By which he meant I think; if the demands of Reason and Power conflict, Power prevails. It is true, still.
In what must be among the oddest of ironies, the laws supposed to protect us from the abuse of power, do not apply to the powerful.
Next Thursday night, the APS School Board Policy Committee is going to rewrite its Policy on the Public Forum. They will rewrite the rules to legitimize their previous misconduct; to dodge accountability for violating their own policies, and to limit the exercise of free speech.
The record shows deliberate and repeated misrepresentation of the truth. They have removed the public forum from their agenda, and from the public record. No longer can a stakeholder speak on the record, except to a pre-approved issue. It makes the public forum meaningless. It ignores the obligations of a “Public Forum”. It is an assault on free speech. It defies reason.
If I am allowed to speak, I will reason that they can not dodge accountability by suppressing free speech; and yet they will anyway. Because, “power shites on the back of reason.”
And nobody will know what they have done, except the people in the room.
Update: I was not allowed to speak at either meeting. I was not allowed to speak despite the board policy requirement to follow Robert's Rules of Order. I was in fact escorted out of both meetings by uniformed members of APS' Praetorian Guard. It was not reported by the media who witnessed the dispute.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
By which he meant I think; if the demands of Reason and Power conflict, Power prevails. It is true, still.
Posted by ched macquigg at 6:31 PM
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The question is not so much whether a new boardroom is worth $625,920; as it is; should we be spending that much money unnecessarily; when there are so many other more important needs?
Lest you worry that your representatives on the board are not on top of things; Gordon Rowe is quoted as saying, “My general feeling is that it was more expensive than it was supposed to be.” And Mary Lee Martin offered, “I have no idea how it got so expensive.” But according to Martin, it is apparently worth the cost because, “Our employees suffered in the old building.” Define “suffered” please.
District officials anticipating irate tax payers, offered that the money didn’t come out of property taxes but from the sale of public property. And that property was originally bought with what exactly, if not with tax dollars? To top it off, Rigo Chavez said the details of the sale are “confidential”.
Let me get this straight; the details of public servants, acting within their public service, and selling public property, are not for the public to know.
Gran did not ask, or she did not report the answer to the follow up question;
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:48 AM
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
I aver; the leadership of the APS offers no opportunity to be held accountable for their character or their competence. And further that, that is proof of mal, mis, and non feasance as public servants; and as role models for 98,000 of our sons and daughters.
Am I to prove the negative? Am I to produce every sheet of paper that they have printed, to show than not one has on it a system that offers a principled resolution of a complaint made against them? And further that not one of those sheets of paper shows a record of honest accountability to even the student standard of conduct?
Or is the burden of proof upon them to produce that one sheet of paper?
What do I have to do to get them to surrender it? I have been asking for it for fourteen years. I have asked the newspapers to ask to see that proof; or report that it does not exist. I have taken them to court. I have run for the board.
Beyond any reasonable doubt, there is no record that proves honest accountability to any meaningful standard of conduct.
Incontrovertibly established by self evidence; voters have a right to know the truth while there is time enough to participate meaningfully in the decisions that must soon be made.
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:25 PM
"…not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating; giving a false appearance of frankness"
As in, the Journal’s Sunday editorial encouraging voters to support the passage of ethics reform in the state legislature, by filling the galleries; while at the same time continuing to cover up a bona fide opportunity for voters to impose real ethics reform in public service, by voting out the Leadership of the APS for their public and repeated refusal to be held accountable to any standard of conduct that uses the word ethical.
In an upcoming, but still under-reported board member election.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:49 AM
Saturday, December 23, 2006
I cannot imagine a legitimate political or social agenda that does not move forward on the day the first public servant finds themselves accountable in their public service for their character and their conduct.
What problem with public service does not have its roots in incompetence and/or corruption? Accountability is fatal to both.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:01 AM
Friday, December 22, 2006
…everyone that read this blog got one other person to read the blog; then on Wednesday January 17th, 2007, 8,388,608 people will get an invitation to participate in the last public forum before the APS board member elections.
If of those 8,388,608 people, two hundred show up to stand up for what they believe in for two minutes; then they will see the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools held honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct, in their character and in their competence. Even against their will.
What are the odds?
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:20 PM
…wrote Journal editors. I disagree. Mayor Chavez’s plan is building an empire that includes control of the public schools; the lack of accountability in the APS is merely a convenient excuse.
If Chavez had any real concern over the lack of accountability in the public schools, he would tell the Journal and Tribune to tell the real truth about the lack of accountability in the public schools. He won’t, and neither the Journal nor Trib will proceed without his blessing.
The truth is that the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools has refused repeatedly to be held honestly accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct. If any of the Mayor, the Journal or Tribune told the truth about the APS Leaders’ refusal; public outrage would prompt an immediate and comprehensive overhaul of accountability in the APS; without assistance from the Mayor.
Which is why if you ever read the truth about APS’ lack of accountability in the newspaper; it will only be after it is too late to do anything about it.
Paul Broome wrote; “Our students, hard-working teachers and principals deserve a leadership change for real accountability and results.”
Of course they do. So why won’t Mayor Marty provide for a leadership change by telling the Journal and Tribune to go ahead and tell stakeholders the truth?
Is it because telling the truth now, before the school board election, would eliminate any need for the Mayor to take control over public schools away from its rightful stewards, the community?
What other reason explains the Mayor and the newspaper’s steadfast support of the APS Leadership’s efforts to cover up the APS ethics scandal?
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:49 AM
Thursday, December 21, 2006
There was a school board meeting today. The public forum was not on the agenda.
I. Call to Order
A. Pledge of Allegiance
B. Roll Call
C. Adoption of Agenda (Discussion / Action)
As you can see, the agenda listed the adoption of the agenda as a discussion and action item. I sought to comment on the adoption before it was too late. Robert Lucero stated that discussion, my comment, was not allowed before the agenda was voted on; because until then the meeting had not yet begun. This despite that fact that discussion was clearly appropriate, and that the discussion and adoption of the agenda was the third item on agenda after the meeting was called to order. I believe that Robert Lucero simply made up his "argument" on the spot; that it was fabricated to suit his ends.
Paula Maes and the rest of the board agreed with Lucero's indefensible and patently absurd reasoning.
Until I am proved wrong by someone more expert than I in Robert's Rules of Order; it is my opinion that Lucero and the board are simply bullies who trample those who stand in their way. And who then cannot be held accountable for this or any other of their misconduct.
During the “off the record public forum”, four of seven board members were not even present. Had anyone chosen to speak during the forum, they would have been speaking to more empty chairs, than occupied.
When I asked a rather large audience to stand up in support of their belief that the public forum belongs on the agenda and on the record, a half a dozen people stood up. I am grateful for the courage they displayed; the courage they modeled for a dozen or so young people in the room. Unfortunately six people, no matter how courageous, are far too few to make a difference.
The agenda of the next meeting of the board of education will not include a public forum.
Posted by ched macquigg at 2:37 PM
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Their history is one of misrepresenting the truth about public forums. Stakeholders have been deliberately and methodically mislead by the broadcast records of the public forum.
They have moved public forum off the agenda in order to move it off the record; and to avoid having a videotaped record of the forum.
The Administration, the Board, and Modrall want the public forum off the record; why?
Public forum is the only place that the leadership of the APS will be asked to account for their failure to hold themselves accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct. They will not be held to account in the Journal or the Trib. Nor will they be held to account by the TV or radio news. Nor will they be held to account by the senator, the governor, the mayor, the city council, the chamber of commerce, or the Character Counts Leadership Council.
Public forum is the only place they will be asked to tell the truth. And they don’t want their response on the record.
In exactly whose interests?
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:22 AM
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
It will be a shame for students and staff in schools that are in need of repair.
This community has a record of taxing itself in support of its schools. But voters are tired of holding their noses while they trust even more of their money to people they don’t trust.
When Governor Richardson urged voters to support the last bond issue; he asked them to ignore APS’ waste on bureaucratic red tape, long history of dodging accountability, ill will across the state, Legislative and community distrust, and lack of leadership.
Through how many tax elections are we supposed to ignore the problems with the people who spend the money?
Voters will turn down new taxes because they cannot turn out those whose history is one of squandering their trust and their treasure. Because the Leadership of the APS has no record of honest accountability for corruption or incompetence; voters will hold them accountable in the only way they can.
Between the February and September bond issue elections; the number of voters who voted against the issues almost tripled.
Before the September bond issue, Governor Richardson said, “Following the election, I welcome a debate on potential solutions aimed at requiring more accountability in our schools.”
I guess he didn’t mean that he would assume any personal responsibility for a debate, or that there would actually be any debate; just that it would be welcome if it did happen.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:43 PM
Friday, December 15, 2006
There is evidence of a deliberate distortion of the truth in the broadcast version of ten public forums; the forums during which the school board members and superintendent each refused to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
If you compare the edited and unedited versions of public forums; you will see a deliberate effort to misrepresent the truth.
APS Records Custodian Rigo Chavez has the capacity to furnish the edited and unedited versions of the truth, in response to a carefully prepared NMIPRA records request.
Whether he will or not, is a whole other question.
Posted by ched macquigg at 2:11 PM
During the last board meeting, the Public Forum was moved
'outside of the APS board meeting" by putting it before the agenda.
By their reasoning, the record of the public forum could then be edited from their “broadcast version of the truth”.
And their constituents would not watch them as they refused to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct. For the tenth time.
It "isn't dishonest" because it's not the "official record."
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:11 AM
So far as I know, I am the only person using the phrase, ethics scandal; is it fair, is it responsible, is it ethical? You tell me.
Clearly the word ethics is used correctly. The issue is the ethical accountability of the Leadership of the APS.
Is there scandalous misconduct? According to my online dictionary a scandal is;
A person, thing, or circumstance that causes or ought to cause disgrace or outrage: a politician whose dishonesty is a scandal.
Damage to reputation or character caused by public disclosure of immoral or grossly improper behavior; disgrace.
A publicized incident that brings about disgrace or offends the moral sensibilities of society.
Students in the Albuquerque Public Schools are accountable to an ethical code of conduct.
The Leadership of the APS excepted themselves from accountability to that standard by removing language from their own code of conduct which read; “…in no case shall the standard of conduct for the adult be lower than the standard for students…”
They cannot claim honest accountability to a code of conduct that uses the word ethical.
Their record is one of dodging accountability even to the law.
They have taken these steps in order to dodge accountability to currently unresolved allegations of ethical and criminal misconduct.
They and the news media have deliberately hidden this misconduct from voters now, through three elections.
If this is not scandalous misconduct; what is?
If this is not an “APS Ethics Scandal”, what is?
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:46 AM
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Robert Lucero, according to the Trib, intends to run for re-election in board district 2.
Someone needs to oppose Robert Lucero’s effort to be reelected to the board.
Someone needs to ask Robert Lucero to answer a few questions.
As a board member, why is he accountable to no code of conduct that uses the word ethical?
Why did he dispose of a motion before the board which would have required administrators and board members to respond to a legitimate question by telling the truth?
Why did he oppose a motion that would have held board members and administrators honestly accountable to the student standard of conduct?
Why did he vote to deny whistleblower protection to those who expose ethical misconduct by administrators or board members?
Why has he refused ten times to hold himself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
Why did he abolish for the Leadership of the APS, the expectation that; “…in no case shall the standard for an adult be lower than the standard for students…”?
If no one opposes Robert Lucero, he will continue to stonewall.
And as a role model for 98,000 of our sons and daughters, and as a steward of the public trust and treasure, and as a public servant; he will be accountable to no meaningful standard of conduct.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:17 PM
The question is, can you demonstrate that you are honestly accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct?
The Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools should be able to respond by saying, yes. As stewards of the public trust and treasure; they should have created a system that protects public interests from corruption and incompetence.
They have not. They cannot answer yes.
They cannot answer no.
They will not admit that they have failed to protect public interests from individual and systemic corruption and incompetence.
So they stonewall.
The Administration, the Board, and Modrall can get away with stonewalling because they are powerful. They are powerful only because they are the stewards of the people’s power. Our power is being used to dodge accountability for the corrupt and incompetent abuse of that very power. It is absurd.
So far, they’re getting away with it.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:19 AM
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
What ever else they say about their accountability for their misconduct; they cannot show to you:
• Any system in APS that provides that a complaint against an administrator or board member will see a principled resolution.
• A record of having stood up to the consequences of their misconduct.
• Any evidence of their willingness to be held honestly accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct.
They cannot be held accountable for their misconduct for the same reason a playground bully is not held accountable for his.
For exactly the same reason.
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:03 PM
According to the Journal, the Commander of the Praetorian Guard, Gil Lovato, failed to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct by a fellow APS administrator.
That illustrates the problem with the APS Leaders' ownership of the system by which they are held accountable for misconduct.
Gil Lovato is himself, the subject of unresolved allegations of evidence tampering, destruction of public records, and conspiracy.
Those charges were never investigated either.
Because the APS administration, board, and Modrall, cannot be held accountable for their misconduct.
Posted by ched macquigg at 7:53 AM
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Consider that it is the public servant who decides if and when they will answer questions about what they are doing with it.
Posted by ched macquigg at 6:08 PM
Public servants wield a great deal of power. They yield it legitimately only in the interest of the people whose power it is. The power is entrusted to them for no other purpose. Any other use is illegitimate; it is an abuse of power.
Our power is certainly not entrusted to them in order that they can self-except themselves from accountability for their misconduct.
Rules apply to everyone; or they apply to no one.
Who exactly is going to hold themselves accountable to a higher standard than the example that is set for them?
Once that power has been usurped, it will not be given back. Or, it would have been given back already.
The power must be taken back; even against their will; most certainly against their will.
They have repeatedly refused to be held honestly accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct.
They have repeatedly refused to return to the people, the control over the power which is fundamentally theirs.
What are you going to do about it?
Posted by ched macquigg at 5:53 PM
The citizens of Albuquerque have lost control of the power that they entrusted to APS Leadership. The power has been usurped by the board, the administration and Modrall.
The eight men and women and their lawyers who run the Albuquerque Public Schools refuse to be held accountable in their public service.
That means they refuse to be held accountable to the people.
If they were really accountable to the community; if they were accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct; they could show you a system in the APS where a complaint against an administrator or board member sees a principled resolution; a fair hearing. They can not.
If they were really accountable for their conduct; their record would be one of stepping up to consequences. It is not.
If they were really accountable; when asked if they are accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; they would say yes. They won’t.
If the people of Albuquerque had control over their power, their power would not be being used to enable corruption and incompetence in the administration of the public schools.
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:28 PM
Monday, December 11, 2006
I decided to find out if the Journal and Tribune would tell the truth if I paid them to.
I submitted a suggested text for my advertisement. It included mention of the APS ethics scandal, and the refusal of the Journal or Tribune to investigate or report upon it.
I was informed that the following policy applies.
“Acceptance of all political advertising is subject to review. The publisher reserves the right to reject for publication any advertisement for any reason at any time.”
Frankly, that makes it difficult for me to publish a political advertisement that points out that the Journal and Tribune are helping to cover up the ethics scandal in which my opponent is involved.
Posted by ched macquigg at 4:29 PM
On which side of that line is a public servant who refuses honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct within their public service?
And why is it not alright to ask him which side of the line he is on?
And then expect an answer.
Posted by ched macquigg at 2:05 PM
Sunday, December 10, 2006
As role models for 98,000 of our sons and daughters, do the leaders of APS have any responsibility to model accountability to the standard to which they hold students accountable?
Because if they do; they aren’t.
The new, lower standard of conduct written and adopted by APS Leadership as their standard of conduct says, “Employees of the Albuquerque Public Schools shall serve as positive role models for students and set good examples in conduct…”
“Positive role model” and "good example" are muddy standards. They are made to order for those whose interests lie in evading accountability.
When the leadership of APS holds students accountable to a higher standard than their own;
And when they cannot demonstrate by their record, honest accountability to any standard of conduct at all;
And when they have refused for the tenth time to accept honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct;
And when they removed “…in no case shall the standard of conduct for an adult be less than the standard for students…” from their own code of conduct;
I would argue that they are not “positive role models”; that they are not setting a “good example”.
The senior administration, the board and Modrall don’t have to argue anything at all; because they are not accountable; to anyone.
By their record, they cannot show accountability even to the law.
They cannot show a system in place in the APS where a senior administrator or board member is subject to a principled resolution of a complaint made against them.
Ten times they have refused honest accountability to any meaningful standard of conduct.
What more proof do you need?
Posted by ched macquigg at 3:23 PM
"The Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee will maintain a system of evaluation for all personnel in compliance with the laws of New Mexico and the standards and procedures adopted by the State Board of Education."
According to the APS Website, the policy was last reviewed: April 2001
In October of 2003, in an impartial audit of APS after the M&O corruption scandal, the Council of Great City Schools wrote that administrative evaluations were “subjective and unrelated to promotions or step placement…”
The comment was offered by way of criticism.
Has anything changed since the audit? They have failed to produce any pubic record that says that they have changed anything at all.
Can the Superintendent, or the Superintendent’s designee, be held accountable for not maintaining a system of evaluation that protects the community from Administrative incompetence and corruption?
Sure they can. And a pint of Häagen-Dazs serves four.
Posted by ched macquigg at 2:01 PM
Friday, December 08, 2006
Mayor Chavez claims an interest in increased accountability in the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools. He claims it a lot.
The Leadership of the APS is currently refusing to be held accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct.
All Mayor Chavez has to do to make APS Senior Administrators and Board Members accountable; is to give the newspapers the go ahead to write about the APS ethics scandal.
When they finally tell the truth; there will be accountability in the Leadership of the APS.
But the Mayor won’t give them the go ahead. Why not?
Would a major improvement in the accountability picture in the APS interfere with the Mayor’s interest in assuming personal control over the public schools?
Or am I being too cynical?
Posted by ched macquigg at 5:15 PM
We will teach students that their character counts.
They will then inspire their teachers to embrace character and courage and honor.
The teachers will inspire their principals, who will inspire the superintendents, who will inspire the board.
How could it possibly go wrong?
Posted by ched macquigg at 2:58 PM
There are two unresolved issues at Rio Grande High School.
I will begin by acknowledging no personal experience at that school. I will bow to any controverting fact.
The first issue yet to be resolved; who is in charge at the school, the staff or the students?
At a school where prohibited behavior is permitted; the rule breakers are in charge.
Which is not to imply any adult at the school willingly accepts that situation, or is not doing everything they possibly can to change it.
The second unresolved issue is whether or not there will be a manifest gang presence at RGHS.
There are actually three issues.
The first two exist because of the third. There is no APS District Discipline Philosophy.
Discipline policies in the District are not based on any common discipline philosophy. If there were a well thought out, comprehensive philosophy, they could show it to you.
What do the Superintendent and Board intend to do about the issue of a manifest gang presence on school campuses, District wide? What do they intend to do about the issue of the permission of prohibited behavior, District wide? What do they intend to do to regain their control over school campuses, District wide?
It would be grossly unfair to hold individual schools staffs or staff members culpable for this lack of direction.
The responsibility for this lack of leadership falls squarely on the Board and the Superintendent.
Each of whom refuses to be held honestly accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct regarding their character or their competence.
Again, and again, and again, and …
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:39 AM
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I will never forget the evening the Trib editor wrote, “I hope the legislature does the right thing” with regard to ethics reforms.
Since when does the master “hope”, that the servant will do as they are told?
The master’s wants are crystal clear; an end to corruption and incompetence in public service.
Corruption and incompetence exist because for hundreds of years, the masters have “hoped” that the servants would protect them from corruption and incompetence.
The first ethical use of power is to eliminate the possibility that the power can be abused; to protect the interests of those whose power it is.
The first intelligent abuse of power is to eliminate accountability for the abuse of power.
By crippling the mechanisms of accountability, and by corrupting the standards.
Like when the Leadership of the APS removed; “…in no case shall the standard for the adult be lower than the standard for students…”, from their code of conduct.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:31 AM
I have been asking this question since 1994; the year I was trained in Character Counts.
It is my absolute conviction that we must raise the next generation of adults to embrace accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct. It is the principle we illustrate when we tell children about George Washington and the cherry tree.
The principle cannot be taught by the story alone; it must be taught by our personal example as well. Or our children will learn from a different example; dodging accountability.
The Albuquerque Public Schools senior administration and board members are not accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct; even the law.
Prove it, you say.
They have never denied it. Prove it to yourself; ask any senior administrator or board member to show you the record that they are accountable to any standard.
The only thing that they have to show is a record of dodging accountability; a record of spending enormous amounts of money on lawyers whose goal is to forestall, forever, accountability even to the law.
In the offices of Modrall are two sheets of paper. Between them they are evidence of perjury; a fourth degree felony.
The APS senior administrator, who perjured himself, has never been held accountable for his misconduct.
His immunity, and immunity for other senior administrators and board members, was purchased with public money; unwitting taxpayer support for education.
The Leadership of the APS has the will and the wherewithal to dodge accountability even to the law.
Show this post to anyone in APS. Ask them to deny any part of it.
They won’t. They will stonewall.
I keep asking the question because unless and until they answer it; nothing will ever change.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:21 AM
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I was asked today, by what right do I force my expectations on the private lives of APS Leaders?
The answer is that I don’t. I could not care less about the private lives of board members and superintendents.
They enjoy the same human right to privacy in their personal life as anybody else.
My expectation is that in their capacity as public servants; when they’re spending pubic money and wielding public power; that they be honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
And it is precisely that accountability which they are rejecting.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:35 AM
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Powerful people can break the rules; and then dodge accountability. APS leaders have broken the rules and are dodging accountability.
Consider what you have seen with your own eyes.
Nine times the Superintendent and School Board Members have been asked to hold themselves honestly accountable to the same standard that they established and enforce upon students. Nine times they have stonewalled the question.
By their history, and by their stonewalling; APS Leaders have indicated that they are unwilling to be held accountable to ANY standard of conduct; even the law.
As senior role models for 98,000 students, and as the stewards of the public trust and treasure, and as public servants;
Are APS Senior Administrators and Board Members honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
They would like you to believe that they are.
So who are you going to believe; APS Leadership, or your lying eyes?
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:13 PM
Monday, December 04, 2006
Let me tell you a story about that culture and what it feels like for a teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools.
The Principal lied to the President of his Student Government about an issue before the government. The Principal told the lie to escape accountability for a decision that he had made.
The teacher attempted to hold the Principal accountable for his misconduct. A complaint was filed with a very senior APS administrator. He told the teacher that “…it doesn’t hurt a kid if their Principal lies to them…” and to stop filing complaints about the principal, except through APS channels.
The message was “stop making complaints”; because APS did not and does not offer a channel for the principled resolution of complaints against administrators or board members.
If they did; they could show it to you.
A “hearing” of the Principal’s objections to the teacher’s efforts to hold him accountable; was scheduled.
Notice of the hearing, a letter, was delivered to the teacher at his school, right after school, in front of students and colleagues. The teacher was greeted by a uniformed police officer, a Sergeant of the APS Praetorian Guard. The office door was immediately closed to allow the whispering and the rumors and the gossip to begin.
As the teacher walked into the hearing, he was handed the results of the “hearing”. In fact, the letter which was placed in the teacher’s personnel file; and later used in an effort to fire him; was dated several days before the “hearing” took place.
The letter is one of a number of public records that are evidence of ethical and criminal misconduct by senior administrators and board members.
And that’s why you will never see it. Even if you file a public records request. Unless you think you can beat Modrall in court.
Anyone who thinks that they can beat Modrall in court fails to comprehend the advantages of an unlimited supply of lawyers and a pipeline to unwitting taxpayer support for the best education for their children.
They once had a State District Court Judge tell the teacher, when he had complained that the lawyers from Modrall had deliberately misrepresented the truth, “…it’s not my job to decide who’s telling the truth…”
That also is on a public record that you can’t have.
They have established ten times that they are not going to willingly accept honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct.
In effect, "No, we will NOT be held honestly accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct. As a matter of fact, we will not to be held honestly accountable to any standard at all."
They're getting away with it; because I can’t stop them alone.
Posted by ched macquigg at 2:12 PM
Sunday, December 03, 2006
If we want our children to grow into adults who are willing to hold themselves accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; we are obligated to show them what that looks like.
I am not the only person who has said that.
It has been said by Michael Josephson, the founding father of Character Counts.
And by Senator Pete Domenici, who helped to write the Pillars of Character Counts.
And by Mayor Martin Chavez, a founding father of Character Counts in Albuquerque.
And by the Character Counts Leadership Council.
And by the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.
And by every person who has told a child about George Washington and the cherry tree.
None of whom will stand up in front of the Board and ask them the question.
As role models for 98,000 of our sons and daughters; will you hold yourself honestly accountable to the Pillars of Character Counts; a widely recognized, accepted and respected code of ethics?
The Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools has dodged accountability to the same standard of conduct to which they hold students accountable. They will not admit to, nor can they prove by their record, accountability to any standard at all.
If I am wrong, if I have misunderstood this somehow; then tell me how.
Otherwise, help me get it done.
Start sending emails to the people who should be standing up for character counts. Ask them to either defend it or renounce it.
Ask them to defend the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools, or defend the Pillars of Character Counts.
It’s time to kick this ball onto the field. Indict them or acquit them.
You pick a side when you don’t pick a side.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:12 PM
says Mayor Martin Chavez.
“What I’m after is accountability”,
Says Ched MacQuigg; the guy who keeps asking APS Leaders to answer the same question.
Will you hold yourself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
“Seems unlikely” says the Administration, the Board and Modrall.
They didn’t actually say that that. Actually they didn’t say anything. They stonewalled. Like we all don’t know what that means.
Mayor Martin Chavez and I are after accountability in the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools.
We should be standing together at the next board meeting. But we won’t. Perhaps he doesn’t want to be seen with me.
If you will assure me that you will go to the next board meeting and ask the Leadership of the APS if they, as role models for 98,000 of our sons and daughters, and as the stewards of the public trust and treasure, and as public servants; will hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; then I will not.
Let me know what they say.
Posted by ched macquigg at 2:54 PM
It would appear that the Journal is four square in support of Mayor Marty’s plan to take over control of the APS.
How else would you explain two pages of coverage of how mayors can fix ailing school systems, and still not one word about the upcoming school board elections?
Fixing the school board will go a long way toward fixing the school system. Fixing the school board requires a robust discussion of the issues before it is too late to do anything about them. On December 20th, it will be too late to fix what’s wrong with this board.
What’s wrong with the board, and the District, is an almost complete lack of accountability for senior administrators and board members; all and each of whom refuse to be held accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct.
According to the Journal, Mayor Martin Chavez said, “What I’m after is accountability.” If he really wanted APS accountability he would be standing up at the next board meeting when the adminstration and board refuse, for the tenth time, to answer the question; will you hold yourself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
I doubt that the mayor wants to answer the question either.
And the Journal sure won’t be bringing any attention to the question.
The citizens of Albuquerque are on the verge of losing direct control over their public school system.
Somebody should do something.
Posted by ched macquigg at 7:50 AM
Saturday, December 02, 2006
The principle is that public servants are accountable to the public; and accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
I can think of no other way to demonstrate support for the principle; except to stand up in its defense.
It is my conviction that, if enough people stand up for the principle, APS Leaders will find them selves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; even against their will.
Before they ask us next February, for a hundred million more tax dollars.
If, as stewards of the public trust and treasure, they are still unwilling to be held accountable; there is a good chance that voters won’t trust them with any more of their hard earned money.
Which will not be good for the kids. Or the community.
The Leadership could find itself accountable as soon as the next board meeting; Wednesday December 6th.
If enough people show up.
The cost of their accountability is that you have to show up.
If you can’t be there, find someone to take your place. It’s all about the number of people who will actually walk their talk.
You are standing up only for the principle.
I am running for a seat on the board. I will ask for personal support only once; election day, February 6th, 2007.
I will neither solicit, nor will I accept, nor will I represent that any demonstration of support for the principle, is support for me according to any interpretation.
If you have ill will for me, and that ill will is based on rumors; I would ask that you consider a very few points. I represent that I am the victim of deliberate efforts to destroy my reputation and my credibility. That possibility is entirely consistent with an impartial audit of the Albuquerque Public Schools which revealed that “…fear of retribution and/or retaliation is part of the CULTURE…” (emphasis added)
There is no evidence that as the steward of the trust of students, their parents, and the community; that as a teacher, I have ever done anything for which I need to be ashamed. It has been my relentless demand, from the very first, that all evidence be made immediately public. It has been the equally relentless effort of APS Leadership to prevent that outcome. Polygraph testing has always been on the table; my table anyway.
I will stand on the evidence. All of it.
Beyond that I would ask you to imagine that everything that you have heard about me is true. Even though it isn’t. This is about the message. It is not about the messenger.
This is about how many people will go to the board meeting and stand up to hear an answer to the following question.
As role models, as stewards of the public trust and treasure, and as public servants; are you willing to hold yourself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:28 AM
Friday, December 01, 2006
The following represents an email exchange between myself and a local newspaper editor; quoted in significant part.
I am preparing to distribute what I represent to be undisputed facts regarding the APS ethics scandal.
Among those facts I will include the following:
(your newspaper) has been asked on a number of occasions to investigate and report upon the scandal and has not done so.
This represents your opportunity to dispute that fact.
To which he responded:
I respectfully disagree with your analysis. The XXXXXXX covers Albuquerque Public Schools more aggressively than any media outlet in this city -- and not just from the boardroom. I'm sorry our work doesn't meet your wishes, but I'm confident we have done a solid job on education in this city. Not perfect, of course, but certainly better than you portray.
To which I responded:
Are you suggesting that you have investigated the following facts and reported upon them?
1. Students are currently accountable to a widely recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts.
2. Students are required by the Student Behavior Handbook, to “model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts.
3. Board Members and Administrators are not required by any written policy to “model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts”
4. The Board removed language from the Employee Standards of Conduct which read …in no case shall the standard for adults be lower than the standard for students…
5. Neither the Board nor the Administration is currently accountable, by board policy, to any code of conduct that uses the word “ethical”.
6. A motion was placed before the Board which would have, as a matter policy, required the Board and Administration to obey the same truth telling requirements as students. The motion was disposed of by Robert Lucero without public discussion or vote by the board.
7. A motion was placed before the board which would have, as a matter of policy, required the Board and Administration to hold them selves honestly accountable for ethical misconduct. The motion was disposed of by Mary Lee Martin without public discussion or vote by the Board.
8. APS procedural directives once provided for outside impartial investigation of complaints made against administrators; they no longer do.
9. The Whistle Blower Policy passed by the Board, does not protect individuals who expose ethical misconduct by Administrators or Board Members.
10. The Board, by and through its attorneys at Modrall, have denied a “principled resolution” (the truth of the allegations was never adjudicated) of complaints of ethical and criminal misconduct by Board Members and senior Administrators.
11. According to board policy (which requires students to model the Pillars of Character Counts) students are taught that “stonewalling”, ignoring legitimate questions, violates the requirements of the Pillar of Trustworthiness.
To which he replied:
I think I've said all I'm going to say, Mr. MacQuigg. I stand by the body of our work.
To which I replied:
I believe if you ask (your education reporter) if she has ever explored these issues with the board; she will have to tell you no.
To which he did not reply.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:24 PM
Stonewalling? You be the judge.
Stonewalling is what you have to do when your record makes it impossible to tell a lie that will withstand any scrutiny at all.
The following questions have been asked of APS Leaders. They have not been answered. A distinction must be drawn between a response to a question, and “answering” the question. There have been responses. There have been no answers. Even in response to public records requests made under the NM Inspection of Public Records Act.
• How much money do the Tribune and the Journal make off the APS annually?
• How much money does the Modrall Law Firm make off the APS annually?
• Have dollars allocated by taxpayers for the education of their children, been used instead to enable senior administrators and board members to dodge honest accountability even to the law?
• Did taxpayers buy administrators and board members immunity from allegations of felony criminal misconduct; “get out of jail free” cards?
• Why did APS Leaders remove the stipulation from their own code of conduct which read; “…in no case shall the standard for adults be lower than the standard for students…”? And then lower the standard of conduct that applies to them selves?
• Why did a complainant’s right to impartial outside investigation of complaints against administrators suddenly disappear from APS Procedural Directives? And under what circumstances?
• Why did APS Leaders deny protection in the APS Whistleblower Policy, for those who expose ethical misconduct by administrators and board members?
• Why did APS Leaders, by and through Robert Lucero, kill a motion before the board which would have required administrators and board members to answer questions with the truth; not by stonewalling, not with half truths, but with the truth?
• Why did APS Leaders, by and through Mary Lee Martin, kill a motion before the Board which would have created for board members and administrators honest accountability to the same code of conduct that they enforce upon students?
• Why did APS Leaders deny a principled resolution of allegations of ethical and criminal misconduct, including felony criminal misconduct; allegations of which they were subjects?
In all fairness, shouldn’t the Journal and Trib be asking these questions?
And then reporting upon the answers?
Before it’s too late for voters to do anything about it?
Posted by ched macquigg at 5:47 PM
It has been awhile since I articulated my thoughts on these issues. With your indulgence then:
A principle is relatively worthless if it does not inspire defense. If no one will stand up to defend a principle; it follows that the principle is apparently unimportant.
Consider the following principle: community best interests are served by setting and enforcing standards of conduct with respect to driving an automobile. Among them; don’t speed and don’t run red lights.
There are at least three kinds of people. Some people don’t care about the principle one way or the other. Some people will stand up in support of the principle by paying for radar guns and red light cameras. Some will stand up for their interests by buying radar detectors and photo defeating covers for their license plates.
98,000 of our sons and daughters in APS will grow up to be one of those three kinds of adults.
Schools are the perfect place to influence the development of children into adults. We can raise them to embrace personal accountability. Or, we can teach them the value of radar detectors and photo defeating license place covers.
Consider another principle: the best interests of the community are served by raising children who grow into adults who are willing to draw a line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. And who are then willing to hold themselves accountable, honestly accountable for straying across the line.
Standing in diametric opposition to that principle are senior role models in APS who steadfastly refuse to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
What ever accountability they cannot dodge with their radar detectors and license plate covers, is handled by their lawyers; who are paid for by tax payer support for the education of their children.
They will ultimately teach children to behave the same way.
Don’t you agree? Or don’t you care?
Next Wednesday, December 6th, at 4pm, at the corner of University Blvd. and Coal Ave; the Leadership of the APS will (not) look into the eyes of their constituents, and for at least the tenth time, they will refuse to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
They will do so in diametric opposition to the principle that states: Public servants are honestly accountable to the public; and to a meaningful standard of conduct.
If no one is willing to stand in defense of that principle; it must be unimportant.
I can’t do this alone.
Posted by ched macquigg at 1:23 PM
Thursday, November 30, 2006
At issue is the power that public servants wield. At issue is stakeholders regaining control over power that is fundamentally their own. At issue is ending the abuse of that power that enables corruption and incompetence in public service.
The goal is to eliminate corruption and incompetence by raising the standard of conduct for public servants. More importantly there will be honest accountability to that standard; accountability even for the most powerful and influential of public servants.
The immediate objective is to establish a precedent. The best place to start is at an Achilles heel. One can’t expect to go directly to the President and demand honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct.
There is an elected seven member board of education. They are on the record; flatly refusing to be held accountable; not as role models, not as stewards of the public trust and treasure, and not as public servants. Their position is categorically indefensible.
As individuals and as a board they are influential. And they are lawyered up like you wouldn’t believe. They and their lawyers have a large bore pipeline to taxpayer support of education.
For as long as they can keep this situation secret; they will prevail. At such time as their position becomes widely known; their house of cards will collapse.
The local media refuse to investigate or report upon the issue. Voters have been, and will be denied pertinent and important information.
If the word is to be spread; it will spread by you.
The enabling objective it to get two hundred people to go to the December 6th meeting of the APS Board of Education. There they will stand in support of the principle that public servants are accountable to the public and to a meaningful standard of conduct.
If you cannot attend the meeting, your responsibility is to spread the word. Contact the local newspapers and demand that they investigate and report upon the APS ethics scandal. Demand that they do it in time for voters to make use of the information. The filing date, the last day to stand personally in opposition to the board’s position, is December 19th.
This is the last board meeting before the filing date for candidates for the school board. If on the filing date, the scandal is still secret, those who would have stood in opposition by becoming a candidate will have been denied the opportunity to make that decision them self.
You pick a side when you don’t pick a side.
Pick a side. Cowboy up.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:52 PM
Allegations of felony criminal misconduct, supported by incontrovertible hard evidence, remain unresolved after several years.
If the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools were accountable to the law; there would be either a conviction or an acquittal of the subjects of the allegations. There is none. There is no evidence even of a criminal investigation. There is no evidence that the allegations or the evidence have ever been considered by law enforcement. The Leadership of the APS is not accountable, even to the law.
In nineteen days, three of seven APS board members will be guaranteed an unopposed reelection to the board. The guarantee is granted by the Journal and Tribune who will neither investigate nor report upon the scandal despite their many obvious and inescapable obligations to do so.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:20 AM
All standards great and mean are meaningless without accountability. Without accountability, the most respected standard is just so many words; serving no good. It is all about accountability.
The Leaders of the APS maintain the wherewithal to dodge accountability. Whether or not it is used, they have at their immediate disposal the resources to avoid accountability even to the law. Their record proves it.
Like radar detectors, like photo defeating license plate covers, there is no reason to maintain the ability to escape accountability, except to escape accountability; it is ethically indefensible. It is itself unethical.
It is not in the interests of students, teachers, parents, or the community that APS Leaders maintain their immunity. The only interests served are their own; they are not legitimate interests.
They maintain their immunity through stealth. A public discussion of their immunity would lead to its abolition. It is indefensible; were it not, the defense would be manifest.
The responsibility for the fact that their immunity is not part of the political discourse, even through the election of board members and allocation of hundreds of millions of tax dollars, falls squarely upon the shoulders of the Journal and Tribune.
The failure of the Journal and Tribune to expose the APS ethics scandal is a betrayal of any interpretation of a journalist’s code of ethics, and of the public trust.
They, like the APS Leaders whom they protect, cannot be held accountable for their misconduct.
And so, it will continue.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:37 AM
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I have rewritten this post to rectify mistakes and for clarity. I will save the original and will accept responsibility for errors there in.
I picked up a flyer from a stack of flyers on a table in the APS board offices waiting room. The flyer has no publication date and is obviously being currently distributed.
On the flyer is the following statement; “In 2006, voters approved a general obligation bond election to provide capital funding for the district, with 80 percent approval.”
Having just completed a bond issue election in September, I assumed that, that was the election to which the flyer referred. Knowing that the bond issue had not passed by 80%, I looked for the results on the county clerk’s website. I did not recognize an entry labeled APS/TVI, as a bond election. I assumed incorrectly that there had been only one bond issue election in 2006 and so reported. Again, I accept responsibility for my error.
Now to the actual results. In the February election, votes were divided; 23,317 or 79.66% for the bond issue, 5,955 or 20.34% against the bond issue. These are the results to which the flyer refers.
In the September issue election, votes were divided 22,431 or 57.54% for the bond issue, 16,551 or 42.46% against.
In comparing the results, one can see that 886 fewer voters voted for the bond issue despite a 33% greater voter turnout. Votes against the bond issue were 178% greater in September than February. Voting in 2006 overall is not accurately represented by the statement, “In 2006, voters approved a general obligation bond election to provide capital funding for the district, with 80 percent approval.”
It is that dishonesty to which I react. Measured against a “legal” standard APS told the truth. Measured against an “ethical” standard, they misrepresented the truth.
If you want to be able to take statements from APS Leaders at face value; then they will have to be held accountable to a higher standard of conduct; an ethical standard; like students.
If not, then no matter what they represent as the truth, you will have to wonder if it is the “legal” truth or the “ethical” truth.
There is a difference.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:28 PM
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The Leadership of the APS has a statewide reputation for dodging accountability. This fact is routinely acknowledged every time taxpayers are asked to support education with new taxes. Governor Richardson referred in an op-ed piece before the Sepember bond issue, to a persuasive argument that these eight individuals have “a long history of dodging accountability when it comes to managing (their) finances and modernizing schools.” Voters are asked to think of the students and their needs; and not to think about their misgivings about the men and women whom they must trust with their money.
APS Leaders would like to continue to dodge accountability for their past.
Before the school tax vote next February 6th, voters will be asked to think about the maintenance needs of aging and dilapidated school houses. Again voters will be asked not to hold children accountable for the sins of APS Administrators and Board Members.
And for at least the third election in a row, the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools will dodge accountability for the administrative corruption and incompetence that wastes so many tax dollars. It will not be a ballot issue, it will not even be discussed.
For ten board meetings in a row, APS Leaders have been asked to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct. Their response is to stonewall. They just ignore the question. And then the broadcast version of the school board meeting is deliberately edited to remove their response; to misrepresent the truth; to avoid accountability.
The issue of the lack of accountability in the APS, should be part of the political discourse. It should effect decisions around the December 19th Filing Day for School Board candidates.
It will not. It will not because APS, Modrall, the Journal, and the Tribune are agreed that it will not be made public.
In whose interests?
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:22 PM
Monday, November 27, 2006
If you have to ask for someone’s permission to hold them accountable; they are not accountable.
If they create and maintain the ability to dodge accountability at will; they are not accountable.
Accountability is fatal to corruption and incompetence. Corruption and incompetence exist only because honest accountability does not. In the absence of accountability the public is protected only by the trustworthiness of public servants. When the trust is being betrayed; we are compelled to recognize that trust is a poor substitute for honest accountability.
It is not power that corrupts. It is the lack of accountability for the abuse of power that corrupts; absolutely.
APS Leadership has the wherewithal to dodge accountability. They can act against the public interest; and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Albuquerqueans watch APS board meetings in person or on TV. The broadcast version of the record has been repeatedly falsified. They have deliberately and methodically misrepresented the truth. APS’ Rigo Chavez says that it isn’t dishonest to deliberately misrepresent the truth to the community because, it isn’t the “official” record.
And there’s nothing you can do about it.
Except go to the next board meeting and defend the principle that public servants are honestly accountable to the public; and to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:22 PM
Thursday, November 23, 2006
As an essential term of public service, public servants will be honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct. The terms of public in-servitude are the sole prerogative of the public, and not of the public servant.
The immediate objective is to compel the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools to recognize the terms of their public service; that they will hold themselves accountable to a standard of conduct that protects the public interest.
This objective will be reached in one way. A number of people will assemble at a board meeting and present their demand to the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools. If the number of people is large enough, the community will regain control over their power. Corruption and incompetence in the APS will end.
If the number of people is too small, when the question is asked;
As public servants, as stewards of public funds, and as the senior role models for employees and students; will you hold yourself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
They will ignore the question.
And they will ignore their obligations as public servants, stewards of the public trust and treasure, and as role models for 98,000 of our sons and daughters.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:07 AM
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
If you asked a Leader of the APS, did you chop down the cherry tree? If they answered they would say, through their lawyers, “Prove it.”
And then they would use a whole bunch of money to keep you from doing that. The money comes from people who think that their taxes are being spent in the best interests of children.
APS Leaders are spending money to protect their own interests. They’re doing it in diametric opposition to the interests of children.
Taxpayer trust is being betrayed.
But just you try to hold them accountable for it.
Posted by ched macquigg at 3:48 PM
Re: IPR o6-220, 06-222, 06-223
I call your attention to complaints filed with the Educator Ethics Bureau. The complaints have been denied a principled resolution.
The scandal unfolds under your letterhead. I am offering you an opportunity to involve yourself appropriately.
The New Mexico Educator Ethics Bureau has ended its investigation of an allegation of ethics violations by APS Superintendent Elizabeth Everitt.
The investigation took three months and involved no investigation what so ever. There is no record that a single question was asked of anyone, ever.
Elizabeth Everitt was not even asked apparently, if the allegations were true or not.
Ms. Everitt never had to say; "Yes, it is true that I refuse to be held accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct. And in so doing, I violated not only the standard of the code of ethics for educators, but of any recognized, accepted, and respected code of ethics."
Nor did she have to say "No, the allegations are not true. My record is proof that by my personal example I have modeled honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct."
She told neither the truth nor a lie, and yet she was found innocent. Actually they didn’t use the word innocent, that would have been a lie, and on the record. So they said that I had not proved guilt.
I had offered that a code of ethics that requires accountability by personal example; is violated when a person refuses to be held accountable for their personal example.
Apparently that was not proof enough.
And then the custodian of public records helped to cover it all up.
Accountability has been dodged, leaving no trail at all.
Nobody said they weren’t good at it.
Posted by ched macquigg at 1:47 PM
Monday, November 20, 2006
Stonewall; to refuse to cooperate with somebody by avoiding answering questions or providing information.
Stonewalling is what you have to do when a lie can no longer protect you from the truth.
Their record is one of dodging accountability. They can’t lie and say that they are accountable for their conduct.
They can’t tell the truth because the truth is that they really are not accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct.
Clearly, that is the way that they want things to remain.
So when you ask them if they are willing to be held honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; they have to stonewall.
Their broadcast record of board meetings shows that, in the ten times that they have refused to answer the question,not one board member nor the superintendent looks into the eyes of their constituents as they dodge accountability. Not once.
Posted by ched macquigg at 4:33 PM
Suppose that instead of stonewalling, the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools actually answered the question. What if when asked, in your public service, will you hold yourself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; they said “no”
What if they said, “No; we won’t be held accountable to ANY standard of conduct. Deal with it.”
What would you do?
You need to think about that, because that’s what happened.
Unless you think stonewalling adequately answers the question.
Any answer except yes, is no.
Their answer is no; deal with it.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:17 AM
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Nobody wants to talk about it; except me of course.
I think that public servants, within their public service, should be honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
It doesn’t help to try to read anything into “honest accountability” and “meaningful standard”. They mean exactly what you think they mean.
I can understand why people who don’t want to be held accountable; don’t want to talk about accountability.
I cannot understand why people who think that public servants should be honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; don’t want to talk about it.
In less than a month there will be a filing date for candidates for the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education. After that date it will no longer be possible to be a candidate. If the issues are not discussed before the filing date, then the issues cannot compel someone to become a candidate based on the issues. A healthy election depends on everyone knowing the truth while there is still time to do something about it.
I want to make honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct an issue in the school board election.
I want the terms of public in-servitude to be an issue in the board election.
Despite the fact that I am a candidate, I cannot compel a discussion of relevant issues.
There are those who do not want to discuss these issues. Their personal interests are at stake. No one will argue that honest accountability would not be good for students, and teachers, and parents, and the community. Nor will they argue that any public interest is being served by their refusal to be held honestly accountable for their conduct.
Nor will they argue.
There is only one defense of an indefensible position, it must be hidden; it must be kept secret.
Why are the Albuquerque Journal and Tribune helping to prevent the meaningful involvement of stakeholders?
You tell me. I could suggest a lot of cynical possibilities. The point is I can’t think of a single ethical possibility. Not one. The Journal and Trib are up to their eyeballs in a cover up of an ethics scandal in the leadership of the APS. So is most of the rest of the local media.
If there isn’t a scandal, why won’t someone say “There is no ethics scandal in the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools.”?
No APS leader has said it. Pete Domenici won’t say it. Nor Marty Chavez, nor any member of the City Council, nor of the Chamber of Commerce, nor the Character Counts Leadership Council, nor the teachers union, nor an editor of the Journal or Tribune, nor a news director of KOAT, KOB, or KRQE.
Nobody will stand up and say that there isn’t a scandal; because it would be a lie. No one wants to be the one to tell this lie on the record. Nobody will tell the truth. All that’s left is to stonewall; which is precisely what they are doing. They have no choice but to pretend that there’s not an elephant in the room.
The APS senior administration, the board, Modrall, and the Media do not want to talk about this. I can understand why.
Those who want to end corruption and incompetence in public service; apparently don’t want to talk about it either. That; I don’t understand.
There’s an elephant in public service. Talk about it.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:07 AM
Friday, November 17, 2006
I offer an idea whose time has come.
As a fundamental term of their in-servitude; Public Servants will hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Whether or not this is an idea whose time has come will be manifest in the sacrifice that people are willing to make to defend the principle.
If no one wants to do anything; then the idea’s time is not come.
There’s only one way to find out.
There is a small group of people, seven board members and one superintendent, who run the seventeenth largest school district in the country.
They are refusing to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct. Their position is indefensible; their only hope is to keep it hidden.
A few hundred people can make a difference.
All we have to do to win is to spread the word widely enough to motivate a few hundred people to stand up at a board meeting or email a reporter.
Everybody has their own agenda. I submit that my agenda moves your agenda. What legitimate agenda is not advanced by public service honestly accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct?
Honest accountability anywhere is honest accountability everywhere. It just needs to get started somewhere. There will be no better circumstance, no better time, and no better place to draw a line in the sand and defend it.
A precedent must be set. This is the place to set it. It’s time to kick the ball on to the field.
Where ever you live, you are a stakeholder. There is an opportunity to make a real difference, and all you have to do is help to spread the word.
All we need is people.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:35 PM
Three school board seats are up for grabs in February.
One of the editors told me that they would start paying attention to candidates after filing day. Filing day is I believe December 19th.
A great disservice is done by waiting until after filing day. What it means is that political discourse will not take place before filing day. Perhaps when stakeholders find out that Leonard DeLayo, Miguel Acosta, and Robert Lucero are among board members who refuse to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; someone might be motivated to run against them; somebody who is willing to hold themself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
And if the APS Leadership, Modrall, the Journal and the Tribune; don't want to talk about this now; what makes you think they will talk about it ever? The longer they wait the worse it looks. And the more it needs to stay secret.
Maybe this will be the first stealth election. Talk about voter fraud.
Posted by ched macquigg at 2:54 PM
Are you willing to be held honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
If you are, visit my blog and post your name.
In God we trust; everyone else will be asked for proof.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:54 AM
If a public servant breaks the law while abusing her power, should the public pay for the attorney who saves her from accountability for that abuse?
If so, is it still OK if the money goes to her husband’s law firm? It is a large amount of money; an amount so indefensible that it must be kept secret; even in response to a public records request.
May the public expect that their taxes be spent in a manner that supports the public interest?
If public assets are spent to advance a personal agenda at the expense of the public interest; the law has been broken. Hasn’t it?
Which brings us back the fact that these people cannot be held accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct. They cannot be held accountable even to the lowest standard of acceptable conduct; the law.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:44 AM
The New Mexico Public Education Department may be accumulating fines of up to $300 per day. They have failed to surrender public records by the deadline set by the law.
According to the law, the public agency responsible for the failure to surrender the records will pay the fine out of agency funds. Those funds are tax funds. Likely they are the very dollars that taxpayers contributed in order to provide the best education for their children.
As are the funds enriching the lawyers of Modrall. Public money is being spent to cover up the APS ethics scandal as well.
Taxpayers are paying for protection for public servants who will not hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
That’s wrong, right?
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:12 AM
The terms of public service
I am not the person to list or defend them all. I submit two.
The first and most fundamental term is; public servants must hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Flowing from the first; public servants must answer legitimate questions about their public service.
The members of the Albuquerque Public Schools are public servants. Whatever else, whoever else they are; they are public servants.
They have no choice but to answer the question; or resign.
Paula Maes, Robert Lucero, Miguel Acosta, Berna Facio, Mary Lee Martin, Gordon Rowe, Leonard DeLayo, and Elizabeth Everitt;
As public servants, as stewards of the public trust and treasure, and as role models for 98,000 of our sons and daughters;
Will you hold yourself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
Any answer except yes; is no.
Stakeholders have dues. At the very least your dues include standing up for what you believe in. You are at a fork in the road; you can do something or you can do nothing.
You can email the Journal and Tribune and tell them that you have a right to the truth far enough in advance of the filing deadline to make a difference.
You can copy this appeal and post it where other people will read it. You can ask them to read it.
You can post it on your blog.
You could go to the next board meeting and be counted among stakeholders demanding an answer to the question.
Or you could do nothing.
If I am missing something here; tell me. Please.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:31 AM
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Within the New Mexico Public Education Department lies the Educator Ethics Bureau.
If you file a complaint alleging ethical misconduct by an educator, they will investigate the complaint and assign consequences. They have the authority to revoke educational licensure.
All of the APS Administrators who refuse to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; do so in violation of any justifiable code of ethics. If for no other reason, they fall short of the standards of the Code of Ethics for the Education Profession. The standard requires that they teach ethics by personal example. People who choose not be held accountable to a standard cannot also maintain that they are modeling accountability to a standard.
Almost two years ago, a complaint regarding this ethical misconduct was filed with the Educator Ethics Bureau against APS Superintendent Elizabeth Everitt.
I called recently to check on the progress. I was told that because the case was still open, I am denied any information about the complaint.
I found it a little hard to believe that it would take almost two years to investigate a simple case. Also I doubted that just because they claimed to be investigating, that they could claim any exception to public records law. I filed a request for public records with the NMPED. I asked for my records, any record that substantiates their allegation that they enjoy exception to the law, and a copy of their “Rules”. It is ironic that you have to file a public records request in order to see the "Rules"; but hey, it’s New Mexico.
The deadline for the surrender of the public records has passed.
I don’t know how my complaint was resolved, they won’t show me the rules, and they won’t show me the rule that excepts them from having to show me the findings or the "Rules".
An agency of the state government has failed to comply with the requirements of the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.
There is nothing that I can do about it. Theoretically the attorney general and the district attorney are at my disposal in the prosecution of my suit to obtain public records. In truth,they actually do have better things to do. They aren’t going to help. I’ve been there.
The AG’s website suggests, “hey, just sue ‘em yourself". So there you are in District Court standing opposite two Modrall lawyers. Imagine a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. It wasn't pretty. You don't get the records, ever. They have lots of time and lots of money. Tax payers give it to them in order to provide the best educational opportunity for their sons and daughters.
Apparently Superintendent Everitt is not accountable even to the law. The state agency that is charged with holding her accountable won’t, and they can’t be held accountable either.
Constituents have a right to know, before the election, before the filing date, that these folks can not be held honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct. That they are not accountable even to the law.
The records will not be surrendered until such time as they no longer represent a problem to eight men and women and their lawyers.
Did I mention that taxpayers are paying for the lawyers?
Posted by ched macquigg at 7:55 PM
If you know nothing, you know that, that is a sign of organizational ill health.
Culture; “the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another”.
I did not choose the word culture, the Council of Great City Schools did.
One generation after another of APS administrators and board members who wield our power, use it to create fear of retribution and retaliation against anyone who questions their decisions or actions.
It’s not the way to run a school district.
Posted by ched macquigg at 3:05 PM
APS senior administrators have a reputation for fiscal incompetence and corruption, and of dodging accountability.
I have paraphrased Governor Richardson’s remarks from before the last bond election.
They refuse to accept accountability to any meaningful standard of conduct.
Yet they are the stewards of hundreds of millions of tax dollars.
When the Council of Great City Schools audited APS after the M&O corruption scandal, they reported that the evaluations of APS administrators were subjective and unrelated to promotion or step placement.
I will paraphrase their point.
People are being promoted into positions of responsibility based on evaluations that were subjective; “They're cool, we'll make them a Director of Something”. And then the Director of Something is given responsibility for spending a bunch of tax dollars. Apparently they are not required to offer any objective proof that that they are in any way qualified to spend money in the best interests of students. They are not enjoined from spending it unethically. They are accountable to no standard of conduct that uses the word ethical.
Is there evidence of incompetence? How much more to you need?
It is the Peter Principle on steroids. No one is accountable for anything. They are not accountable at least in an “honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct” kind of way.
How much (more) money do you want to put into the hands of someone who won’t even look you in the eye when they refuse to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Show me where the axis of APS senior administrators, Board Members and Modrall, have ever fought to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Their record is one of dodging accountability.
It costs money to dodge accountability.
Have tax dollars been misspent?
Did dollars destined for the interests of students, get spent instead in the interests of senior administrators, board members, and their lawyers. Should taxpayers pay for the defense lawyers of those who are accused of deliberately betraying the public interests? If their lawyers were part of it, aren’t taxpayers paying these lawyers to defend themselves against allegations that they have betrayed the public trust as well?
Does unwitting taxpayer support for “education” pay for Get Out of Jail Free cards for administrators and board members?
Posted by ched macquigg at 1:51 PM
What part of that premise is acceptable?
School Board President Paula Maes says board members will not answer questions during public forum. She implied that questions will be answered elsewhere.
In truth, the question, “Will you hold yourself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?” will not be answered ever, under any circumstance.
Public servants have an obligation to answer any legitimate question about their public service; in any circumstance. The board is not prohibited from answering the question by any statute, regulation or policy; they choose not to answer the question.
There is only one reason to refuse to answer a question, and that is to avoid accountability for the answer. By refusing to answer the question they are demonstrating that they are not honestly accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct.
Public servants have no obligation to tell the truth in response to a legitimate question about their public service.
The premise is unacceptable, yet we tolerate the behavior.
I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that public service is awash with corruption and incompetence.
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:03 PM
You can’t just say no. You have to say why.
And it cannot be claimed. It must be established by proof
Posted by ched macquigg at 2:07 AM
On February 6, 2007, voters will make a decision on another school tax issue. A Journal reader would think that was the only election that day. No mention that on the same day, voters will decide who they must trust with that money.
One of the most often heard criticisms about the Leadership of the APS is that they can’t handle money, and that they dodge accountability. These are germane issues. They should be part of the political discourse.
In the last bond issue election, we had public leaders begging us to give the money to kids for classrooms and forget about the issues with the current leadership’s administration of our schools. And I told you then; they were going to ask you to do the same thing again this spring.
No. Not this time.
This time an issue will be made of public servants and the terms of their in-servitude. This time an issue will be made of honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct.
The APS axis and the newspapers won't talk about the scandal. It would be bad for the three sitting board members, and it might unfortunately be bad for a worthy tax maintain schools. Why are we always compelled to give money to people we can’t trust, because we have no other choice if we want to maintain our children’s schools?
The Journal and the Tribune should be reporting on the APS ethics scandal. Their refusal is not in the best interests of people who expect them to tell them the truth.
Voters are absolutely dependent upon the media for information to guide their voting. If only for that reason, they obligated to tell the truth.
By refusing to cover the issues, the Journal and Trib are manipulating voter’s choices on taxes; and on those who they must trust to spend them in the interests of education.
If this scandal were honestly covered, there wouldn’t be three board seats on the line, there would be seven.
How can you let someone who refuses to be held honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct, sit on a school board for even one day longer than you absolutely must?
Posted by ched macquigg at 1:01 AM
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
…until they report credibly on their failure to report credibly on the APS ethic scandal, so far.
If my allegations of scandal are true, and the papers have known about it even through two elections; then it goes without saying that the Journal and Tribune have done something wrong. And they need to explain themselves.
If my allegations of scandal are untrue, then why haven’t they written an article that said, we looked into allegations of ethical and criminal misconduct by APS senior administrators and board members and found that the allegations lacked substance?
Why haven’t they reported upon the innocence of the Leadership of APS if they are indeed innocent?
It would cost them nothing. The investigation has already been done. They have investigated the allegations, right? They took a look at public records that I said were incontrovertible proof of ethical and criminal misconduct; and found no evidence of misconduct, right?
There is only one reason that they haven’t printed the allegations of innocence, and that is because when the truth does come out; it will be obvious that they lied.
…a deliberate lie, and not the kind of lie where you just don’t tell the truth, but the kind of a lie where you tell an untruth. It’s a harder kind of lie to explain your way out of, when you get caught.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:28 PM
There is an ethics scandal in the Albuquerque Public Schools.
No one in the APS has denied it. Who? When?
My allegations against administrators and board members have never been refuted by any principled resolution of the complaint.
The people that run the APS refuse to answer this question:
As public servants, as stewards of the public trust and treasure, and as the senior role models of 98,000 of our sons and daughters; will you hold yourselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
Any answer except yes is, no. Their answer is no.
This is an ethics scandal on its face.
They stuck from their own code of conduct language which read,
“…in no case shall the standard for adults be lower than the standard for students…”
If that is not a scandal, what is?
Somebody should do something.
Is it important? Every day, all day, our children are bombarded with messages that contradict the values that we hope that they will embrace. We need to set an example of an adult worthy of emulation. It is especially important that a worthy example is set in their schools. Yes this is important.
The scandal is real, the stakes are important; is it possible to make a difference?
Of course it is, all we have to do is to march into the board room and take back the control over our power. The board, if compelled, could pass a binding resolution that held them honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct. A few hundred people could do it. Yes it is possible to make a difference.
Real important and possible; all that is missing is a few hundred people who are willing to defend their principles with their sacrifice. Should be a snap.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:37 PM
A principal lied to the president of the student body about an issue before the student council. When I attempted to hold him accountable for ethical misconduct, I found out that APS does not provide for the principled resolution of complaints against administrators. Instead of a prinicipal being held honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; I was chastised for minding someone else’s business. According to a senior APS Administrator, “…it doesn’t hurt a kid when their principal lies to them.”
I once tried to secure public records. I was investigating an allegation that fire drill records had been falsified. It had been reported that a principal,in order to escape accountability for violating state statutes, board policies, and fire code, had deliberately falsified fire drill records; criminal misconduct.
When I asked a senior APS Administrator to surrender copies of the submitted fire drill reports, he refused.
There is a state law that allows me to ask for a public record, and if it is immediately available (it was) it is to be surrendered. It wasn’t.
I called the APS Police (Praetorian Guard) and asked them to seize and protect the evidence. They refused and ordered me to leave; which I did. In a police report (subject to perjury laws) the senior administrator swore, that in an effort to intimidate him, I had slammed my hand on his desk. In a sworn statement during an arbitration hearing, he swore that I slammed a portfolio down on his desk with such violence that “…papers flew everywhere”.
I will swear under polygraph examination that neither is the truth.
At best, one is the truth; the other is a lie, perjury, a fourth degree felony.
He was not held accountable for his misconduct.
He was not held accountable criminally because a settlement agreement was reached. Public funds were exchanged for his immunity from criminal prosecution. …and also for immunity for other senior administrators and board members.
The proof of these allegations is among public records that the District controls. Under law they are required to surrender public records upon demand.
Expect to pay for each page, fifty cents, plus whatever it costs you to fight for the records in court, against Modrall, for years.
Perhaps it is legal to use unwitting taxpayer support for “education” to allow senior administrators and board members to escape the consequences of their misconduct. But it isn’t ethical.
I believe that taxpayers would feel betrayed. …if they knew.
These people rewrote the code of conduct that applied to them. They took out the part that read,
“…in no case shall the standard for adults be lower than the standard for students…”
The student standard by the way, the one, upon which we tell children their character rests, is; honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct.
There is no good reason to except APS Leadership from honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct.
There is less reason to allow them to except themselves.
Without explanation or defense, they are simply, unaccountable. And like the school yard bully they want only to know, "So whadaya gonna do about it?"
Their position is indefensible. The only defense of an indefensible position is to hide it. What position on this issue must be hidden?
As public servants, and as stewards of the public trust and treasure, and as the senior role models for 98,000 of our sons and daughters; will you hold yourself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct?
Stakeholders; you will have to stand up in order to hear an answer.
Posted by ched macquigg at 6:46 PM
There is an election less than three months away. City voters will vote to appropriate another 138 million dollars to APS. They will also elect three of the seven people who will spend that money. In 12 column inches of a report on that election, the Journal’s coverage of the board member election rated not one word.
Why is the board member election a secret? It is a secret because any discussion around candidates will reveal that the Journal, and the Tribune, are covering up an ethics scandal. They have covered it up through two elections, and apparently they intend to cover it up through a third.
If this all sounds incredible, consider that reporters will witness first hand, at tonight’s board meeting, the board’s ninth refusal to be held accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct. And for the ninth time, their refusal will not be reported.
To excuse the Journal and Tribune of what appears to be a betrayal of the trust and interests of voters, all one has to do is imagine an ethical justification for their failure to report that the board is honestly accountable to no standard at all, not even the law.
No ethical justification exists. If you think that one does, post it. Let's see what scrutiny that justification can bear.
Footnote; The Journal's Thursday morning coverage of the board meeting did not, in fact, include coverage of the Leadership's ninth refusal to be held honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:54 AM
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
• the senior role models for 98,000 of our sons and daughters;
• And as stewards of hundreds of millions of tax dollars;
• And as public servants; who are required as an essential term of their in-servitude, to subject themselves to honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct.
The leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools must hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Accountability to a standard requires; a standard and a system that provides for accountability to that standard.
A meaningful standard will be of carefully chosen words that represent the principle. The words will be chosen by the public; not by the public servant
Honest accountability means that, on the one side you have lawyers who will pervert words like honor, and courage, and character in order to allow their clients to escape the consequences of misconduct. On the other side you have the lawyers who represent the people; and who will create a system that provides accountability as defined by public interests. They will be the people’s champions.
And we will do battle. And we will defend the line that separates us. And we will no longer equivocate around “honest accountability”.
Let us not forget that each of us is a role model. And if as a role model we cannot model perfection; we must at the very least, model accountability for our imperfections.
A principle without a defense, a principle without people who will make sacrifices in its defense; means nothing. It serves no function. All principles great and mean, are equally worthless. …if no one will defend them. Talk, great or mean, is just talk. It is never anything more than talk.
Some people will stand up for what they believe in; some will not.
Like exactly every other issue, you come to a fork in the road. You can travel the path to talk is cheap. Or you can take the path to do something.
If enough people are willing to do something, anything can be done. … if you have enough people. … actually willing to do something.
What could be a decisive battle takes place in less than two days.
The window will open at 4:59 pm, Wednesday afternoon. The window will close about ten minutes later.
If you were there, you were there. If you weren’t, you weren’t; and it doesn’t matter why.
If you can’t go, you can email someone; or everyone. Out of town stakeholders have dues just like the locals whose principles are under attack.
There is really only one proof of commitment to a principle; willing sacrifice in defense of the principle.
Or, honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:40 AM
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Senator Pete Domenici, Mayor Marty Chavez, City Councilors, APS Administrators, Character Counts Leadership Council, Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, Character Counts advocates,Albuquerque Teachers Federation, Parents, Students,bloggers,readers, ...stakeholders.
If we really want our children to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct,
We, ourselves, must be an example of honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct.
Talk is cheap. Walk your talk at the School Board Meeting this Wednesday night.
Out of town stakeholders; email the local media, demand coverage
Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Tribune, KOB TV, KOAT TV, KRQE TV, KKOB AM
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:01 AM
Friday, November 10, 2006
This is about the message, it is not about the messenger.
If we really expect our children to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; someone has to show them what that looks like.
We walk our talk only by deliberately placing ourselves in a situation where we will be held honestly accountable for our conduct; even against our will.
I am in some respects an unworthy messenger.
Except that; in my public service as a member of the school board; I am willing to hold myself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts; the current student standard of conduct.
I will submit my resignation simultaneous with my first failure to hold myself honestly accountable to that standard.
As for myself, I will neither solicit nor accept any endorsement, except of the message.
My personal worthiness as a member of the school board is the sole prerogative of the voters who will either accept or reject me as their representative.
I am offering an opportunity to stand up against the corruption and incompetence in public service. I am offering an opportunity to begin that crusade by eliminating the corruption and incompetence in the Albuquerque Public Schools.
Honest accountability is fatal to corruption and incompetence. absolutely.
I seek to eliminate the corruption and incompetence in the Albuquerque Public Schools by compelling the Leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools to hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct.
I have talked the talk; I will walk the walk.
I invite your encouragement, your help, and the opportunity to answer any question that you ask. On my honor and on the record.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:26 AM