Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Journal refuses to cover APS School Board challenge.

An effort was made to interest the Journal in;
the APS school board’s refusal to hold an open and honest public meeting about revisiting both an old school board resolution and their decision to remove from their own standards of conduct a role modeling clause which had read;

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

I have been contacted by Journal reporter Shelby Perea who wrote;
“Hello,
I am not planning on writing about this.
Thank you”

To which I responded;
Ms Perea,
thank you for responding.
Shall I report this decision as your own or you following orders? If so, whose orders?

And later
I really don't want to be a pest, but you understand deadlines. I am about to report that the Journal has refused to cover this story. Upon whose desk should the buck stop? In the absence of an alternative, that would be yours.
And later still
May I have then, the name of the person to whom you report, in order that I might follow up?  If you will not identify your boss, will you at least forward this email to him or her?


I have yet to receive a response.

APS Board Character and Courage Scorecard

The Albuquerque Public School Board of Education has been asked to put on the table for open and honest public discussion;

  1. reconsideration of the 1994 resolution that created higher standards of conduct for students and promised them the adult role models they would need in reaching them.
  2. reconsideration of the board's removal from their own standards of conduct a role modeling clause reading; in no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards for students.

When it comes to stepping up as role model, any answer except yes means no.


Dist. 1    Yolanda Montoya-Cordova       yet to respond or no?


Dist. 2     Peggy Muller-Arag√≥n              yet to respond  or no?



Dist. 3     Lorenzo L. Garcia                    yet to respond  or no?



Dist. 4     Barbara Petersen                      yet to respond  or no?



Dist. 5     Candelaria Patterson                yet to respond  or no?



Dist. 6     Elizabeth Armijo                      yet to respond  or no?


Dist. 7     Dr. David E. Peercy                  NO


Response from School Board President David Peercy


Mr MacQuigg,

As we have discussed at length in the past, the existing personnel policies/procedural directives on ethical conduct already do require all employees to be a role model for students.

And, there is considerable additional information and examples of what being a role model means in terms of actions. Being a role model indeed means that employees, including board members, are in fact held to a higher standard of conduct than those persons (eg students) who would benefit from the role model. That is the requirement for all APS employees.

I reference you to the policies and procedural directives in the APS website under the Personnel category. https://www.aps.edu/about-us/policies-and-procedural-directives/policies/g.-personnel/gb2-staff-standards-of-conduct

Sincerely,
Dr David E Peercy
President, APS Board of Education

I take issue with Peercy’s contention; that he is accountable … to a higher standard of conduct than those persons (eg students) who would benefit from the role model.

Peercy has made this claim before. As before, he does not name any particular standards of conduct. His reference to APS standards of conduct reflects that. Nor does he appreciate apparently, the difference between being "required" to be a role model and being "accountable" as a role model.

Following is the reference he cites with problems in parentheses.

“District personnel shall maintain the highest standard of conduct (saying “highest” standard of conduct is not articulating an actual standard) and act in a mature and responsible manner at all times. District personnel shall not engage in activities which violate federal, state or local statues (the law represents the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings not “higher standards” of conduct) and regulations or which, in any way, diminish the integrity, efficiency or discipline of the district. Employees shall be required to comply with administratively established standards of conduct.

Albuquerque Public Schools staff shall maintain appropriate professional behavior while working with students and refrain from harassment, malicious or prejudicial treatment, or abridgement of student rights.

Employees of the Albuquerque Public Schools shall serve as positive role models (a positive role model is by no means, a model of honest to God accountable to the same ethical standards of conduct that the board created and has enforced upon students) for students and set good examples in conduct, manners, dress and grooming. Employees shall be suitably attired and groomed during working hours and while attending district-sponsored events.”

Peercy’s response does not justify his refusal to allow the board to revisit the 1994 resolution in order to rescind, amend or re-endorse it. Nor does it explain why if he really believes he and the board are already accountable as role models, that they would refuse to discuss replacing in their own standards of conduct, their role modeling clause; in no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

Peercy needs to stop claiming accountability to even higher standards than student standards; there are none.

There are no higher standard of conduct than APS student standards of conduct (per the Student Handbook) which require students to model and promote honest accountability to the Pillars of Character Counts!; a nationally, recognized and respected code of “ethical conduct”. There is no process by which Peercy or any other board member or senior administrator can be held accountable to ethical standards of conduct.

Under Peercy’s rule, the board has spent literally millions of dollars on cost-is-no-object legal defenses for school board members and senior administrators. They are arguably unaccountable even to the law.

I call bullshit on Peercy’s response.

Gauntlet thrown down before APS School Board


I believe, because I have delivered an email to an appropriate email address for the board and asked that it be distributed to every school board member, and because I have the utmost faith in my contact for the board, that I have thrown a gauntlet down before each and every member of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education.(update - received notice this morning that the email had been forwarded)

Good morning Ms. Yager, 

I am wondering if you would be kind enough to forward this note to each individual school board member. I would be most grateful.

Dear School Board Member,
I write to you this morning fact check your individual positions on a particular issue.
I am reporting, http://ched-macquigg.blogspot.com/2009/04/coward-david-percy.html and others,

that David Peercy is blocking an open and honest public discussion of both the 1994 Resolution school board resolution (which created higher standards of conduct for students and promised that those students would have adult role models) and of reinstating the role modeling clause to your own standards of conduct.

I am prepared to report that there is apparently not one single board member who is willing to stand up to Peercy and express their open willingness to discuss these issues in an open and honest public meeting, and in particular a meeting with a public forum.

If you have a contradictory position I would like very much to report it. I am happy to faithfully report any response either way.

Are you willing to discuss these issues openly and honestly?

As the fundamental issue is role modeling; an overt response seems necessary. Student standards of conduct (according to school board policy via the Student Handbook) require candor, forthrightness and honesty in response to a legitimate question.

My editorial position is that any answer except yes, means no.

I am most grateful for your time and attention.

On my honor, I will dutifully report any response from any school board member.

With respect to their own honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within their public service, and
With respect to “ethics, standards and accountability” in general in the leadership of the APS;
if the leadership of the APS; the school board, the superintendent and all their lawyers, had anything at all to be proud of, they would flaunt it.

That they will not because they cannot is outrageous.

So where is the outrage?

Monday, November 18, 2019

APS Superintendent Search Community Meeting number one

After opening remarks, participants were asked a number of questions about what they thought was important in the next superintendent.  Careful notes were taken and the characteristics were listed on flip charts.  The same for problems facing the next superintendent.

Participants were given sticky dots to stick next to the problems that they thought were most important.

Dots were counted and a handful of problems emerged as crowd favorites.  Likely they will vary from meeting to meeting.  There will be 11 more meetings including one each for employees and business and government officials.

That the board will then connect the dots and hire a superintendent accordingly seems unlikely.

Frankly, they have bigger fish to fry.

They need a superintendent who will help them keep the lid on the ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS.

They need a superintendent who can slip in without having to comment on his or her service as a role model and their honest to God accountability to the same standards of conduct as they will enforce upon students.

It tried to gather some support for role modeling and honest to God accountability to meaningful standards of conduct, but the only dots I gathered were my own.

I managed at least to get them written down and that much harder to complete this whole process without the issue coming up.

School Board President David Peercy was there.  The meeting was being held in his school board district.   Every time I noticed him, he was on his phone.  School Board Members Barbara Peterson and Elizabeth Armijo attended as well.

I pointed out to the crowd and on the record, that Peercy is alone responsible for keeping the role modeling clause and the 1994 School Board Resolution on Character Counts! off the table and out of open and honest public discussion, for as long as he has been on the board.

Can't guarantee that he was paying any attention.
Like I said, he was getting a lot done on his phone.

How can you be a role model if the words themselves stick in your throat?

The Oxford Dictionary defines a role model as “a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.” The notion of “inconspicuous role modeling” is oxymoronic. By definition role models must stand out.

There is not a single member of the leadership of the APS standing out as a role model for students. There is not one who will speak the words “role model” in the context of their obligations as the senior most role models in the entire school district.

They have in fact abdicated; abandoned their obligations as role models. The school board voted unanimously to remove the role modeling requirements from their own standards of conduct which used to read;

“in no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult
be lower than the standards for students”.
The school board has begun a public survey in order to find out what characteristics are important to stake and interest holders. You can participate online at https://www.aps.edu/, link

The board offers you a list of two dozen characteristics that they think are most important in superintendent candidates. “Click” on the five you think are most important.

You cannot click on “Willing to serve as a role model for students, of honest accountability to the same standards of conduct that s/he will enforce upon students”.

School board policy as enforced by the superintendent, requires students to model and promote honest accountability to a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct; higher standards of conduct.

So unimportant it is, in the minds of the leadership of the APS, that in the time it took to think of two dozen “important” characteristics of great superintendents, role modeling never occurred to them.

Or, it did, and they have other, more sinister reasons for leaving it off.

They do not want to talk about role modeling.

More importantly, they don’t want to talk about the standards of conduct to which they are supposed to model actual, honest to God accountability.

You will have to “write in” your opinion on their silly little survey.

Please do. Seriously, do.

Else, your silence gives your consent.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

APS School Board Reneging on Solemn Promises


Following please find a resolution, read promises, made by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education in 1994.

Though their resolution is a quarter of a century old, it is still binding.
Promises don’t have a shelf life.

The resolution has been neither amended nor rescinded. A motion to have the board reconsider the resolution in an open an honest public meeting has been tabled; forever.

A decade after resolving to be held honestly accountable as role models, one of several promises in the resolution, the board voted unanimously to strike the 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.

A motion to replace the role modeling clause in the school board standards of conduct has been tabled without public discussion and forever by School Board President David Peercy. link

Their resolution reads;
Resolution

To endorse and Implement Character Counts! Program in the Albuquerque Public Schools

Whereas, Albuquerque Public Schools reaffirms the need to join with other community groups to actively engage in the development and demonstration of ethical behavior among youth, adults, and

Whereas, the mission of Albuquerque Public Schools is to provide learners of all ages the skills and knowledge needed to become successful and productive members of a dynamic society , and

Whereas, the Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes 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

Whereas, the Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes 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

Whereas, the Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes the important role played by teachers and other adults in school settings in modeling good character for young people


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED;

1. That the Albuquerque Public Schools endorses 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;

2. That the Albuquerque Public Schools will 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;

3. That the Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to creating models of ethical behavior among all adults who serve students and schools;

4. That the core curriculum should continue to give explicit attention to character development as an ongoing art of school instruction;

5. 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

6. 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 fairly enforced, democratic practices in classrooms and organizations, and extracurricular activities which help students learn and model caring and ethical behavior.

DATED this 2nd day of March, 1994

The resolution amounts to six solemn promises.

They won't even talk about them in a public meeting.

They cannot or will not be candid, forthright and honest with stake and interest holders, even though they tell students that their character depends on their candor, forthrightness and honesty.

The next superintendent of the APS must be willing to serve as a role model of honest accountability to the same standards of conduct s/he will enforce upon students.

Even if the board won’t.

Especially if the board won’t.

APS classrooms and schools are out of control

Or are they?

Chronically disruptive students are interfering with the education of other students.

Or are they?
It should be disturbing that there is no data to examine. More disturbing still; that that data is not being collected in the first place. Audit findings indicated that school principals routinely under report criminal activity on their campuses in the interests of maintaining a public image.

Ayn Rand argued that to fear to face an issue is to believe that the worst is true.

The out of control in APS schools and classrooms represents an executive and administrative failure. The board has failed to create policies that address the out of control. The administration has failed to enforce consistently, the policies that the board has written.

Or, everything is just fine.

The Journal could assign a report to investigate and report upon discipline in APS classrooms and schools. They have not. Ever.

If it could be argued; classrooms and schools are not out of control; chronically disruptive students are not interfering in the education of other students, then that would be good news.

The Journal cannot be accused of under reporting the good news about APS.
The Journal can be accused of under reporting the bad news; the news that reflects poorly on the most powerful people in the APS.

They can be accused of under reporting on discipline in the APS and of under reporting the underlying ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS that is causing it.

They are so accused.

Friday, November 15, 2019

APS students standing alone


In the mid-1990s, then US Senator Pete Domenici delivered a $30K federal grant to the leadership of the APS. The money was to be used to begin training in earnest to help students establish and maintain their good character.

The APS school board had passed a resolution in support of the effort. Their resolution is still binding albeit it; ignored.

When some students finished training, they were given a t-shirt. On its front and back, the shirt read;

Stand up for what you believe in,
Even if you are standing alone.

At the time, we were encouraging them to "believe" that their good character was important and that it rides on their honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.

Then the board changed its mind. They 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.

A child standing up for what they believe in should not be standing alone.

There should be an adult behind them offering encouragement and an adult beside them sharing the effort and an adult in front of them, leading by their example.

The board voted, knowingly, deliberately, unanimously, to leave students standing alone.

Every generation expects the next generation to be the first generation to hold itself honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct.  ...based on assurances that it is important and not on personal examples.

If we want children to grow into adults who embrace character and courage and honor, someone is going to have to show them what those look like. Someone has to encourage them, support them and lead them.

The APS board of education is about to hire another in a long line of superintendents willing to leave students standing alone in their effort to build and maintain their good character.

Stand up, speak up. Demand a superintendent who can show students what honest to God accountability to higher standards of conduct looks like.

Take APS’ online survey. link Demand a role model. You will have to write in your demand; they offer no box to check.

Show up at their superintendent search community meetings link.

Your silence gives consent. Plato

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The leadership of the APS is not transparent.


It follows then that, they are accountable for neither their conduct nor their competence within their public service.

The leadership of the APS claims to be transparent.

If contradicted, they will point to their “award winning” website and their communications dept.

The truth about transparency is that it isn’t about the information politicians and public servants are willing to share. It isn’t about the number of public records that they willing to produce.

Transparency has everything to do with the records they produce, and are records that they would really rather hide.

For example; the leadership of the APS, their lawyers, and the private investigators the lawyers hired in order that evidence of criminal misconduct can they gather can remain hidden from public knowledge, are in possession of public records that prove that there was felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators.

And that that criminal activity was covered up by the leadership of the APS, their publicly funded private police force, their lawyers and an unlimited budget to underwrite cost-is-no-object “legal” defenses; all the litigation and legal weaselry they needed to avoid accountability.

Needless to say, those are among public records that the board would really rather hide.

And have hidden. And have spent perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars beating back public records requests for their production.

One more example; an easily tested allegation.

Imagine you are a parent wanting to buy a house in a neighborhood feeding “safe” schools. You don’t want to send your child to a school where there are a lot of bullies, a lot of larceny, a lot of chronically disruptive students, a lot of fist fights and other violence.

The data on those signs of trouble represent information that the leadership of the APS wants to hide.

Now the transparency test.  Have they resisted their interest in hiding the data?  Have they published it anyway?

Go to APS’ award winning website; try to find that data at any APS school. Even at APS’ least safe school; no matter how dangerous that school might be. Try to find any data that reflects badly on the leadership of the APS. It’s not there. (I haven’t read their entire website word for word. I will bow of course, to controverting fact.)

Try to get that information from APS’ $121K a year Executive Director of Communications.

If you have a lot of time and money to burn, try to get it from their lawyers.

The leadership of the APS is not transparent.

Ergo, there cannot be transparent accountability and,
consequently; there is no real honest to God accountability at all.

There is not accountability to any higher standards of conduct and arguably, there is not even accountability to the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Search Survey


The APS Board of Education is looking for a new superintendent.

They would like the community to believe they are participating meaningfully in that process. Accordingly, stake and interest holders can participate in an online survey, link

The Board has identified two dozen “most important characteristics for the next Superintendent.” Should one not find on that list, characteristics that they believe are more important than the choices the board has offered, they may write in only one of those.

Conspicuous in its absence from important characteristics; “is a good role model.”

The omission is not accidental.

More than a decade ago, the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education abandoned their responsibilities as role models. They voted unanimously to remove from their own code of conduct, language memorializing their obligations. They struck language reading; in no case shall standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

Since then, there have been double standards of conduct in the APS; higher standards for students than for their senior most role models. Board members and senior administrators, spending untold millions of dollars on cost-is-no-object legal defenses rendering them arguably unaccountable even to the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

The board is planning ten community meetings. link

It is their intention that “role modeling” not come up in those meetings. It is their intention that “honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence” not come up in those meetings.

It is the responsibility then, of everyone who believes that role modeling and accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence are important characteristics of the next superintendent, to make sure that those characteristics are discussed, candidly, forthrightly and honestly, in those meetings.

At the very least, take the online survey and write them in.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

APS Superintendent Search Forum Nov 18

(So reads the title of a report in this morning's Journal and to which there is no link.)

The APS School Board is beginning its search for a new superintendent. The first public forum is planned for Monday, Nov 18, 6-7:30 pm, Sandia High School.

According to Journal reporter Shelby Perea, this will be an opportunity for “weigh in” on Supt. Raquel Reedy’s replacement.

Apparently Perea has never been to an APS superintendent search forum. Participants don’t get to “weigh in” in any meaningful way in APS fora.

For example, anyone who thinks they are going to stand up and ask direct questions will be sorely disappointed. Participants will be invited to submit questions in writing which will then be “filtered” to eliminate any “awkward” questions.

One will not be permitted to ask, for example;
will the next superintendent be expected to serve in the capacity of senior most administrative role model in the district? Will s/he be expected to hold themselves honestly accountable to the same standards of conduct that s/he enforces upon students? Will students finally see a senior administrator model and promote honest to God accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law?

They are reasonable questions to ask of any superintendent candidate.

They have not been asked in the last three superintendent search forums.

They will not be asked in the next, or the next, or the next.