Monday, September 22, 2014

APS Acceptable Use of Technology Procedural Directive manifestly useless.

If you take APS' new Acceptable Use of Technology Procedural Directive and subject it to a Microsoft Word Flesch Kincaid readability analysis, you will find it can be read and understood by people with a reading grade level of 14.2.  That's two years out of high school in most districts; in the APS 3 or 4.

What is the point in having parents and guardians sign agreement with a document they can't understand no matter the language in which it is published?

It would be interesting to know, what it cost taxpayers in operational dollars to create another procedural directive that nobody but lawyers can easily understand.
And to whom those dollars went.
And why the school board signed off on it.

The school board signs off every year, on their APS Student Behavior Handbook; another pamphlet that nobody can read and, by which, students are expected scrupulously abide.

It is in the Student Behavior Handbook where the board articulates its expectation that student model and promote accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.

It is in so doing, that they obligate themselves as the senior-most role models of accountability to the standards of conduct they establish and enforce upon students.

It is in the Journal, where none of this is "newsworthy".

photo Mark Bralley

Confidence votes to appear on ballots

Voters are going to able to hold politicians and public servants
individually accountable for their conduct and competence at every election.

Apparently, anything goes (on a ballot).

Why not include on every ballot;

the opportunity for politicians and public servants to be periodically evaluated by the people they serve?
Why not provide the opportunity for stake and interest holder input on politicians, public servants, their public service and the policies they create and enforce?

Why shouldn't APS school board members not up for election,
be subject to electoral scrutiny?

Trust me, it isn't because they can't stand the adoration.

There are voters who would express their displeasure with the mid-termers, for their endorsement of Marty Esquivel and Art Melendres Constitutionally indefensible public participation in school board meetings policy and procedural directive.

The next time the school board and administration want to pass a bond issue or mill levy, voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on how they feel about how the board and their superintendent spent the last few hundred million tax dollars entrusted to their stewardship.

There is a lot of talk about holding teachers accountable for their public service; for their conduct and for their competence.

What logic demands accountability from teachers within their public service and does not demand accountability from politicians and public servants within their public service?

On the day it is decided that voters can weigh in periodically
on the conduct and competence of sitting politicians and
public servants; even with so little as a simple thumbs up or
thumbs down, is the day;
  • pigs will fly,
  • fish will speak,
  • rocks won't sink,
  • snakes will smoke,
  • frogs will grow hair,
  • hell will freeze over,
  • chickens will grow teeth,
  • fish will climb poplar trees,
  • grapes will grow on willows,
  • the sun will rise in the west,
  • white crows will fly upside down,
  • crayfish will whistle on the mountain, and
  • monkeys will fly out of my ass.
Adynatons; wikilink

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Westphal and the Journal create quite a brouhaha

D'Val Westphal and the Journal stirred up quite a hornet's nest of comments in response to Westphal's "Looking for the lowdown on student testing" link.  There are 180 comments posted as I write.

A lot of them are from APS
School Board Member
Kathy Korte.

They are pretty uncivil.

Does that make any difference?

It's a fair question.  Korte, if she decides to run for re-election, will be running for election.  Her effort will be to become among other things, one of the eight senior-most role models of student standards of conduct.

Student standards of conduct prohibit incivility.  As a role model of student standards of conduct, Korte should not be modeling incivility.

In fairness, there is some manifest confusion over what are APS' student standards of conduct and, who is accountable to them; honestly, actually accountable.  There isn't a single senior administrator or school board member who admits to honest accountability to student standards of conduct.  The most cursory examination of their public record, reveals that the leadership of the APS is not only not accountable to student standards of conduct; they are barely and only occasionally accountable to the law.

We presume students are accountable to student standards of conduct.  They aren't of course, but for the sake of discussion, let's say students are expected to hold themselves accountable to a specific set of standards of conduct and competence.

Those standards are called the Pillars of Character Counts!, and they have been APS' student standards of conduct since 1994.  Every year since, the school board has reiterated their expectation that students

...model and promote (accountability to) the Pillars of Character Counts! link,
a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethics.

Any discussion or debate over the whether the Pillars of Character Counts! should be APS' student standards of conduct is not germane to the question whether they are; they are.

  • Kathy Korte and
  • David Peercy and 
  • Donald Duran and
  • Marty Esquivel and 
  • Lorenzo Garcia and
  • Analee Maestas and
  • Steven Michael Quezada and
  • interim Superintendent Brad Winter
will not look us in the eye, and explain why there are two standards of conduct in the Albuquerque Public Schools;
  • one for senior administrators, school board members... and
  • one for students.
and why their standards of conduct;
the standards that higher standards are higher than,
are by far the lower standard means something.
Saying nothing says something.
Inconspicuous role modeling is oxymoronic.

How can they categorically refuse to discuss student standards of conduct?

If the Pillars of Character Counts! are no longer an appropriate set of standards, some one of them has to say in an open meeting; I move to lower student standards of conduct.

And then, some other one of them has to say; I second that motion.

Then every other one of them has to agree, by saying "I".

And then they will be free to lower student standards of conduct
as low as their own.

Are the individual members of the leadership of the APS
accountable as role models of the standards of conduct
they establish and enforce upon students?  Or are they not?

In principle; they don't get to win that argument by not having it.

In practice; they are winning that argument by not having it.

All they have to do is not have it.
All they have to do is stonewall.

All they have to do is pretend
there is nothing wrong with
holding students accountable
to higher standards of conduct
than senior administrators and
school board members.

All they have to do is pretend that
  • they have meaningful standards of conduct and competence, and that 
  • they are actually and honestly accountable to them.
The "credentialed" press should be investigating ethics, standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS and informing the democracy.  They won't.

The complicity of the establishment press in covering up an ethics, standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS,  allows the leadership of the APS to
  • never defend their abandonment of their obligations as role models, and
  • never defend removing the role modeling clause* from their own standards of conduct.
More importantly, the complicity of the establishment's allows them
  • to never defend their relentless refusal, link, to put in back.
*In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

photos Mark Bralley

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Esquivel disingenuous on the dearth of truth

In the Journal this morning, link, Jon Swedien reports on the struggle for public records, going on between the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, and former FOG President and Director Marty Esquivel and his team of taxpayer underwritten litigators.

The Journal goes regularly to APS school board member Marty Esquivel and allowed him to complain this morning that;

“FOG is operating on a dearth of facts. 
It’s unfortunate that they would make inflammatory 
comments without knowing all the facts.”
The disingenuous part;
Esquivel is the person most responsible for that dearth.
He is the one hiding the facts; hiding as many as he likes
and "the law" will allow.

The ends on the continuum of public record and fact sharing are;
  • share as many facts as the law will allow, as opposed to
  • share only those facts that that law absolutely requires

Though Esquivel is one of the senior-most role models of standards of conduct that specifically require doing more than the law requires and less than the law allows,  Esquivel is firmly of the opinion, the truth is his to parse.

If you think you can pry it lose from him and his lawyers,
go right ahead.  He will stop or obstruct you will unlimited access to all the lawyers guns and money anybody could ask for.

Esquivel will never tell you why he needs to hide the truth,
only how he is able to hide the truth;

inadequate oversight,

an unlimited budget for

legal weaselry and

friends at the Journal.

Swedien did not report that the FOG and Esquivel are about to lock horns again over Esquivel and APS/Modrall lawyer Art Melendres' rules for public participation in school board meetings.

They are manifestly unconstitutional as will ultimately be determined after expensive and prolonged litigation against the public interests, that settle with no admissions of guilt.

FOG is tardy in their response the request that
they take a position on the Esquivel, Melendres/Modrall policy and procedural directive.

photo Mark Bralley

Friday, September 19, 2014

I stand corrected

I have been writing for the longest time that Kent Walz is the "Managing Editor" at the Journal.

He is in fact the "Editor in Chief".

I stand corrected and,

I stand on everything else I have
said or written about Kent Walz and
his complicity in the cover up of an  
ethics, standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

photo Mark Bralley

The hardest part will be finding a wizard

I propose a public meeting.  The purpose of that meeting will be
the articulation of the shared community philosophy regarding
public school education and administration.

Sound policy requires a sound philosophical foundation.
That foundation is made of shared philosophical beliefs.
Despite the emphasis specific philosophical disagreements, there is common ground.

If we cannot find that common ground and on it together,
we cannot elect school board members and hire a superintendent
who will administer policies that reflect our shared philosophy.

We can effect change toward common goals.

This meeting has to be done right.
If it isn't, there will never be another meeting.

All that is necessary is money.  Money to;

1. rent a space.  And then equip that place so that perhaps hundreds of stake and interest holders could participate meaningfully.  Perhaps some kind of WiFi connection to lap tops.  I am confident that there are people who could figure out how to do that.

2. spread the word.  Invite everyone who wants to participate.  Yeah, what if so many people want to participate that if over whelms the capacity to deal with them?  We should be so lucky.

3. and hire a wizard.  Someone has to stand up in the front of the room and guide the process through the rapids.  I am not talking about a local celebrity.  I am talking about someone with demonstrated ability to protect the process from endless reiteration and personal anecdotes.  Someone who can keep people focused on the task at hand and able to create an atmosphere conducive to real dialogue and consensus building.

The search then, is on; 
For money and
for a wizard.

Moments later; it dawned on me, we already have a space.  We paid a million dollars for it and the surrounding accoutrements.  We paid so much for it, APS interim Supt Brad Winter still will not produce a candid, forthright and honest accounting of all the money he spent, and how he spent it.

It has everything we need including security.
Boy is it secure!

We just have to find a time when it's not in use.
That would be about 28 days a month.

The Susie Rayos Marmon Board Room, link, it is then!
Stand by for time and day.

D'Val Westphal and the Journal have a bucket list in mind

D'Val Westfal, "of the Journal" comes this morning, link , with what look like the facts about how much time is actually spent testing public school students.  We don't and won't know for certain that they are "the facts" until we hear from someone with a different set of facts.

I'm sure that APS School Board Member and, StandUp4Kids NM co-founder Kathy Korte's rebuttal to Westphal's facts cannot be far away; perhaps in an op-ed of her own.

The pity is, Westfal facts and Korte's rebuttal will never meet each other; the disagreement between them will not be settled civilly, it will not be settled at all.

There will never be a "workshop" on testing.

Educated, experienced and dedicated proponents and opponents, good and decent people with different opinions, will never get together in an impartially facilitated open meeting.  Interest and stakeholders will never get to the bottom of the issue.

An old friend used to talk about settling issues by means of
"getting all the liars at the same table".

All the "liars" who know and care about testing and students' best interests will never get together in the same room at the same time to compare their lies wart by wart by wart.

It is not the people with the better facts who fear such a meeting, it is those with half-truths and out of context facts who won't sit down.  They would rather screech in tweets than have their opinions tested in a civil discussion.

The real problem with open and honestly facilitated public meetings is that the outcome cannot be preordained.  Asses cannot be covered.

If a liar or a half-truther or an out-of-contexter, or stonewaller
actually had to sit down at such a table, they would be exposed.
Ergo, they don't sit down; don't even talk about sitting down.

D'Val Westfal asked readers to send her recommendations for a New Mexico Bucket list.

How about;

a time, a day and a place where stake and interest holders can participate in open and honest civil discussions and meaningful decision making on the issue of student testing? or,
Common Core or
or teacher evaluations
student Discipline or
administrative and executive ethics, standards and accountability

photo Mark Bralley

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Korte rips off Bralley

Mark Bralley is a professional photojournalist and blogger.  He owns the photographs he takes.

He owns for example;
this photograph of APS School Board Member Kathy Korte moments after loosing himself from her grip on his camera lens.

It is against the law to use his photographs without his permission.

APS School Board Member and social media maven Kathy Korte apparently likes his work enough that she has used one of Bralley's photograph without his permission and in violation of the law.

She and her group StandUp4Kids have stolen one of Bralley's photographs and used it not only without his permission, but in blatant violation of his long standing policy on how his photographs can be used.

He doesn't offer them up for use in negative political ads.

Bralley's original and the defaced and manipulated copy that Korte posted, link.

photo Mark Bralley

In an aside;
interest and stakeholder Galen Smith stood up at the podium during public forum last night.

He stood to try to outline in 120 seconds, the senior administrative (perhaps criminal) misconduct related to his attempts to serve APS Defendants in Bralley's federal complaints.

Photo posted by Korte on social media
in an effort to defame Mark Bralley.
A manifest violation of the social media
policy she just established for
staff and students to obey
The complaint names Korte, senior administrators and school board members.

About half way through his presentation, Smith said, Korte turned her back on the public forum. Other board members were variously engaged in some manner of inattention, as is their want and practice.

APS Board considers Brooks settlements

The APS school board met in secret last night to take "action" in "settling" several complaints against former APS Supt Winston Brooks, the board, the district and of course, taxpayers.

According to the agenda, link, here pasted in significant part;

Michael Bachicha, an individual and Susan Stanojevic, an individual, Plaintiffs, vs. Board of Education of the Albuquerque Public Schools, Defendant, Case No. 10-CV-00710 MCA/LAM

Ruby Ethridge, Plaintiff, vs. Albuquerque Public Schools, Winston Brooks,, in his individual capacity, John or Jane Doe, in his or her individual capacity, Defendants, Cause No. 1:12-CV-00897-KG/SCY;
it would appear the complaints are close to "settlement".

The settlements will be secret; as secret as the meeting where they were made.

All we know for sure is;
  • large numbers of operational dollars are going to be given to victims of Brooks and APS' misconduct, and to
  • the victim's lawyers, and to
  • APS' lawyers.
The exact number of dollars will remain secret from the people whose dollars they used to be. They will remain secret until the information is so old, it is no longer "newsworthy". They will never be published in a way that they would get noticed. They never show up on APS' award winning website.

The settlement agreements will include admissions of no guilt by the guilty.

This always pisses off victims, thereby multiplying the number of operational dollars required to make victims whole, compensate their lawyers, and further enrich the APS stable of lawyers including at least a few lawyers willing to do just about anything, for a few hundred thousand dollars worth of billable hours.

The settlement agreements will prohibit victims and their lawyers from telling the people what happened to the power and resources they entrusted to the leadership of the APS for the purpose of educating children.

It gets worse.

School Board enforcer Marty Esquivel and the board, are prepared to spend another million dollars on non-viable litigation in an effort to escape the consequences of their individual and collective corruption and incompetence.

They will spend those dollars in secret and without real oversight*.
*school board oversight amounts to self-oversight and subordinate oversight in meetings in secret.

The APS image is of a smiling Marty Esquivel.

"Smiley" and six other school board members offered an assurance to stakeholders, that the million dollars they intend to spend in search of admissions of no guilt, is not being spent in their own self interests, but in the interests of the nearly 90,000 of this community's sons and daughters in APS classrooms.

The only protection taxpayers have,
the ONLY protection taxpayers have,
is the personal trustworthiness of people who deliberately do not record their meetings in secret.

Normally, the democracy could look to the press to cowboy up, ride in and save the day. The press is supposed to investigate and report upon credible allegations and evidence of public corruption and incompetence.

In this case, you couldn't separate the press from the players
with both hands and a crowbar.
Marty Esquivel, Journal Managing Editor and former APS Supt Winston Brooks managed to bamboozle the NM FOG into giving Winston Brooks a hero of transparency award.

At the very same time, Esquivel, Brooks and Walz were all playing parts in hiding public records; the findings of investigations into allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators and the leadership of APS' police force.
The ethically redacted findings are still being hidden and the leadership of the APS is still spending operational dollars to keep them hidden. They have never, not once, offered a good and ethical justification for needing to keep the record secret in anyone's interests but their own.

The establishments' press has not once asked them for that justification and reported on their response.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our trust and treasure, squandered at 6400 Uptown Blvd, or not

Where is the ethically redacted public record* of spending at 6400 Uptown Blvd?

Did they really spend $800 apiece on chairs?  They won't say no.

*There is a body of records called public records. Every single one of them belongs to the people.

The people, recognizing that some public records should not be make public, provided for that necessity by allowing "redaction" of public records. In what can actually be described as epic disregard of the appearance of a conflict of interests, the Inspection of Public Records Act allows public servants and politicians to redact the public's record of their own public service.

The public record can be redacted in at least two ways; it can be redacted "legally" or ethically.

Ethical redaction is done is in the spirit of the law; with the intention of providing as much access as the law will allow.  It is a manifestation of accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law; the standards that every higher standard is higher than.

"Legal" redaction is done in the self interests of politicians and public servants in order to provide as little access as the law will allow.
"Legal" redaction allows the redaction of everything that unbridled legal weaselry* and cost is no object litigation can enable.
*using weaknesses laws to deliberately circumvent the intention of laws.

If the record of spending at 6400 Uptown Blvd was clean,there would be no need to hide it.  It says something about the record, that the record must be hidden; that a candid, forthright and honest accounting will not be produced.

Taxpayers were promised a money saving enterprise at 6400 Uptown Blvd.  One of the twins was to be rented out to cover costs.  Instead, stake and interest holders were witness to a stampede of administrators promptly filling both towers to capacity.

They began spending money hand over fist.  Auditors, Meyners & Co, were called in to examine the spending.  They found at the time;
  1. inadequate standards and
  2. inadequate accountability to inadequate standards and
  3. inadequate record keeping.
The trifecta of public corruption and embezzlement;
how could money not have been wasted;
how could money not have been stolen?

The players are the same players,
Brad Winter Chief amongst them.

They want us to trust them with
hundreds of millions more dollars
and they can't or won't show us
what they did with the last few
hundred million dollars we
entrusted to their administration.

They are using public resources to hide public records; the findings of every investigation* that has ever been done of allegations of senior administrative and executive misconduct.
*APS self-investigates administrative and executive misconduct and uses legal weaselry and unlimited and without real oversight spending to hide the findings from public knowledge.  No real law enforcement agency, for example, investigated the felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators in 2006 and 7.

photos Mark Bralley

Shame on the Journal. Seriously, shame on Kent Walz

If you read Journal coverage of APS Supt Winston Brooks before and after his demise; you will find two different men; a veritable Jekyll and Hyde, wikilink.

Granted, before his demise, the Journal sold as much advertising as they could reporting on Brooks major blunders; how could they not?  But they really didn't dig any deeper.  Readers never read about investigations into the allegations of bullying, misogyny and anger management issues.

If you read the press on Brooks before he came to APS,
you will find evidence of the problems that ended his administration here.  After his demise, the Journal and interim APS Supt Brad Winter are happy to point out fundamental flaws in Brooks' character and personality.

macquigg photo
In between the before and the demise, the Journal failed to inform the democracy.  They failed to investigate and report upon credible evidence and testimony of Brooks problems.

Had the democracy been informed, school board members who gave Brooks a three quarters of million dollars worth golden parachute might not have been (r)elected.

Had the democracy been informed all these years, the Brooks debacle would have ended before it started.

When the question is; will you tell the truth? the whole truth and nothing but the ethically redacted truth, any answer except yes, means no.

It means no from a public schools superintendent, it means no from a school board member, it means no from from a news director or managing editor.

Not saying yes, means no.

The standards of conduct, of which Brad Winter is the senior-most administrative role model;
APS' student standards of conduct, link,
could not be more explicit;
"telling the truth" 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. emphasis added
Stonewalling is prohibited.

APS students, if they are given any character education at all,
are told they forfeit their good character if they stonewall the response to a legitimate question.

Brad Winter and the Journal are stonewalling at least three questions;
  1. Why don't interest and stakeholders know the truth about spending at 6400 Uptown Blvd?  Why is there no candid, forthright and honest audit of spending at 6400 Uptown? and
  2. Why won't the school board and superintendent produce the ethically redacted finding of investigations of allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators? and
  3. Why won't the senior-most administrative role models in the entire APS not explain to students in words they can understand;
why students are expected to hold themselves honestly and actually accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law, and senior administrators, school board members, and their lawyers, are not?

Not one of them, not one senior administrator, not a one school board member, not one politician nor public servant, not one Journal editor, not one a single news director or broadcast affiliate owner in the entire city of Albuquerque.
There are two reasons the truth isn't being told;
lack of character and or, lack of courage.

If there is a third reason that legitimate questions cannot find answers in the APS or in the establishment's press, I would like to know, what is that reason.

I cannot imagine what good and ethical reason could possibly be.

So far, not one superintendent, not one senior administrator, not one school board member, not one editor or news director has articulated a third reason - much less in words that any student can understand.

If we really want students to embrace character and courage and honor, we have to show them what they look like.

There really is no equivalent gesture.

When the federal grant money was still around, APS' trainers of trainers used to have T-shirts to give to students after we talked to them about Character Counts!

On it's front and back it read;
Stand up for what you believe in
even if you are standing alone.
In truth, a child standing up for the right thing should never be standing alone.  There should be an adult behind in support, an adult beside to share the burden and, an adult in front of them leading by personal example; showing them what it looks like.

Character is taught by personal example.

We are at a fork in the road.

Stake and interest holders don't know about the choice because there are powerful people who like things the way they are, and who don't want the people to know that they a choice; that they can make a difference.

The powerful people who like things the way they are, own and manage newspapers and broadcast news outlets.  Or, they know people who do.  They have the will and the wherewithal to manipulate and mislead interest and stakeholders.

The choice has to do with an upcoming school board election and subsequent retention of a new superintendent. With a new school board and a new superintendent, there is an opportunity to move APS in an entirely different direction; one that includes
transparent, honest and actual accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence for politicians and public servants within their public service in the APS.

This is not about Character Counts! it is about
honest accountability to any higher standards of conduct at all, ever.

This is not the time to debate the meanings of the words or
whether the right choices were made.

This is the time to discuss "the terms" of politics and public service in the leadership of the APS.  It is time to consider whether the setting of the terms is the prerogative of the people or of the politicians and public servants.

School board meeting today.   5 pm.  public forum

If not you, then who?  If not now, then when?

You pick a side when you don't pick a side.

Silence gives consent.

All that is necessary for evil to prevail in the world
is for good people to do nothing.  Burke derived.

photo Mark Bralley

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Can one of the people count on NM FOG?

In the niche of open government, the NM FOG is pretty much the only game in town.  Without doubt, NM FOG and its members have struck more than a few blows in advancing the cause of open government, on occasion.

But if the question is;

can one of the people with an open government issue,
go to NM FOG and expect to be helped?
then the answer is; it depends.

It depends on a lot of things, even good and ethical things.  Not the least of which is that the heavy lifting in the FOG is done by volunteers.  Volunteers get tired, volunteers get overwhelmed.  Volunteers can't always put one of the people's issue at the top of their list.

So, no judgement offered over the length of time it has taken for the NM FOG to pick a side in the controversy over the Marty Esquivel and Modrall Public Participation in Public Meetings Policy and Procedural Directive.

Still, in the end, they haven't picked a side, and the appearance of a conflicts of interests and perhaps impropriety are created by circumstantial evidence and cannot simply be ignored.

The circumstantial evidence is that the people who came up with a manifestly unconstitutional policy and procedure, Marty Esquivel and the Modrall law firm, and the complicit media, the Journal for example, all happen to be NM FOG at least former heavy hitters.  To suppose they once swung a big bat and now can no longer swing at bat at all, is naive.

It could be that the lack of a timely response is entirely justifiable.
It could just as well be that Esquivel and Modrall are in fact benefiting from conflicts of interest and from impropriety.

Bottom line answer to the question; can one of the people
walk into NM FOG's office and count on the FOG's help?
is; the answer could be yes, at least occasionally, or it could be;
if you are the enemy of a friend, you get jack, link.

Winter and the Journal throw Brooks under the bus

Journal education (?) reporter Jon Swedien comes this morning, link, with an investigation and report on the "drama" in the leadership of the APS.

Some of what Swedien reports will come as news to Journal readers; they will not have read about it in the Journal before.  Which is the point.  A simple comparison of the truth they now tell, and the truth they didn't tell points to incompetence or corruption; they couldn't investigate and report, or they wouldn't investigate and report.

The Journal never before investigated and reported on the Winston Brooks administration inside the  most heavily fortified, guarded and electronically surveilled space in the entire APS, the castle keep at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

For the last few years, the APS school board was evaluating Winston Brooks on an annual basis.  Every year they came out of a process in secret, and announced that Winston Brooks was doing a wonderful job, and that they were extending his golden parachute to three quarters of a million dollars.

Now we read the truth, that Winston Brooks was not such a great superintendent after all.  Winston Brooks was not such a great superintendent, and the Journal didn't investigate and report on the problem in time to do anything about it; the democracy was never informed.

The Journal, Kent Walz, whomever, and the news directors, and whomever in the establishment's press cannot be trusted to inform the democracy, regarding the wielding of public power and the spending of public resources by the leadership of the APS.

I submit as proof in facts;

  • In February 2007, the Journal exposed, link, public corruption and incompetence in the leadership of APS' publicly funded private police force.  State and federal felonies were committed.  Senior APS administrators were involved.
  • A number of investigations were done.  Not one of them was done by any agency not on APS' payroll.  All investigations of even felony criminal misconduct of senior APS administrators and school board members are done internally - the self-investigate their own misconduct.
  • Evidence and testimony of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators has never been turned over to the DA for prosecution.  As old as the original scandal is, the cover up is as new as today.
The establishment's press knows and won't do anything about it.  The only one who ever offered any justification at all, pointed out that the corruption occurred seven years ago.  Yeah and but, the cover up of the lack of consequences for politicians and public servants who squandered the public trust and treasure, is still going on today.

Dr. Brad Winter is in a unique position to answer questions about corruption and incompetence in the APS Police force leadership.  He had immediate oversight over them during most times relevant.

Brad Winter has the authority to tell the truth now.

He could if he wanted, release ethically redacted public records; findings of investigations into allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.

Instead, his authority authorizes lawyers to spend money that could hire a teacher, trying to litigate some exception to the law.

Just how moot is, whether it might actually be "legal" to hide his record, is manifest in Winter's refusal to explain "why" he needs to hide an ethically redacted public record of his public service.

The law allows him to hide his record;
it does not require him to hide his record.

Why does he need to hide his record except that
it might embarrass, shame or indict him and others
in the leadership of the APS?

Dr. Brad Winter is in a unique position to inform interest and stakeholders about APS' spending on the administrative digs at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

Auditors found senior administrators spending up to $50K at a whack
 on goodies for 6400 Uptown "without involving purchasing".

That accounting is necessary, because at the time huge amounts of money were being spent, auditors had found; inadequate standards, inadequate accountability to inadequate standards and inadequate record keeping.  Likely, millions of dollars have gone missing.

If so, they went missing on Brad Winter's watch; he was our oversight.

As interim Supt, Winter has the authority to produce a candid, forthright and honest accounting of spending at 6400 Uptown.  The accounting is absolutely relevant in the upcoming elections and the hiring of another superintendent.  The establishment's press will not press for its production.

The Journal will continue to help APS polish its apple,
Marty Esquivel's name will be dropped where ever they can,
and Brad Winter will never have to respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly to at least two legitimate questions;
  • Assuming the law actually allows you to hide ethically redacted public records of investigations of allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators, why do you want to? and
  • Why will you not produce a candid, forthright and honest accounting of spending at 6400 Uptown Blvd, from the time APS promised taxpayers they would save money by buying the twins, until today?
Update; Hell, let's make it three questions and get it over with;
  • Why will you not explain to students in words they can understand, 
why are students apparently expected to hold themselves
honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct
than the law, and their senior-most administrative role model apparently is not?

Those questions can be asked from the speakers' podium during the public forum during the school board meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Those questions are prohibited under the Marty Esquivel / Modrall rules of etiquette, but they can be asked anyway.

Worst case scenario, some board member or administrator will tell their
Praetorian Guard to deprive you of your liberty; your Constitutionally
protected human rights to free speech, to freely assemble and
to petition your government, and they will.

photos Mark Bralley