Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Open letter to APS teachers.

You know that if students were more respectful and responsible good citizens, trustworthy, caring and fair; test scores would go up. No (fewer anyway) child would be left behind.

Before APS Leaders stopped asking the question, every year a majority of teachers indicated that classroom disruptions interfered with education.

To fix that problem, we can; ignore/deny it or we can specifically address it. We can address it with an approach around the value of character, like Character Counts; or we can use some other model.

I know of no significantly better model. The District has already endorsed Character Counts; there is at least a toe in the door.

The choice is really; ignore/deny or try modeling Character Counts.

Your board and senior leadership have excepted themselves (and you) from honest accountability to the Pillars of Character Counts. They refuse to be held accountable as role models of Character Counts.

Which pretty much does it for the credibility of Character Counts in APS.

Paula Maes, the School Board President, is the President of the Character Counts Leadership Council. But she and the board and the superintendent will not be held accountable to the same standard to which they hold students accountable.

The Director of the APS Character Counts has betrayed Character Counts. Carole Smith has kept the truth from those who trusted her. And Toby Herrera, and DeeDee Stroud; all of them are senior APS administrators.

The new Employee Standards of Conduct apply to you. Every employee is painted with the same brush.

”…in no case shall the standard for an adult be lower than the standard for students…”

In your name that phrase, and that expectation are no longer part of the standard against which your character will be measured.

The phrase was removed by the senior leadership in order that they could no longer be held accountable to a code of ethical conduct.

The APS Ethics Scandal will be exposed only if those who are willing to stand up and be counted in support of Character Counts, and decency, and courage, and honor; actually stand up to be counted.

At every school board meeting until we have leadership that is honestly accountable to higher standard of conduct.

Please copy this letter to other teachers.

Thank you for your time and attention.

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