual, company or society should correct mistakes, promptly and voluntarily. It is improper to take advantage of the weakness or ignorance of others.

5. CARING

If you existed alone in the universe, there would be no need for ethics and your heart could be a cold, hard stone. Caring is the heart of ethics, and ethical decision-making. It is scarcely possible to be truly ethical and yet unconcerned with the welfare of others. That is because ethics is ultimately about good relations with other people.

It is easier to love “humanity” than to love people. People who consider themselves ethical and yet lack a caring attitude toward individuals tend to treat others as instruments of their will. They rarely feel an obligation to be honest, loyal, fair or respectful except insofar as it is prudent for them to do so, a disposition which itself hints at duplicity and a lack of integrity. A person who really cares feels an emotional response to both the pain and pleasure of others.

Of course, sometimes we must hurt those we truly care for, and some decisions while quite ethical, do cause pain. But one should consciously cause no more harm than is reasonably necessary to perform one’s duties.

The highest form of caring is the honest expression of benevolence, or altruism. This is not to be confused with strategic charity. Gifts to charities to advance personal interests are a fraud. That is, they aren’t gifts at all. They’re investments or tax write-offs.

6. CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship includes civic virtues and duties that prescribe how we ought to behave as part of a community. The good citizen knows the laws and obeys them, yes, but that’s not all. She volunteers and stays informed on the issues of the day, the better to execute her duties and privileges as a member of a self-governing democratic society. She does more than her “fair” share to make society work, now and for future generations. Such a commitment to the public sphere can have many expressions, such as conserving resources, recycling, using public transportation and cleaning up litter. The good citizen gives more than she takes.


Friday, February 21, 2020

APS Accountability is smoke and mirrors


APS and the NMIPRA

Before the board lowered its standards of conduct, they included this principle;
Ethical people often do less than is permitted by the law and more than is required.

In other words, with respect to public records, the board should be producing every public record that the law will allow.

Quite the opposite.

When it comes to public records like evidence of felony public corruption in the leadership of the APS and their publicly funded private police force, the board will produce only what the law absolutely requires “and only after an order from a court of the highest competent jurisdiction”.

More importantly; after squandering the public trust and treasure by draining the operational fund on litigation and legal weaselry.

That is one of the many reasons that the APS Board of Education and their next Superintendent want not to be held accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human; lowered still further by their exploitation of legal loopholes, technicalities and weaknesses in the law.

Nowhere in executive and administrative standards of conduct will you find due processes under which complaints can be filed against school board members and administrators and  where a principled resolution of the complaint can be expected.

Ethics and accountability in the leadership of the APS is smoke and mirrors.

Not unlike the media, the Journal in particular, and their purported dedication to draining the swamp.

Double Standards of Conduct Persist in the APS


In 2005, the APS Board of Education voted unanimously to remove a role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct. It had read;

In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

Since, there have been double standards of conduct in the APS; the “law” for board members and senior administrators and for students, a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct; higher standards of conduct than the law.

School Board President David Peercy and the Board think they eliminated the double standards by lowering student standards of conduct by removing from them, the only mention of the actual code of ethics in question; the Pillars of Character Counts!.

Peercy has led the board astray. There are still double standards of conduct in the APS.

The new student standard reads in significant part;

“students are expected to model and promote Trustworthiness”

Nowhere in the standards of conduct that apply to the school board and to their next superintendent will you find;

“School Board Members and Superintendents are expected to model and promote trustworthiness.”

Even if there were, there is no place to file a complaint. Where would a complaint be filed over David Peercy’s manifest failure to model and promote trustworthiness?

Assume a complaint could be filed; let's say, in State Disrict Court; perhaps a Writ of Mandamus.

A controversy would develop over the meaning of the word "trustworthy".

The Board’s eloquence of lawyers will argue in favor of what ever definition allows school board members and superintendents to admit “no guilt” in any settlement of a lawsuit against them.

Those opposing will argue;

the standards of conduct that the board removed when the deleted the Pillar of Trustworthiness from student standards of conduct, suffice as the definition.

Student standards on Trustworthiness had read;

• “Honesty in communications is expressing the truth as best we know it and not conveying it in a way likely to mislead or deceive.”

• “Truthfulness is presenting the facts to the best of our knowledge.”

• “In relationships involving legitimate expectations of trust, honesty may also require candor, forthrightness and frankness, imposing the obligation to “

• Sincerity is genuineness, being without trickery or duplicity. It precludes all acts, including half-truths, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading.


Peercy’s lowering of student standards of conduct in order to lower his own, was bungled; the double standards of conduct still exist.


On the bright side for Peercy and the board, their effort to keep the media from reporting on their lowering of students standards is working as well as they could possibly hope.

APS School Board Will Take no Questions


Not any time, nor in any venue, not by any means; in person or in writing, will the APS school board answer legitimate questions about the public interests and their public service.

In particular, they are taking no questions on school board ethics, standards, accountability or, board member’s obligations as the senior-most role models in the APS.

They will not engage in an open and honest public, two-way discussion about their own standards of conduct.

Will the superintendent they select in their meetings in secret, stand for questions about their ethics, standards and accountability?
Will they stand up as a role model?

What do you think?

The board’s unanimous decision to not include “role model” among the desirable characteristics of their next superintendent should end any boggle.

The board steadfastly refuses to

1. Point to the ethics, and standards of conduct to which they claim accountability; specifically; in print, page, paragraph and line.

2. Point to the due processes by which stake and interest holders can hold school board members and senior administrator accountable to those standards.

3. Produce public records of investigations of public corruption; state and federal felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of APS publicly funded private police force (2007)

4. Produce public records of expenditures on what has been described as cost-is-no-object legal defenses for school board members, senior administrators and public records requests.

5. Produce public records of communications between APS and its insurers regarding increased premiums related to excessive spending on litigation (and legal weaselry).

What will it take do you suppose, to get any one of KOB, KOAT, KRQE or the Journal to investigate and report upon ethics, standards, accountability and role modeling in the leadership of the APS?

Thursday, February 20, 2020

APS Board Begins Role Modeling of Student Standards of conduct

APS School Board Member Armijo Role Models New Student Standards of Conduct re; Caring and Fairness

The APS School Board was discussing student misbehavior and how they might avoid having to punish students for misbehaving by keeping students from making bad choices in the first place.

The discussion immediately followed their unanimous vote to lower student standards of conduct; abandoning at once and for all, any premise of a district wide effort to build good character in students.

The irony hits like a club, doesn’t it?

Board Member Armijo feels she has stepped up as a role model of accountability to the same standards of conduct that she establishes and has enforced upon students.

It’s a low bar; the new standard reads;

students are expected to model and promote caring and fairness.

The old higher standard of conduct, the one Armijo voted to removed, was a little more robust. 424 words more robust.

Please find among them;

“A fair person scrupulously employs open and impartial processes for gathering and evaluating information necessary to make decisions.”

The board ignored this ethic in the process they employed to lower student standards of conduct.

One cannot be a role model of honest accountability to standards of conduct they can and have ignored at will.


Before Armijo and the board lowered student standards, student were expected to
model and promote (honest accountability to) "the Pillars of Fairness and Caring."

4. FAIRNESS

What is fairness? Most would agree it involves issues of equality, impartiality, proportionality, openness and due process. Most would agree that it is unfair to handle similar matters inconsistently. Most would agree that it is unfair to impose punishment that is not commensurate with the offense. The basic concept seems simple, even intuitive, yet applying it in daily life can be surprisingly difficult. Fairness is another tricky concept, probably more subject to legitimate debate and interpretation than any other ethical value. Disagreeing parties tend to maintain that there is only one fair position (their own, naturally). But essentially fairness implies adherence to a balanced standard of justice without relevance to one’s own feelings or inclinations.

Process

Process is crucial in settling disputes, both to reach the fairest results and to minimize complaints. A fair person scrupulously employs open and impartial processes for gathering and evaluating information necessary to make decisions. Fair people do not wait for the truth to come to them; they seek out relevant information and conflicting perspectives before making important judgments.

Impartiality

Decisions should be made without favoritism or prejudice.

Equity

An individual, company or society should correct mistakes, promptly and voluntarily. It is improper to take advantage of the weakness or ignorance of others.

5. CARING

If you existed alone in the universe, there would be no need for ethics and your heart could be a cold, hard stone. Caring is the heart of ethics, and ethical decision-making. It is scarcely possible to be truly ethical and yet unconcerned with the welfare of others. That is because ethics is ultimately about good relations with other people.

It is easier to love “humanity” than to love people. People who consider themselves ethical and yet lack a caring attitude toward individuals tend to treat others as instruments of their will. They rarely feel an obligation to be honest, loyal, fair or respectful except insofar as it is prudent for them to do so, a disposition which itself hints at duplicity and a lack of integrity. A person who really cares feels an emotional response to both the pain and pleasure of others.

Of course, sometimes we must hurt those we truly care for, and some decisions while quite ethical, do cause pain. But one should consciously cause no more harm than is reasonably necessary to perform one’s duties.

The highest form of caring is the honest expression of benevolence, or altruism. This is not to be confused with strategic charity. Gifts to charities to advance personal interests are a fraud. That is, they aren’t gifts at all. They’re investments or tax write-offs.

Have APS Student Standards of Conduct Been Lowered, or Not?


School Board President David Peercy would have you believe they have not.  The media is willing to go along with it.

Judge for yourself.

With regard to trustworthiness, the new standard reads;
Students will model and promote trustworthiness …

The corresponding standard they deleted (900 words) read;

1. TRUSTWORTHINESS

When others trust us, they give us greater leeway because they feel we don’t need monitoring to assure that we’ll meet our obligations. They believe in us and hold us in higher esteem. That’s satisfying. At the same time, we must constantly live up to the expectations of others and refrain from even small lies or self-serving behavior that can quickly destroy our relationships.

Simply refraining from deception is not enough. Trustworthiness is the most complicated of the six core ethical values and concerns a variety of qualities like honesty, integrity, reliability and loyalty.

Honesty

There is no more fundamental ethical value than honesty. We associate honesty with people of honor, and we admire and rely on those who are honest. But honesty is a broader concept than many may realize. It involves both communications and conduct.

Honesty in communications is expressing the truth as best we know it and not conveying it in a way likely to mislead or deceive. There are three dimensions:

    Truthfulness. Truthfulness is presenting the facts to the best of our knowledge. Intent is the crucial distinction between truthfulness and truth itself. Being wrong is not the same thing as lying, although honest mistakes can still damage trust insofar as they may show sloppy judgment.

    Sincerity. Sincerity is genuineness, being without trickery or duplicity. It precludes all acts, including half-truths, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading.

    Candor. In relationships involving legitimate expectations of trust, honesty may also require candor, forthrightness and frankness, imposing the obligation to volunteer information that another person needs to know.

Honesty in conduct is playing by the rules, without stealing, cheating, fraud, subterfuge and other trickery. Cheating is a particularly foul form of dishonesty because one not only seeks to deceive but to take advantage of those who are not cheating. It’s a two-fer: a violation of both trust and fairness.

Not all lies are unethical, even though all lies are dishonest. Huh? That’s right, honesty is not an inviolate principle. Occasionally, dishonesty is ethically justifiable, as when the police lie in undercover operations or when one lies to criminals or terrorists to save lives. But don’t kid yourself: occasions for ethically sanctioned lying are rare and require serving a very high purpose indeed, such as saving a life — not hitting a management-pleasing sales target or winning a game or avoiding a confrontation.

Integrity
The word integrity comes from the same Latin root as “integer,” or whole number. Like a whole number, a person of integrity is undivided and complete. This means that the ethical person acts according to her beliefs, not according to expediency. She is also consistent. There is no difference in the way she makes decisions from situation to situation, her principles don’t vary at work or at home, in public or alone.

Because she must know who she is and what she values, the person of integrity takes time for self-reflection, so that the events, crises and seeming necessities of the day do not determine the course of her moral life. She stays in control. She may be courteous, even charming, but she is never duplicitous. She never demeans herself with obsequious behavior toward those she thinks might do her some good. She is trusted because you know who she is: what you see is what you get.

People without integrity are called “hypocrites” or “two-faced.”

Reliability (Promise-Keeping)
When we make promises or other commitments that create a legitimate basis for another person to rely upon us, we undertake special moral duties. We accept the responsibility of making all reasonable efforts to fulfill our commitments. Because promise-keeping is such an important aspect of trustworthiness, it is important to:
  • Avoid bad-faith excuses. Interpret your promises fairly and honestly. Don’t try to rationalize noncompliance.
  • Avoid unwise commitments. Before making a promise consider carefully whether you are willing and likely to keep it. Think about unknown or future events that could make it difficult, undesirable or impossible. Sometimes, all we can promise is to do our best.
  • Avoid unclear commitments. Be sure that when you make a promise, the other person understands what you are committing to do.
Loyalty
Some relationships — husband-wife, employer-employee, citizen-country — create an expectation of allegiance, fidelity and devotion. Loyalty is a responsibility to promote the interests of certain people, organizations or affiliations. This duty goes beyond the normal obligation we all share to care for others.

Limitations to loyalty. Loyalty is a tricky thing. Friends, employers, co-workers and others may demand that we rank their interests above ethical considerations. But no one has the right to ask another to sacrifice ethical principles in the name of a special relationship. Indeed, one forfeits a claim of loyalty when he or she asks so high a price for maintaining the relationship.

Prioritizing loyalties. So many individuals and groups make loyalty claims on us that we must rank our loyalty obligations in some rational fashion. For example, it’s perfectly reasonable, and ethical, to look out for the interests of our children, parents and spouses even if we have to subordinate our obligations to other children, neighbors or co-workers in doing so.

Safeguarding confidential information. Loyalty requires us to keep some information confidential. When keeping a secret breaks the law or threatens others, however, we may have a responsibility to “blow the whistle.”
Avoiding conflicting interests. Employees and public servants have a duty to make all professional decisions on merit, unimpeded by conflicting personal interests. They owe ultimate loyalty to the public.