Saturday, March 31, 2007

on the courthouse scandal

had there been an honest and impartial audit of the construction, the corruption and incompetence would have been immediately exposed.

if aragon et al, knew that there was going to be an audit of their performance at the end of the construction , an audit beyond their undue influence, an audit even against their will;

they would not have even tried to get away with what they did.

corruption and incompetence exist only because their system hides them.

transparent accountability is fatal to corruption and incompetence.

that is why the corrupt and incompetent will never provide for transparent accountability; it is not in their interests.

if they had been asked to provide for an impartial audit, they would have said no.

there is only one reason to oppose impartial audits. the only reason to oppose an audit is prevent the exposure of corruption and incompetence; the incompetent and the corrupt.

there was not an impartial audit of the courthouse.

there will not be an impartial audit of the aps uptown administrative complex.

for exactly the same reasons.

the leadership of the aps has decided that their "courthouse" will not be audited.

and because they enjoy the privilege of self exception to accountability; they cannot be compelled to explain, defend, or even acknowledge that they have made that decision.

as the journal and trib continue to aid and abet.

do you suppose the journal and trib ignored pleas to investigate and report upon corruption in the building of the courthouse?

just like they are ignoring pleas to investigate and report upon the rip off of taxpayers at the uptown administrative retirement complex?

gil lovato and manny aragon

have something in common. they both have extensive body maps.

they were talking about the scandal on talk radio. a caller pointed out that it was going to be difficult to get a conviction for aragon, "because he knows where all the bodies are buried."

if you don't believe that body maps buy acquittals,
consider how well gil lovato is doing with his.

what do you suppose he knows about beth everitt, the board, and modrall?

Friday, March 30, 2007

accountability by voters

is possible only with the cooperation of the newspapers.
how else would voters know who to hold accountable for what?

anyone who is not willing or able to witness government first hand, must rely on published information. if the papers won't publish the truth, politicians and other public servants can not be held accountable by voters.

the leadership of the aps will never be held accountable by voters.

because the journal and trib will never tell voters
the truth about who did what.

  • the gil lovato/aps police admin scandal
  • the investigation of aps/modrall relationship
  • the uptown administrative complex accounting
  • the board's abdication as role models for students
  • the broadcast of falsified board meeting records
  • the stonewalling over the accountability audit

open letter to those who are even a little surprised by the current public corruption scandal

there's a message from your protologist;
he's found your head.

kkob's bob clark wondered, will this exposure of public corruption spell the beginning of the end of public corruption? will public officials "get the message?"

the legislature will answer his question rather definitively. if they adjourn without legislating ethics reform and transparency into state government, then...

...the answer is no.

just like when the leadership of the aps was asked if they will conduct an honest and impartial administrative accountability audit of public resources and interests in the public schools;

...the answer is no.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

aps probe reveals corruption and/or imcompetence

the (lack of) results in the investigation of public corruption and incompetence in the administration of the aps police department; proves that those who are responsible for conducting that investigation are themselves corrupt or incompetent.

I assume the responsibility falls upon beth everitt; I will bow to controverting fact.

beth everitt has not completed her investigation of gil lovato and the aps police department administration.

if she will not complete the investigation; she is corrupt. the public has a right to know the truth about their interests in the public schools.

if she can not complete the investigation; she is incompetent (in the absence of mitigating circumstance). in which case, there are only two possibilities; the circumstances which prevent her from completing the investigation are beyond her control; or they are not.

if there are mitigating circumstances beyond her control; they are proved only by evidence or sworn testimony. the claim that "the delay is related to the completion of an outside investigation" is not equivalent to offering any evidence that, that is the truly the case.

by definition; if the circumstances that prevent the completion of the investigation are not beyond her control, if she is allowing circumstances to prevent closure, she is corrupt.

additional proof will surface when the investigation of the corruption is completed.

if the results do not include the release of all public records related to public corruption in the administration of the aps; that suppression of the truth (regarding public interests in the public schools) is corrupt.

for so long as everitt maintains that the investigation is ongoing; the lawyers of modrall can argue that they enjoy an exception to the nm inspection of public records act.

the board has an oversight responsibility as representatives of the public and their interests.

so far, there is no evidence that the board is concerned.

the aps police force is a publicly funded private police force that is entirely at the disposal of the leadership of the aps. they are neither certified nor accredited by any outside organization. they report directly to everitt, and by extension, to the school board and paula maes/modrall.

it is in every sense a praetorian guard.

that the aps has "a culture of fear of retribution and retaliation" is due, in no small part, to gil lovato and his security police.

beth everitt is not the only person in the leadership of the aps who has an interest in hiding the results of a honest and impartial investigation of public corruption in the administration of the aps police department.

beth everitt is not the only person in the leadership of the aps who has an interest in stonewalling an administrative accountability audit of the entire administration of public interests and resources in the albuquerque public schools.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"every child can learn" and other meaningless platitudes

there is at least one kind of student who will never learn; that student who does not want to learn. add to them, students in classrooms with chronically disruptive students; and students who are just plain scared all day long.

in the meantime, those who have concerns over the failure of students to learn, have been mollified (enough). and it's all about mollifying criticism; not about fixing problems.

take for instance, a high school senior who refuses to obey a principal; and then threatens her with golf clubs. he will sign a contract, and the principal's superiors will be mollified. their butts are covered if the student again loses control, big time. though that will be of little consolation to the teacher or student who's brains have been bashed in.

are this student's teachers are mollified. are the students who sit next to him in class mollified. I doubt that they are.

and if they are not; there is no system in the aps where the decision to put this student back in the mainstream, can be legitimately challenged. it is impossible to hold administrators accountable for their conduct under a system that they control. if there were, administrators would be responsible for a potentially violent student; not regular classroom teachers.

until that time, we will continue as if; any student can be taught, and "contracts" are an appropriate consequences for even the most dangerous and disruptive students.

we know who the bullies are; perhaps we should just have them all sign contracts.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

the journal, the trib and fundamental bias

for the most, the broadcast media covers the sensationally bad things that happen in schools.

the journal and trib cover the sensationally good things that happen in schools.

neither covers the day to day existence of average students trying to overcome problems that while not sensational, absolutely do affect their success at school.

neither amy miller (journal), nor susie gran (tribune) has written an article that reflects that they have ever sat down with students and discussed how safe they feel at school; or what they think about adults not modeling the same standard of conduct that they enforce upon students, or how they feel about the enforcement of school rules and enforcement exceptions to those rules, or what they think about the chronically disruptive students, ...

should the sensationally good be reported? should the sensationally bad be reported? of course.

should coverage of the only the sensational dominate the news? of course not; but that's the way it is.

because selling papers is more important than honest and balanced coverage.

student charged with assault

I have no specific knowledge of this incident beyond what was written by amy miller in this morning's journal.

that said; the student was actually charged with felony assault and battery on school personnel by the criminal justice system.

according to the article the student will be allowed to return to school after he signs a "contract" promising not commit another felony assault on the principal or any of his teachers.

this decision, in fact the whole decision making process, will be conducted administratively with no real input from any of the student's teachers (based on my quarter century experience with administrators and, disruptive and dangerous students).

therein the problem. imagine yourself one of this student's teachers. to make it fair, imagine that you, like most teachers, are not physically capable of prevailing in a physical confrontation with a high school senior.

he is back in your class; you have no additional resources, no additional personnel, and nothing except his contract to protect you and your students, if the student again "loses his temper in a really big way."

or imagine that you are a parent of a student in one of his classes. or imagine that you are another student in one of his classes.

realize that as a teacher, or as a parent, or as a student, you have no input whatsoever in this situation. the administration, although responsible for enforcing discipline at any school, will push the problem back into the classroom. shite rolls downhill. (the problem not the student)

realize that nothing is going to change; ever. decisions and policies will always be made for teachers and parents; not by them. the leadership of the aps can point to no evidence that they ever have, or ever will, honestly share decision making power and resources.

realize that administrators will not be held accountable should the worst happen. more than likely, a teacher find themselves accountable for "not providing adequate supervision" for a student with a history of felony assault on school personnel.

as usual, miller and the journal find only the administrative spin newsworthy; the very real fears of the this student's teachers, classmates, and their parents are not.

Monday, March 26, 2007

saying nothing, says it all

the leadership of the aps has not responded to even one of the several allegations of mis, mal, and non-feasance.

except by stonewalling; and stonewalling is dishonest.

stonewalling is the last resort of dishonest people who will not tell the truth; and who can think of no plausible lie.

and proof that the allegations are true.

the journal, the trib, the cover up

when it was all still small; the journal and trib chose not to report upon the aps ethics and accountability scandal. we will never know why; perhaps it was as simple a personal favor between those of privilege.

now that the width and breadth of the lack of accountability in aps leadership is apparent; the journal and trib can't investigate or report upon it. at least they cannot report upon it without their readers wondering why it was never investigated and reported upon before.

even a credible report will illuminate the lack of credibililty of the city's two main news sources. they now have no choice but to continue to help cover up the truth.

and therefore, the community can not expect an investigation or credible reporting from either paper on any issue of substance;

  • the scandal in the aps police department,
  • the connection between aps and the modrall law firm,
  • an honest accounting of the uptown administrative complex,
  • the leadership's abdication as role models of the student standard of conduct,
  • and most importantly, the stonewalling of an administrative accountability audit which will expose once and for all, the betrayal of the public trust by the leadership of the aps.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

"The vast majority of parents (82%)

believe their children are safe at school, according to results from the district’s Quality of Education survey." link
a comforting result?

if you spin the results anticlockwise, now one parent in five believes that their child is not safe at school. instead of a seemingly comforting survey result; the problem seems worthy of attention.

there are other problems than the spin.

one immediate problem is that the survey was taken and compiled by those who are "accountable" for the results. there is a conflict of interest.

but, even if the numbers are valid; the results are a deception; a red herring. there is no corelation between actual school safety and parents impressions of school safety.

a more honest measure would be a survey of students; to see how safe they felt at school. if there are such results, they were not included in the report.

further; an overwhelming majority of parents have no idea whether their child is safe at school or not. how would they know? the district doesn't tell them the truth about the dangers their children face at school.

there was a year when I was part of the union's negotiating team. we carried a proposal to the table; to include as part of the teacher's contract, that teachers have a right to know the truth about what goes on at their school; fights, drugs, weapons, vandalism, etc.
by extension, the community has a right to know the truth about what goes on in their public schools as well.

the district denied the proposal and stakeholders right to know the truth.

in a private meeting with then supt. peter horoshak, he told me, "you can't just tell the truth, you don't know how someone might want to use it."

tom savage, now second in command in the district, said during those same negotiations, "if I told the truth about what happens at my school (ahs), the realtors in my neighborhood would have my neck."

the point is that the district, as a matter of course, does not respect the right of stakeholders to know the truth about their interests in the public schools. they will spin and manipulate the truth to suit their own ends.

when parents fill in surveys and report that schools are safe, they are telling the truth. but their confidence is unjustified; it is based on deliberately manipulated truth.

have you ever seen a school parent newsletter that routinely reports violence, drugs, weapons, and chronic disruptions at a school? doesn't the community have a right to that knowledge?

if a parent is deciding whether or not to walk their child to school; or they are deciding whether to send their child to a private, public, or a charter school; don't they have a right to make their decision based on the whole truth?

how do you allocate resources to secret problems?

I remember sitting in an src meeting when the principal, wayne knight, asked us to reappropriate limited staff resources to deal with a problem of "smoking" in the girl's bathroom.

after some discussion, it was concluded that while smoking in the girl's bathroom was problematic; it did not justify reappropriating duty staff.

only then did he admit that it was marijuana being smoked in the restroom, not 75 feet from his office.

his need was to solve a problem, without letting anybody know that there was a problem.

district wide, this is not unusual behavior.

the leadership of the aps will not hold themselves accountable to a standard of conduct which requires them to tell the truth;

...for a reason.

according to the student standard of conduct

stonewalling* is unethical.
*on the subject of an accountability audit

honesty precludes all acts, including half-truths, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading.
the leadership of the aps excepted itself from accountability to the student standard of conduct in order to dodge accountability for ethical misconduct.

beth everitt is stonewalling the board and the community;
beth everitt and the board are stonewalling the community.

voters and taxpayers have a right to an honest accounting of their interests in the public schools.

voters and taxpayers have a right to an honest and impartial administrative accountability audit.

there is no reason to stall,
except to allow even more time to cook the books
and cover up her tracks.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

welcome to the quote garden

parenting; and other subjects link

in the legislature

it really makes no difference what was accomplished during the regular session; nor does it matter how hard they worked in the last few days.

they weren't finished.

the first intelligent abuse of power is to eliminate accountability for the abuse of power.

the first ethical use of power is to ensure that
the power cannot be abused; ever.

until the legislature has legislated transparency and accountability into public service; they have not accomplished their most important task.

and they are not done.

every generation of us

expects the next generation of us;
to be the first generation to hold itself honestly accountable to a higher standard of conduct.

...with limited success.

apparently each generation wants for a more than
a reading of the story of george washington and the cherry tree.

to bring up a child in the way he should go,
travel that way yourself once in a while.
josh billings

character counts?

most would agree that character is taught best
by role modeling.

some; I at least, would argue that it is taught only
by role modeling.

the district has a character counts website.
it has a leadership council that includes several senior aps administrators.
they have a vision, mission, and goals.
they do stuff.
they have done stuff.
senator domenici and marty chavez are advocates.

except neither will draw attention to this scandal. neither will put pressure on the journal or the trib to report the truth. and, neither will stand in defense of the pillars of character counts as an appropriate standard of conduct for the leadership of the aps.

terri cole and the chamber of commerce used to be advocates. once proudly endorsed on their website, cole and the chamber have apparently abandoned chararacter counts as worthy of their support. this happened after I asked her for support for character counts in the aps.

in the aps, character counts is the responsibility of a senior administrator. she has an office very near the top of the uptown administrative retirement complex.

at one point, I was trying to contact the character counts leadership council. it was my hope that they would help me protest the leadership's decision to except themselves from accountability as role models, to the student standard conduct; the pillars of character counts.

even in response to a lawful nmipra request for public records; she refused to enable me to contact any council member except herself.

later I found out later that paula maes/modrall is the president of the character counts leadership council.

I suspect that the council did not discuss her decision as school board president, to abdicate her responsibilty as the most senior role model for 98,000 of our sons and daughters, for the pillars of character counts.

aside from all the treachery and deceit; I guess it boils down to whether or not you are upset that she and the leadership of the aps removed the following language from their own code of conduct.

in no case shall the standard for an adult be lower than the standard for a student.

and now refuse to explain, defend or even acknowledge that decision.

the worst part of all of this?

educators role modeling honest accountability to the
pillars character counts for eight measly hours a day
is far and away our single best hope
in rearing children into adults
who embrace courage and honor and character.

if that's what we really want.

Friday, March 23, 2007

aps police public corruption Q & A

Q. when will you complete the investigation and surrender the public records of the investigation?

A. we are not "allowed" to comment on a ongoing investigation.

Q. why not; it's been months since it began?

A. we are not "allowed" to comment on a ongoing investigation.

Q well what do you intend to do?

A. we will be looking forward,
and continuing to build on our successes.
thank you for your feedback.

don't you feel much better now that you know the truth about public corruption in the administration of public resources in the aps?

who is responsible?

the board or everitt?

a few months ago, it became apparent that there was a real possibility of public corruption in the aps police force administration.

as a public servant and their senior administrative officer, beth everitt had an obligation to investigate the situation and resolve it in the public best interests.

she has not. there are only to possibilities; she either
can not
or will not close the case and surrender
the public record.

if she cannot; there must be a justification. if it cannot be demonstrated that circumstances beyond her control have kept her from closing the case; then she is incompetent.

if the case is not closed because everitt will not close it; she is corrupt.

if anyone has a third alternative, they have an obvious obligation to lay it on the table. now.

if everitt is either incompetent or corrupt; the public will expect that she be held accountable.

the public has no direct means what so ever, to hold everitt accountable. there is no venue for a taxpayer complaint over the supt's conduct or competence as a public servant.

the only public recourse is through their school board. and if the public knew, they would contact their representatives on the board expecting them to hold everitt accountable for her failure to protect their trust and treasure.

to be fair; the school board can't just barge into the lovato investigation. the school board has a responsibility not to micromanage everitt's investigation of her praetorian guard commander, gil lovato.

at some point though, it begins to look like the board is complicit in covering up the alleged administrative corruption.

and at some point it becomes a certainty that, they are complicit (choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act with others).

as at some point, are the journal and trib.

who decides, who decides?

there is a context for all of the contention in the aps.

the prizes are decision making power, and money;
a half a billion (?) a year.

all of that power and money ends up in the hands of
a very few people. and in the absence of transparency
and accountability;they can decide to do whatever
they want to do with all of the money and power.

if others get to spend some of the power and money;
it comes with strings. the few people who control the power
decide who will decide.

you don’t pick your own principal,
you pick from among the picked.

I was there in the very, very beginning of site based decision making in aps. they promised us; if the site makes a decision, the decision is binding even over the objection of the administration.

the truth is; they had no such intention.

the record; substantiates no such outcome.

everything that you think is happening, is only happening because someone is allowing it to happen. and as soon as they no longer want it to happen, it will stop a happening.

they have no credibility. there is no table at which you can sit assured the truth is sitting with you.

they will not hold themselves accountable to the truth.

they claim that they are accountable to the truth; but they are yet to prove it.

the only way to prove honest accountabilility, is to put something in motion that you cannot control; like an honest and impartial audit.

or by creating a manner by which accountability is provided, that is beyond your control; for eight measly hours a day.

they offer no evidence in rebuttal.

they will not illuminate the public interests and resources in the public schools. real transparency does not exist. if it did, the accounting of the uptown administrative complex would be on the table.

they blatantly mock the requirements of the new mexico inspection of public records act. public resources are used to pay unscrupulous lawyers to hide public records from the public.

they removed from their own standard of conduct, any requirement to model the student standard of conduct. they have abdicated as role models for 98,000 of this communities sons and daughters.

socrates wrote that power corrupts. I submit that it does not. the capacity to abuse power without consequence corrupts.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

board meeting no shows

those who have in the past, expressed their concern over the lack of accountability in the leadership of the aps, had an opportunity at the boardmeeting, to advance a positive and concrete solution to the problem; the audit.

bill richardson, who has written publicly about aps' earned state wide reputation for dodging accountability, was busy somewhere else.

marty chavez, who adovates a mayoral take over of the school board in justifiable reaction to an aps leadership that is unaccountable by any other means, was not there to speak for the audit. his personal agenda relies on the continued crisis and need for his intervention. an audit, and the subsequent resolution of the accountability issues, is exactly what he doesn't want.

teri cole, who represents the chamber of commerce, an outstoken advocate of character counts, apparently backs the mayor. it is still unclear, how the continued corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the aps works to the advantage of chamber members.

the journal, who occasionally restates the safe and obvious regarding the need for accountability reform in the aps leadership, continues to downplay the story. it is still unclear how their continued silence on the issue works to the advantage of readers. in fact, it clearly does not.

and the trib; is not yet in my driveway.

the aps bullying policy

what does it actually say?

the policy says the boe is committed to a safe, respectful,
and fear-free environment for staff.

yet the truth is, the cgcs audit revealed that there is a
culture of fear of retribution and retaliation (bullying)
in the administration of the aps.

the policy says the boe believes that preventing bullying
is important.

yet the truth is, there has been no policy change in
response to the cgcs audit findings.

the policy says that the boe expects everyone to model
a respectful, safe and fear free work environment.

yet the truth is, if an administrator does not model
appropriate behavior; neither the board nor the
administration provides any venue for a principled
resolution of an allegation of administrative misconduct.
in particular, if they are powerful.

their stonewalling of the administrative accountability
audit is a case on point.

were that not enough; it is an unfunded mandate.

what exactly are the teachers to do about bullying?
and make no mistake, teachers will carry this load.
what are they to do about bullying with no resources,
no time, and no administrative support to speak of?

finally, and by far most importantly;
the single best thing that can be done to mitigate
bullying in schools is to promote allegiance to the
student standard of conduct.

the student standard of conduct; the pillars of character counts; prohibits bullying. not only does it prohibit bullying but it prohibits all of the contributing behaviors. it is a proactive and extremely positive approach to bullying.

the likelihood of students embracing the pillars of character counts is inextricably linked to the example that is set for them by adult role models such as the leadership of the aps.

yet the truth is,
there is not a single aps senior adminitrator or board member who is willing to model the student standard of conduct by holding themselves honestly accountable to it.

give aps feedback

but only on issues they bring up, and only "off the record";
in case the feedback is "inconvenient".

read about it at 4APS

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

krqe tv reports on a teacher dui

apparently a teacher dui is newsworthy at krqe.
an administrator dui would be newsworthy as well.
a board member's dui would be newsworthy. why?
krqe does not report upon otherwise unnewsworthy
dui arrests. what makes educator arrests different?

I expect that it is because krqe wants to represent
them as fallen role models.

even the board, in robert lucero, argued that michael vigil should be fired based on the premise that he had set a bad example as a role model for students, for his arrest for dui.*

apparently krqe regards the leaders of the aps, as role models for aps students. and if they fall short as role models, krqe believes in an obligation to report on their failure.

speaking of fallen role models;

  • the leadership of the aps refuses role model the student standard of conduct.
  • they refuse to be held honestly accountable to any standard of conduct at all.
  • they will not begin an honest administrative accountability audit.
if they are not fallen role models; who is?
yet krqe tv doesn't find them newsworthy.

did you know that aps board president paula maes
is the president of the nm broadcasters association?
perhaps that is why misconduct by aps leadership isn't

*actually, vigil set a far worse example for students in his apparent effort to escape accountability for his dui, than for the actual dui.
  • the board didn't consider his effort to dodge accountability to be misconduct worthy of mention or consequence.
  • his consequence was a boatload of cash.
they still don't consider an effort to dodge accountability worthy of mention or consequence.
gil lovato's consequence will be an even bigger boatload of cash.
just watch.

you may have to wait for awhile.

an open letter to the news director at krqe tv

I am disappointed of course that you chose not to cover
the aps administrative accountability audit's progress.

though tonight, I am even more disturbed that you would
broadcast instead, a recording of a 991 call and the
screams of agony of a mother discovering that her
beloved daughter had just been brutally murdered.

what interest but base, would compel you to
forfeit this poor family's right to privacy
and with such egregious insensitivity?

this really is a new low.

aps accountability advocates

bill richardson,
marty chavez,
and teri cole

have an opportunity to advance their agenda
by participating in today's board meeting.

their advocacy for an honest accountability audit
will do more to advance actual aps accountability;
than any solution any one of them has offered.

yet they will not take advantage of the opportunity.

nor will the journal or trib.

one wonders, why?

there is a one of a kind,

kind of opportunity to be taken advantage of at the
board meeting tonight.

should there be an administrative accountability audit?

if you have an interest in the outcome of that question;
there are dues; among which is the obligation
to stand up for what you believe in.

I tried very hard as a teacher, to help my students
to understand that their character counts.
sometimes, as part of that training, I had tee shirts
to give to the "graduates".

emblazened on the shirt, our message to children;

stand up for what you believe in...
...even if you are standing alone.
you can't give a kid a shirt that says that
and then do nothing when they pay the dues one pays
when they stand up for what they believe in.

a child standing up for their character should have
an adult behind them offering support,
an adult beside them sharing the load, and
an adult in front of them leading by their example.
all that is necessary for evil to prevail in the world is for good men to do nothing. burke

the evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it. ayn rand
it always sounds so histrionic to use the word evil.

but it really is hard to imagine a more clearly drawn line
between good and "evil", than the line drawn between
those who will hold themselves honestly accountable
for their conduct; and those will not.

if our interests lie in children that embrace honor
and courage and character;
then we have a responsibility to show them
what they look like.

we have a responsibility as role models.

our children will learn less from the story about
george washington and the cherry tree, than they
will learn from watching us admit to the cop
that we knew we were speeding.

children have more need of models than of critics joubert

...or a need of hypocrits.

there are two kinds of communication:

ethical and unethical.

for some, immediately there is a problem.

  • some would argue that there is no adequate definition of the word "ethical"; and it is therefore unacceptable as a standard of communication,
    or of conduct.
  • any transparently enforceable standard of conduct is likely to be “ethical”; and the dispute over the quality of the standard is simply misdirection and a red herring.
  • the only confusion over the "meaning" of "ethical conduct" is the confusion introduced by modrall lawyers in efforts to dodge accountability through legal weaselry.

  • if an ethical standard of conduct is not an acceptable standard of conduct; shouldn't we reexamine our conscientious and deliberate effort to convince 98,000 of our sons and daughters that it is?

    should students no longer be required to model and promote the pillars of character counts a widely recognized, accepted, and respected code of ethics?

    "ethical" is a worthy and practical standard of conduct; including communication.

    it does no good to promote communication,
    if unethical communication is still on the table.

    and, unethical communication is still on the table if there is even one truth which will not be told; such as;
    1. how is it that the leadership of the aps is no longer accountable as role models of the student standard of conduct?
    1. what is the history of the aps' leadership in the administration of public interests and resources at the uptown administrative complex?

    the leadership of the aps deliberated on a motion that would have required administrative truth telling, and they decided against it. robert lucero personally disposed of the motion that would have required administrative truth telling.

    before there can be communication with the leadership of the aps; first it must be established that they will tell the truth; as a matter of policy. otherwise, the best that can be hoped for is unethical communication.

    which is not communication at all.

    aps communications priorities

    the very best thing the leadership of the aps could do
    to facilitate communication and participation at
    board meetings, would be to conduct the meetings in
    high school lecture halls in every corner of the city.

    instead, the leadership of the aps spent a half a million
    dollars on a board room so they wouldn't have to
    drive across town to attend the meetings.

    they are paid for their walk to the boardroom.

    the leadership is willing to listen to their constituents
    but only if constituents are willing to drive across town
    during their workday and then, only off the record.

    communication? not even close.

    stonewalling is likely tonight

    an administrative accountability audit is the best idea
    on the table for fixing the aps accountability issues.

    it is also the only concrete solution on the table.

    aps leadership is still trying to spin the truth about
    the extent of the lack of accountability in aps.

    no one has expressed any objection to the audit.

    that is because only people who fear an audit would object.
    and they can't, at least not on the record.

    can you imagine beth everitt standing up and declaring;

    there will be no administrative accountability audit;
    not this year and not next." because I said so"

    although that is precisely what she means;

    even she couldn't get away with saying it out loud.

    so she will stonewall the question.

    the board will allow her to stonewall the question;
    because they are also stonewalling the question.

    on the issue of aps accountability, the journal will do
    what ever marty chavez wants them to; apparently.

    and marty chavez is stonewalling on the question
    of an acccountability audit of aps' administration.
    he will stonewall the question of an audit of
    public interests and resources in city government
    as well. just watch.

    it's not the way they roll.

    in contrast, the trib seems to be growing a spine over public corruption in santa fe; and by extension, maybe here in river city as well.

    we will see how well formed the spine, when we read their report tomorrow on the fate of the aps administrative accountability audit.

    and on the prospects of accountability audits for public servants in general.

    voice votes are cowardly

    the senate has apparently decided, by a voice vote, to adjourn again without creating a nm state ethics commission.

    voters cannot hold the recalcitrant and anonymous senators accountable at the polls.

    submitted as proof that if you are powerful enough,
    you do what ever you want without fear of accountability.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    journal editors have something to learn

    from the editors at the trib; ...about huevos.

    the editorial in the trib tells it like it is.
    the ethics commission should have been established
    before we voted on bolo ties and chili choices.

    the legislators who don't want ethics reform
    were absolutely ready to go home
    without legislating any subtantial ethics reform.

    I only hope that trib readers will get off their butts
    and contact their legislators.

    you can't threaten to vote them out of office
    over ethics reform;

    if they know, that voters can't be bothered even
    to write an email about it.

    my salute to the trib editor/author

    the nm state ethics commission

    if one is created by the legislature, will be fectless.

    because of the commission; a few of the most egregious and indefensible acts of public corruption may be exposed.

    but the really powerful politicians, the priviledged class,
    will still self-except from accountability.
    they will not be held accountable against their will;
    not by the first nm state ethics commission.

    but with people like matt brix paying attention to it,
    it will get better and better.

    at some point public servants might actually find themselves accountable for their conduct and competence
    as public servants.

    that is why it is so important that the special session in santa fe create the first nm state ethics commission;

    even if it is fectless.

    everitt is set to dodge the bullet

    at the last board meeting, the question of an administrative accountability audit was placed on the record. well it turns out it wasn't actually entered on the "official" record.

    the "official" record of the board meeting amounts to "notes" taken by somebody ultimately accountable to school board president paula maes/modrall. the board has refused to explain why the incontrovertibly accurate videotaped record, is not the "official" record.

    at any rate, and for unexplained reasons; the "notes" on the last meeting, do not include any mention of an administrative audit.

    according to juris mustelidae (legal weaselry); if the question of an audit isn't in the "official" record; then it has not"really" been brought up at all. and beth everitt is not required by board policy to offer a response to the question of an audit at the next meeting, which is tomorrow night.

    normally, the leadership of the aps does not answer questions at board meetings.

    the less cynical would point out that it is only fair, to allow them time to think about a response.
    the more cynical would point out that they are only obeying a rule that they created, as an excuse not to answer inconvenient questions at all.

    never the less, if a question does make it onto the record, the leadership always promises to "get back with an answer".

    well tomorrow night is time enough to get back with an answer on the audit; if only it had been asked for "officially".

    and when everitt doesn't get back to us about the audit, during her presentation;

    the less cynical will say that maybe two weeks is not long enough to prepare a response.

    the more cynical will point out that neither that excuse nor any other, will be offered to stakeholders.

    everitt will stonewall the question of an audit for at least one more board meeting.

    both newspapers will have reporters at the meeting; they usually do.
    and, as they usually do, neither will report on everitt's failure to stand up and be held accountable for her administration of the public resources in the aps.

    in fairness, it might not be the reporters fault. I suspect the decision to cover up the aps mess, comes from higher up at the journal and trib.

    although everitt went on live radio recently and announced her support for any audit of her administration; that too, was not an "official" personal commitment. she cannot be compelled, based on the public announcement, to actually do anything about an audit.

    her intention to stand down at tomorrow's board meeting would seem to indicate that she intends not to live up to the commitment that she made on kkob radio.

    if everitt has been doing her job, an audit will vindicate her administration.

    but then, if she had been doing her job the audit would have already been done.

    that an accountability audit is an anomaly, and not a tradition, is a product of beth everitt's leadership; she is the chief administrative officer

    the agenda for tomorrow's board meeting

    the public forum is listed as item 1, call to order item 2.

    while it has been made to appear that public forum is number 1 on the agenda; in truth it isn't on the agenda at all; as the public record is not kept until the meeting is called to order.

    since the board will only take comment, on the record, on agenda items; and since maes/modrall will never allow the administrative audit to appear as an agenda item; the audit will never be discussed on the record.
    no board member can be asked on the record, whether or not they support the audit.
    their constituents, when they watch the broadcast version of the meeting will not see the forum; nor will they see anyone asking about the audit.

    nor will it be discussed in the journal or even in the trib.

    it's the way they roll.

    perhaps it won't be such an interesting 3 days after all

    after reading last night's trib and this morning's journal; it appears neither that paper will make a difference regarding an ethics commission.

    not too surprising for the journal who seems to support nothing but mayor marty.

    a little disappointing for for the trib however who is on record as recognizing the need for ethics reform. kate nelson is individually on record as hoping the legislature will do the right thing when it comes to ethics reform. trib editors in general have noted the problems and solutions.

    hoping and noting are a far cry from actually making any difference.

    apparently taxpayers and constituents will not enjoy the protection of an independent ethics commission.

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    the very first rule

    is that you have to play by the rules.
    one cannot self-except oneself from the rules.

    the leadership of the aps has self-excepted itself
    from accountability to any meaningful standard of
    conduct or competence.

    they are breaking the first rule.

    there is no point in discussing any rule, or policy, or problem,
    unless there is agreement to play by the rules.

    and until their committment is proved by their surrender
    to honest accountability for their conduct and competence;
    by a system overwhich they have no control,
    and even against their will.

    an immediate administrative accountability audit
    would serve as a token of faith.

    stonewalling is not an equivalent gesture.

    it should be an interesting three days

    by the close of business wednesday, it will be apparent whether the legislature in santa fe is going to create an ethics commission that will inspire confidence in state government.

    by the end of the board meeting wednesday, it will be apparent whether or not the leadership of the aps is going to commission an audit that will create a positive change that will inspire confidence in the administration of public schools.

    by wednesday evening we will know if the promise of honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct in public service in new mexico, is anything but a lie.

    faith in spontaneous change

    the trouble with faith that change will happen, is that it displaces concrete change. the strongest faith will never be actual change.

    faith that the leadership of the aps will ever change is unwarranted. nothing has ever changed, nothing will.

    how can faith be justified by stonewalling? how can you trust people whose only response to questions is to stonewall?

    • the relationship with modrall,
    • the relationships with the media,
    • the accounting for the uptown administrative complex,
    • the lovato/aps police scandal and,
    • the administrative audit?
    if they will not acknowledge the questions or even their obligation to answer questions in the first place; why in the world would anyone think that they will ever actually answer them?

    there are aps administrators who are themselves, neither corrupt nor incompetent.
    their personal interests are threatened by the culture created by the current administration.
    they are owned a system that protects them.
    so are students, and teachers, and the community.

    there is a proposed concrete change that so far has heard no objection; an impartial administrative audit, which would reveal the successes and shortcomings in the administration of the public interests in the aps.

    the results will be reviewed by the community and the leadership of the aps; and appropriate resolutions will be implemented.

    why then, does an actual audit seem so unlikely?

    it is because the audit, which represents a real threat only to the corrupt and incompetent in the leadership of the aps; has powerful opponents.

    "no army can stop an idea whose time has come."

    sooner or later there will be an annual aps administrative accountability audit.

    "all that is necessary for the audit to die, is for good men to do nothing"
    burke (derived)

    • like governor bill richardson,
    • or mayor marty chavez,
    • or city councilors; ken sanchez, debbie o'malley, isaac benton, brad winter, michael cadigan, martin heinrich, sally mayer, craig loy, or don harris,
    • or the abq chamber of commerce president, teri cole,
    • or board members paula maes/modrall, robert lucero, berna facio, mary lee martin, gordon rowe, dolores griego,
    • or, superintendent beth everitt,
    • or any other aps senior administrator.
    • or the journal, trib, kob, koat, and krqe
    if there is no audit, it will not be because those who feared it spoke out against it.

    it will be because those who should have spoken out in its support, did not.

    to fear to face an issue is to believe the worst is true.
    ayn rand

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    a higher standard of conduct

    the special session of the legislature will, or will not, create an ethics commission.

    the ethics commission will or will not, signal a change in the way government conducts business.
    our representatives and public servants will or will not, find themselves transparently accountable to some meaningful standard of conduct in their public service.

    a bunch of really powerful people, who want to continue to "bend" the rules to their interests, will do everything they can do to make sure that the ethics commission is feckless.

    the record would seem to indicate that legislators as a group, do not want to be held accountable to a higher standard of conduct; and they vote accordingly.

    if ever a person felt like writing to their legislators to make sure they understand what they are supposed to do; now would be that time.

    you can find out your senatorial and representative districts here.

    you can then find their email address beginning here.

    if you would like to see some sunlight cast on the whole process; you might want to encourage some increased attention by newspapers and media, you can link from these; KKOB, KOB, KOAT, KRQE, Journal, Tribune

    people say one gets the goverment they deserve.

    I don't know about that, but I do know that if people do nothing, so will their representatives.

    take the time to participate in this process.

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    winston churchill wrote,

    "sometimes circumstances make it necessary to restate the obvious."

    phil casaus wrote, yet another editorial restating the obvious
    about aps.

    casaus' editorial abuses the license churchill granted.

    the problem is not the lack of editorials.

    the problem is that paula maes/modrall et al, ignore editorials;
    always have always will.

    the proof is that aps will not begin an accountability audit;

    and phil casaus won't give them a deadline to have begun one;

    after which he and his reader followers will storm the uptown administrative retirement complex and castle; and revoke their privilege.

    it could happen.

    if an editor had principles, integrity,
    ...and some huevos.

    where's the beef?

    I've been doing some longitudinal research on accountability issues and the administration of public power and resources in the aps.

    it becomes immediately apparent that there is a long history of specific allegations of incompetence and corruption in the administration of the aps.

    if one studies the district's record; one finds little substantive change in policies or procedures in response to documented deficiencies.

    as one example; the council of great city schools did an audit of the administration of the aps in response to a corruption scandal that had rocked the m&o division. perhaps as much as a half million tax dollars were lost. a year later, another hundred and fifty thousand dollars were lost when an aps administrator failed to get required documents to the district's insuror on time.

    the audit of the administration revealed; administrative evaluation procedures are subjective and unrelated to promotion or step placement.

    in response to a request for public records, the district failed to produce any public record that demonstrates that the administration has responded to the audit by changing any policy, procedure, or regulation affecting their administration of public power and resources.
    the leadership of the aps is damned by their record. they have no choice but to hide it.

    that is why they cloud the record with a nearly useless website, the removal of the public forum from the public record, and the deliberate distortion of the broadcast record of board meetings/public forums.

    their true intentions are manifest in their response to questions about public resources and about their public service.

    they continue to refuse to provide candid, forthright, and honest responses to legitimate questions.
    • why did they change board policy in order to lower their own standard of conduct?
    • why is their own standard of conduct lower than the standard that they enforce upon students?
    • what of role modeling? what of leadership by personal example?
    • why will they not hold themselves honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct? by a system overwhich they have no control. and even against their will.
    they refuse to produce public records of the spending of public resources
    • at the modrall law firm
    • with the journal or trib
    • nor will they surrender a candid, forthright, and honest accounting of the administration of the public trust and treasure at the uptown administrative complex
    they won't come clean on gil lovato and the record of the leadership's use of its publicly funded, private police force to create a culture of fear of retribution and retaliation.

    if you are looking for signs of change; there aren't any.
    if you are looking for signs of the intention to change; there aren't any.

    marty esquivel kicked a ball onto the field two weeks ago, the administrative accountability audit.

    who has kicked it since?

    can no one see the ball? does no one care whether the goal is scored for accountability, or against it?

    if no one kicks the ball at all, "against accountability" wins by default

    marty chavez either can't see the ball; or won't kick it.

    nor will teri cole and the chamber of commerce

    nor any city councilor, or other elected official

    nor any other board member, senior administrator, or modrall

    nor the teacher and employee unions

    nor any group advocating for citizen or voter rights

    nor any student advocate, pastor, or scout group leader

    nor the journal, the trib,or any other blogger

    nor ...

    nor the character counts leadership council

    if we really, and I mean really want our children to grow up to embrace honor and courage and character; someone has to show them what it looks like; and by their personal example.

    there is no equivalent gesture.

    is it really to much to expect educators (public servants) to be honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct during their duty day?

    if, at the next board meeting, marty esquivel stands up in support of an accountability audit; will he be standing alone?


    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Why APS can't fire Gil Lovato

    Recollect every firing of an APS senior administrator;
    which of them did not leave with a bootfull of cash;
    even though they were in fact, fired?

    Tax dollars were used to buy their body maps.

    There are accountability issues in the leadership of the APS;
    misconduct and incompetence have been covered up.
    Covering up misconduct
    and dodging accountability
    for misconduct,
    are part and parcel; the one is the other.

    "Covering up" is a relative term; it's hard to bury a body
    except that someone else knows where it is buried; and
    that person earns an "X" to place on their own body map.
    Sometimes a burial requires the assistance of a burial party;
    and they all get another X on their map.

    One doesn't arrive in senior administration without a map
    with a number of Xs. The more powerful one is; the more Xs
    on their map; and the more the map is worth upon "retirement".

    Up until now, body maps were legal tender,
    even under circumstances which warranted a firing.

    Gil Lovato's body map is worth a bundle;
    he knows where all of the bodies are buried.

    Lovato won't get to sell his map because he was denied the
    open court hearing that makes it so valuable.

    Because taxpayers are paying closer attention to public servants spending public resources in their own interests; it will be difficult for the leadership of the APS to buy Lovato's map, right before an audit which will reveal all of the maps that have been purchased with public resources, and against public interest.

    There is no way that the leadership of the APS can hand over a bunch of cash to Lovato without drawing unwanted attention to the exchange; even with the overt cooperation of the Journal and the Trib.

    Hiding the movement of that many taxpayer dollars may be impossible to do; especially at the same time they are trying to avert an honest audit by drawing attention away from the the obvious need for an audit.

    The public will continue not to be told, what ever it is that the leadership of the APS doesn't want told, about the Lovato investigation. even though the public has a right to know the truth;

    and Lovato will remain on paid administrative leave.

    It's kind of like being fired;
    except that you make a few hundred bucks a day.

    what of aps' good administrators?

    consider the plight of "good" aps administrators;

    good administrators are the ones who are willing to support honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence, for admininstators.
    if they continue to advocate for accountability, they will fall victim to retribution and retalitation.
    • the district's culture of retribution and retaliation was built in no small part by gil lovato and the aps police.
    • just because gil lovato (presumably) no longer controls aps' private security police force; does not mean that the leadership of the aps does not still have a praetorian guard at their absolute disposal. they are accountable to no one outside of the leadership of the aps.
    • more importantly it does nothing to mitigate the influence of maes/modrall in dealing with those who make waves.
    if there is an example of even one aps administrator who has bucked the system and survived; I am unaware of it.

    the usual result is; the good administrator learns;
    when in rome, one does as the romans.
    they accustom themselves to survival in a system that enables corruption and incompetence and survives by instilling fear. real fear.

    the only protection that is of any use to a "good" administrator; is a system under which everybody is held accountable to the rules.
    accountable by a system beyond their undue influence;
    and even against their will.

    that system does not exist.

    the leadership of the aps has provided for no mechanism by which they can be held accountable for their conduct or competence.
    they have provided for no audit.

    "good" administrators in the aps will survive an accountability audit.

    in fact an audit is the best thing good administrators can hope for.
    they deserve an audit. they are owed an audit.

    there is only one reason to resist an audit.

    if the corrupt and incompetent in the leadership of the aps are successful in derailing an audit; it will be at the expense of good administrators; and good teachers, and students, and parents, and the community best interests.

    and it will be because the journal and the trib continue to aid and abet the corrupt and incompetent.

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    4 *A*cademic *P*ositive *S*olutions

    a new blog and worthy of a bookmark.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    no child left behind is leaving them all behind

    if you accept the given, a student must be curious, must have passion, and must enjoy the passage of time at school;

    what would you do, if a survey revealed that teachers believe the requirements of no child left behind are inconsistent with accomodating natural curiousity, with enabling individual passions, and with enjoyable educational experiences?

    so far, they haven't been asked.

    which does nothing to mitigate the fact.

    if your only tool is a hammer, then every problem is a nail. unk

    individual public servants in control of power and resources; is the hammer.

    and the nail; the failure of the the leadership of the aps to administer power and resources in the best interests of students and their education.

    mayor martin "the hammer" chavez wants a bigger hammer. he says if only we give him a bigger hammer, he will whack the aps nail.

    there are more than a few flaws in the logic;

    • the power to make really important decisions about the real problems in education needs to be used at the educational interface; not in a board room and not in the mayors office.
    • power and resources should be spent by the most expert and experienced educators; not by those in a distant boardroom or mayor's office.
    • resources need to be spent at the interface and not in board rooms or palacial office spaces.
    • the movement of decision making power and resources away from the educational interface can not justified. it serves only the interests of those who want to personally acquire and wield power. their interests are indefensible except by stonewalling.
    • the accumulation of power and resources in the uptown palace, or in the mayor's office, serves no useful or legitimate educational purpose.
    • the suggestion that the mayor is any more accountable to the community than the school board is, is nonsense. who actually believes that a mayor is accountable to voters?
    • if corrupt and incompetent public servants were accountable to voters; why do they still exist?
    • and most importantly, if the mayor has any real interest in aps accountability; he would be supporting the aps audit. and he is not.
    accountability is fatal to corruption and incompetence. there is no way to provide accountability except by providing accountability. there is no equivalent gesture.

    transparent accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct will eliminate corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the aps. it will also eliminate the corrupt and the incompetent in the leadership of the aps.

    an aps accountabilility audit is opposed only by the corrupt and the incompetent; and by those who would enable their corruption and incompetence;

    like the mayor, the journal and to only a very slightly lesser extent, the trib.

    must read for leaders in education

    The Three Legs of the Education Table
    Michael Swickard, Ph.D.

    After more than a hundred years of education research in the United States it would seem that public schools would be getting better rather than worse. Why are they not? Because public school administrators ignore the three legs of the education table:
    First, the child must be curious. The natural curiosity of children is the entrance into their minds. It is not something to foster, it is something to keep from destroying. Every child starts with it. They are born with it. They come to school with it and then by third of fourth grade many students do not care anymore about anything to do with schools. They have lost their curiosity, or rather, the educational system has destroyed their curiosity.
    Second, connected to their natural curiosity, the child must have passion. They must care about something at school. When they lose their passion, they are lost. When there is nothing to be passionate about in school for them, there is nothing holding them in school. As they just go through the motions, nothing is gained from their time in school.
    Third, the child must enjoy the passage of time. This is not to say that everyday at school must be a Disneyland ride. Every day must be enjoyable. Only the most removed from education think children can learn if they are miserable. There can be small moments when they do not enjoy that moment, but to be successful they must answer to the affirmative if asked at the end of the day, “Did you enjoy this day in school?”
    People say that school is not supposed to be fun, it is work and work is never fun. Wrong. Again, it is not constant amusement, but each and every day a child should have their curiosity come alive, their passions increased and they should enjoy the passage of time in school. If not, we are just wasting time and money.
    No Child Left Behind concentrates on testing. There is nothing about testing that inspires curiosity, passion or enjoyment of the passage of time for students. Many schools are canceling recess so students can study longer and harder for the accountability tests. Fixation on testing is harmful to students.
    Many public schools no longer even act as if their fiduciary relationship is with the students. Instead, the enterprise is a giant works project for teachers and administrators. Unions spend their time working the system for more money and control. In the last couple of decades the administrative load in school districts has doubled and then doubled again and then doubled again. Years ago teachers were the largest population of workers in a district. Now the administrators outnumber the teachers.
    So many administrators have been hired that the public schools no longer teach the curriculum, they administer it. Whatever they are doing is not working since only about 65 percent of public school students even graduate. And many of the graduates have long since lost their curiosity, passion and enjoyment of the passage of time. Some graduate without the slightest desire to ever learn anything again. How sad.
    It is time for the students to be returned to the core of education. The administration says all students are the same, all teachers are the same and with enough statistical controls all students can be taught anything regardless of if the students want to learn. They are wrong.
    No Child Left Behind has left all students behind. By focusing on testing, testing and more testing to see if schools are “good” or not, nothing that happens at schools creates any curiosity or passion for the students. They do not enjoy the passage of time.
    Finally, the things students do care about such as sports and band are often under attack because the administration thinks that if the students spend ever increasing amounts of time on studying for the accountability tests the schools will be seen as being a good school. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Return the schools to the teachers and look for ways to not destroy curiosity and passion. Every day ask every student, “Did you enjoy today in school?” If the answer is overwhelmingly no, then change the school until the answer is yes.

    magic bullets

    with regard to "focusing resources on students who are most at risk"

    there is a danger in focusing resources on specific problems, and that danger lies in diverting resources from other areas; after which they become "problem areas" them selves.

    if resources are limited, vaccines are a better investment than symptomatic cures.

    we need to move all students further from the precipice of dropping out. it might be a mistake to focus too much only on the students closest to the edge.

    the same strategies that will supposedly "save" the at risk, are a tide that will lift all students and should be applied universally, not just at the tip of the iceberg.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    the journal, the trib, the audit


    a “proper” audit will effectively eliminate corruption, incompetence, and the practices that enable them in the leadership of the aps. a proper audit will provoke honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct for aps leadership. a proper audit will immediately advance all legitimate educational interests, agendas, objectives, and goals.
    so far, the premise is unchallenged; by aps, by the journal, or by the trib.

    and yet, the reality flies in the face of the premise.

    the reality is that the folks who are supposed to be promoting accountability in the aps, are in fact opposing it.

    in his failure to stand in support of an aps audit; martin chavez stands in opposition to administrative accountability audits for public servants.
    the mayor wants the office of the mayor to have increased influence over public schools. by way of justification, he cites a current, critical lack of accountability by the leadership of the aps. in order to support the justification, the leadership of the aps must continue to remain unaccountable. that interest is served by his refusal to stand on the record demanding an immediate administrative audit of the aps. as is the interest in not drawing any attention to the possibility of an administrative audit of city government; an audit every bit as justified and for exactly the same reasons.

    in her failure to stand in support of an aps audit, teri cole and the chamber of commerce stand in opposition to administrative accountability audits for public servants.
    she contradicts her previous position, in support of the mayor, that aps accountability problems required attention and resolve.

    it is unclear what the business community gains by enabling corruption and incompetence in public service; but that is most certainly the end served by her refusal to stand on the record on the issue of audit and public service.
    in its failure to stand in support of an aps audit; the journal stands in opposition to administrative accountability audits for public servants.
    the journal stands in support of the mayor, his takeover of public schools, his justification for the takeover, the need for chaos to justify the justification; and the consequent need to obfuscate “curative” audits.

    the trib is at least writing about the audit. and since publicity amounts to support; it would be unfair to say that the trib does not support the audit.

    it is fair to point out that their support of the audit uses expressions like; may signal, appeared to be willing, might give, might result in, could be… it is the same position the trib takes with respect to ethics reform in the legislature.

    what ever courage it requires for them to at least mention the need for ethics reform in public service, the trib still has not managed to summon the courage to use expressions that reflect the fundamental nature of “public inservitude”; such as;

    the public has an absolute right to demand an audit of their interests in the public schools. public servants have an obligation to commission it.

    the public has an absolute right to insist that; within their public service, public servants are honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct. public servants have an obligation to provide for that accountability.

    everitt's "investigation" of gil lovato; day 75

    gil lovato remains on paid leave, at more than $300 a day, while the investigation into his alleged corruption and incompetence languishes. at some point does it not become incontrovertible that;

    beth everitt is incompetent; she cannot conduct a simple audit of the scandal in the administration of the aps police department.

    or, beth everitt is corrupt; she will not conduct a simple audit of the scandal in the administration of the aps police department.

    it is not the responsibility of the school board to hold gil lovato accountable for his misconduct; that responsibility falls squarely on everitt's shoulders. however, if she cannot or will not do her job; then the responsibility for her conduct and competence does fall upon the shoulders of the board.

    someone needs to shoulder the burden; either everitt must complete the lovato investigation, or the board needs to fire her and hire someone who can.

    this is precisely the conduct which invites and validates the criticism of the conduct and competence of the leadership of the aps.

    the trib mentions the audit

    the rift between the journal and trib grew wider with a trib editiorial last night. while the journal is still hoping for a mayoral take over of the school board and is yet to shine any light on Marty Esquivel's administrative audit proposal; the trib is at least publicly acknowledging the audit proposal. the audit has been mentioned twice now in the trib; once in an article by susie gran, and once in the editorial.

    any public attention that is drawn to the audit is good. the more people who know about it; the less likely that everitt, et al, can kick the ball back off of the field.

    on the down side, the trib offered no support for the audit. despite the crushing need and justification for the audit, the trib chose not to stand next to Esquivel in what is surely to be a knock down drag out brawl that will proceed an audit.

    on a radio talk show last saturday, everitt endorsed the audit. her appearance on the show was obviously impromptu, and everitt was not prepared to deflect that audit question. she had little choice but to endorse the audit; though her intentions are clearly otherwise.

    everitt's continued cover up of the gil lovato scandal, is substantial proof that she has no real intention of conducting an honest audit, either of lovato's administration, or of her own.

    the trib needs to follow through by investigating and reporting on progress toward an audit. it has been nearly two weeks since the audit was announced publicly. in the intervening two weeks, everitt has given no official indication of any intention to follow through. her record with the gil lovato investigation does not bode well for any honest audit of aps leadership.

    without public support for the audit, the audit and Esquivel will feel the wrath of aps' culture of retribution and retaliation for those who make waves.

    the trib needs to stop dancing around in the batter's box;
    and step up to the plate.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    school discipline

    for a number of years, the aps and unm collaborated on an annual survey of aps teachers. the purpose of the survey was to objectively measure a number of influences on educational efficiency. there was an item that had to do with the effect of student disruption on education.

    the results indicated that teachers found chronically disruptive students to be a significant problem.

    the problem is no longer quantified because the item is no longer on the survey. when I asked why it had been removed, I was told that it was removed because the numbers never really changed much. ??

    unless policy has changed, administrators are responsible for administering discipline policies in the aps.

    and under their administration, discipline policies are not being enforced. there are students in charge at every school in the aps; by the following logic.

    in a situation where there is a conflict of wills; the person who's will is finally done; is in charge.

    if the principal tells students that they cannot sag, and students sag anyway, openly and blatantly; then sagging students are in charge at that school.

    this is not about sagging; it is about openly permitting prohibited behavior. it is about allowing students to defy adults openly and without consequence.

    any situation where students are in charge at school is educationally counterproductive.

    teachers, despite their lack of power and resources necessary to change the behavior of chronically disruptive students; have been given the responsibility to do just that by administrators who don't want to deal with the problem themselves and because, at the risk of indelicacy,
    shit rolls downhill.

    and because of administrators who have better things to do; like jockey for position in the uptown administrative retirement complex.

    teachers are used best when they are teaching groups of students. the least effective use of a teacher is to spend them fecklessly on one chronically disruptive student at a time. additionally there is the wasted time of students who are waiting for the attention of their teacher.

    the leadership of the aps is ignoring an administrative responsibility to deal with the issue of student discipline; both individually and district wide.

    so far they have met that responsibility by publishing the student behavior handbook. it was written at the 14th grade reading level and at great expense by lawyers, for lawyers.

    as further evidence of the administrative lack of a grasp on the issue of student discipline, I submit the district's discipline philosophy. at least I would if there actually was one.

    which aps senior administrator is responsible for the failure to provide philosophical guidance to disciplinary policy making? is it the same administrator who decided to remove the survey item because the issue of chronically disruptive students wasn't getting any better?

    a discipline philosophy describes commonly held beliefs about what is true with respect to the issue of discipline; and serves as the foundation for sound policy making. for example; a discipline philosophy statement might read, a student who deliberately misbehaves should experience some unpleasant consequence.

    given that foundation, a school can then write its own discipline policy statement which might read, students who refuse to obey an adult will attend a conference with their parents and an administrator in order to determine an appropriate unpleasant consequence for their deliberate disobedience.

    then if a parent questions the appropriety of an unpleasant consequece, it can be defended philosophically. in the absence of that philosophical foundation, the decision to consequence a student can be defended only by, "because I said so."

    it is a pathetically inadequate defense for a teacher charged with enforcing an arbitrary discipline policy, with no power, no resources, and no philosophical foundation to stand on.

    so far it hasn't worked. there is no reason to expect that it ever will.

    the failure to address the issue of a district wide student discipline problems is the result of administrative corruption or incompetence. that failure will not be addressed by a system which is not transparently accountable to some meaningful standard of conduct.

    and (some) students will remain in charge at school, against the interests of other students and their teachers.

    community involvement - volunteerism

    any person who sets foot on a school campus should be thoroughly vetted.

    the process should be as user friendly as is possible.

    attention and resources should be dedicated to enabling involvement by community members in their schools in a manner that promotes educational efficiency.

    why is this not currently the situation?

    community involvement - decision making

    assuming that by community involvement we are talking about community involvement in decision making; there obstacles to overcome.

    at its heart, decision making represents the exercise of power. implicit in shared decision making is shared power. the natural tendency is that power is not shared of free will.

    power finally accumulates in the hands of people who want to accumulate and control power. their natural tendency at that point, is not to share. the leadership in the aps is about personally accumulating control over as much power and resources as possible. he who dies with the most power wins.

    it's the way they roll.

    the most important decision a group can make, is to decide how decisions will be made. it must also be their first. unk

    more than a decade ago, the decision making paradigm in aps schools changed. finally recognizing the experience and expertise of teachers and community members; the administration of the aps made them part of a formal decision making process. but not really.

    when the first groups got together; it became apparent that any decisions the group made, were subject to the final approval of the administration. everyone but the administration served the decision making process in an advisory capacity. it was a sham. and that is why the experiment failed, overall.

    if you believe that decisions should be made at the lowest possible level, and as close to the educational interface as possible; then you also believe that control of decision making power should be as close the interface as possible as well.

    and that is where it stands. the powerful will continue to control the power and resources; they will continue to outfit their uptown palace; and they will continue to defend their indefensible position by stonewalling.

    and the community will continue to decline advisory involvement in decision making in their schools. and they will increasingly decline enrollment in their public schools; forced instead to form charter schools or home schools.

    and those would would be excellent teachers will continue to decline employment in a situation that fundamentally disrespects their education and experience.

    99 percent of the control of power is in the hands of those with 1 percent of the legitimate need or use of it.

    those with 99 percent of the need to spend power and resources, have 1 percent of the control over their spending.

    the situation is indefensible.

    one of the greatest privileges of membership in the privileged class is that, a member cannot be compelled to justify, explain, or even acknowlege their membership.

    one of the privileges of membership in the leadership of the aps is that, they don't have to justify, explain, or even acknowlege their failure to move the power and resources to the educational interface. they failed to use the power and resources that have been entrusted to them, in the best interests of students, parents, teachers, and the community.

    Sunday, March 11, 2007

    community involvement -communication

    the most obvious place to begin communication is the district’s website. By any reasonable measure, it is not a source of readily accessible informaton on public interests and public resources.

    the long standing problem is well documented.

    there are only two possible reasons that the website is not repaired.

    the first possibility is that the person(s) responsible for the website do not have the competence to create a useful communication tool; and their long standing incompetence has not been addressed systematically, institutionally, or administratively.

    if so, then that fact is submitted as proof: senior aps administrators cannot be held accountable for their public incompetence.

    the only other possible reason that the site remains unrepaired is that; a deliberate decision has been made to continue to obfuscate any search for information about the administration of public resources and interests in the aps.

    that decision is corrupt. it cannot have been made except by a corrupt senior administration.

    if so, then that fact is submitted as proof; senior aps administrators cannot be held accountable for their public corruption; systematically, institutionally, or administratively.

    the allegation that the leadership of the aps is opposed to candid, forthright and honest communication with the community is more than adequately substantiated by:

    • the continued refusal to even acknowledge problems with their website,
    • the leadership’s dissolution of the parent advisory councils,
    • their broadcast of deliberately falsified accounts of board meetings,
    • their removal of the public forum from the public record of board meetings
    • their continued suppression of the truth about overall spending of public resources on the uptown administrative complex,
    • hiding the truth about the spending of public resources to allow senior administrators to dodge accountability even to the law,
    • their utterly indefensible conduct with respect to the investigation of their praetorian guard and its commander gil lovatl.
    • and their refusal to explain, defend, or even acknowledge that they removed from their own code of conduct, the expectation that they are accountable as role models.

    fundamental to success in the effort of aps leaders to suppress the truth: is the continued cooperation of the journal and trib;

    and their own "communication problem" with their readers.