Tuesday, July 24, 2007

So what ever happened to Elsy Fierro?

It has been more that a month since a "partial" investigation of gradegate determined that APS Administrator Elsy Fierro was guilty of ethical and professional misconduct when she changed the grade of a RGHS student.

These actions appear to constitute a violation of Section, Standard II: Duty to the profession, of the New Mexico Public School Code of Ethics.

Dr. Fierro exerted undue influence when she directed the administrative team at Rio Grande High School to change a student's grade. This undue influence was based on the authority of her position and clearly resulted in determining professional decisions concerning a student's final grade.

In addition, incomplete and inaccurate information was provided to the superintendent and the associate superintendents in an apparent attempt to gain support for the grade change directive.

It is the conclusion of the investigative team that, based on the above, the matter should be referred to the Educator Ethics Bureau of the Public Education Department for appropriate licensure action.
The record will show, that when a complaint is filed with the NM PED/EEB, against a senior APS administrator, the complaint will languish forever, or be dismissed outright.

Paul Calderon and the New Mexico Educator Ethics Bureau, have been sitting on the complaint for more than a month. The investigation was complete before the complaint was handed to him; or at least as much of an investigation as he will do. He will never ask Beth Everitt any questions about her knowledge or overt involvement on the record.

So why is he stalling on the "licensure action"?

It seems clear that he is caught between a rock and a hard place; he cannot issue a determination of action against her license (because there will be none) nor can he reveal that he intends to take no action.

So he will do what powerful people do when they are stuck with an indefensible position; he will stonewall.

Hell will freeze over before he does anything at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Before anyone jumps on the public bandwagon clamoring for Dr. Fierro's license, it should be known that while the state PED is dragging their feet on this matter Dr. Fierro has not. She has been made a scapegoat for doing her job. The details will come out sooner than later because she has filed with the court system to force the PED into a hearing. The hearing basically will instruct the PED to do their job and present their so-called evidence against her. The PED is stonewalling because they have a weak case against an administrator that was simply doing her job with the advice and consent of her superiors based on the information given to her at the time. The decision was based on the then current policy governing such cases. The high school staff and administration were slow and or incompetent in gathering all the information needed in making a decision in the short time frame allowed.

It would have been viewed as any other student grade case if the student's parents weren't public officials. Dr. Fierro has never been personally or politically connected with the parents. She owes political allegiance to no one. Her primary concern has always been and always shall be that of the student no matter their position in life or parental affiliation. Dr. Fierro’s educational career is well documented and does not reflect the accusations and charges against her.

If the public does not agree with a public educational district’s policy, it is certainly within their rights to demand a review and make changes. But they should not be trying to ruin the reputation and honor of the people hired to administer and run the organization in accordance to the established policies. The media has definitely returned to yellow dog journalism and sensationalism in an attempt to sell newspapers or make news. Today’s reporters want to be commentators and slant public opinion towards what they believe in. They have abandoned the “Who, What , Where, Why” format. Their brand of journalism reports, judges, and executes people even before the facts are fully known.

In the end, the PED should apologize to Dr. Fierro for the false accusations, abandon their attempt to revoke her license, and investigate the high school administration and staff for their questionable performance and adherence to established policies. After all, it was the responsibility of the high school principal to make sure that policy is followed by his teachers and make decisions based on policy. Instead, he passed the buck to Dr. Fierro to do his job.