Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monica Armenta's grade

In the Tribune tonight, Gene Grant's commentary was upon APS' hiring of Monica Armenta as APS' new communications chief.

According to Grant, Armenta has her work cut out for her because of at least four plates spinning atop wobbly sticks in Rigo Chavez's hands; the APSPD scandal, gradegate, the principal shuffle; and renovations in the Uptown Administrative Complex.

Grant was perplexed by APS' insistence that Armenta was hired to focus inward on the APS. Grant then quotes former APS superintendent and public relations expert Tom Garrity saying that he too was perplexed by the use of Armenta for internal communications when her real value was having "...more influence with parents and the community than anyone else at APS."

None of the problems that Grant thinks Armenta was hired to deal with; are internal communication issues; not the scandal in the police department, not gradegate, not the principal shuffle, and not indiscriminate spending at Uptown Centre.

These four issues are communications problems with the community;

the area where Armenta has the most to offer; coincidentally.

The leadership of the APS simply will not admit that they've really hired Armenta to spin the community on these issues. So they're pretending she's there to fix "internal communications".

APS' curve blew by Grant so fast he still hasn't figured out what happened.

In fairness, Garrity, still close with the leadership of the APS, was there to drag the red herring of the "supposedly" unexplainable course of action; for Grant to follow.

Doug Turner, owner of a local public affairs firm apparently wanted to know if Armenta would be able to get everyone in the APS to talk as positively about the APS as its leadership does; like that's the problem.

I challenge anyone to find even a couple of teachers who think that teaching in the APS sucks, because there isn't better communication with the leadership.

Grant said Turner said, "You need to have people who are not afraid to tell the truth and people who are not afraid to hear it."

He is of course absolutely right.

I personally made Monica Armenta aware of the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS. So far she has said nothing on the record.

I believe her hiring has a lot more to do with the fact that she has said nothing; than it has to do with the likelihood that she will tell the truth;
to anyone.

Grant quotes Tom Garrity saying; "What it comes down to is that organizations will never be saved by a PR professional if that's their only course of action." and, "Good policy encourages good public relations."

Is there a change of people or a change of policy?

Test question: Ms. Armenta, will you tell the truth about why the leadership of the APS removed the following language from their own code of conduct?

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

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