From the Trib tonight. (link)
"APS Police Lt. Dave Guzman said this was the fourth weapon confiscated on school property since classes began in August."
How many guns are left?
With the arrest of the fourth student at school with a loaded gun, have we got them all? Have we got half?
If we have even a tenth, there are 36 loaded guns left. They are distributed more or less evenly through out schools in the APS. There is no high school that does not have one.
And that is unacceptable.
The leadership of the APS has offered no leadership in the battle to regain and retain control over high school campuses.
The have do not even have a plan. The leadership of the APS can provide no written Discipline Philosophy Statement. They have simply surrendered the authority of adults over children at school. And then abdicated their responsibility to enforce the district's discipline policies, to teachers and site staff who have neither the power nor resources to make even a dent in the problem.
The problems with test scores and drop out rates will not be solved except by first restoring order to the teaching and learning environment.
The problem cannot be solved without admitting to the problem. It cannot hidden, and solved.
They have no plan,
because they have no intention,
because they haven't the will,
to restore the authority of adults over children.
The haven't a plan, and they haven't a clue.
They cannot be required to explain, defend,
or even acknowledge they have no district wide plan
to deal with chronically disruptive students
on regular school campuses.
Certainly not by me.
And just as certainly; apparently
not by our friends in the media.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
From the Trib tonight. (link)
Posted by ched macquigg at 6:09 PM
The rush is on to fill the remaining vacancies in the Uptown APS Administrative Complex.
Offices in the twin towers of the newly refurbished complex are handsomely appointed, in a very prestigious location, and have breath taking views. Restaurants and shopping are a stroll away. Freeway access is a stone's throw from your own underground parking space.
If you want one of the remaining office suites, you haven't much time to dawdle. A hurried effort is being made to fill the remaining vacancies with the administrative elite and their indentured.
This despite a promise from the leadership of the APS that a significant part of the complex would be rented out to non-APS in order to mitigate the expense of buying and maintaining some of the most expensive office space in Albuquerque.
Students and their teachers of course,
need not apply.
As always, I will bow to (and honestly report upon)
any controverting fact.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:36 AM
If only we knew the truth.
If you are a senior APS administrator, your chair rolls around an office with an unobstructed view of Mount Taylor, or the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Perhaps you have been stuck with the relatively mundane view of the Sandias. If your seat is at the bottom of the food chain, at the top of the building; you can see Los Lunas and Belen; on a clear day, maybe Socorro.
If you settle down in your chair just a little, the window sill will block from your view; 123 schools, 10,000 employees, 99,000 students, and all of the bothersome bitching about how hard their lives are.
My bet, is that you would be rolling around on brand new wheels.
A whole bunch of really nice, nearly new executive desk chairs just showed up in the Martin/DeLayo "community" room. They appear to be cast offs; to be squabbled over by the less privileged occupants of the Uptown Complex. By my estimation; they probably cost two or three hundred dollars a piece; (and were probably purchased from some APS vendor who chipped in a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to the APS Foundation, and ultimately the Inn of the Mountain Gods). (link)
Did APS stakeholders just pay for a whole bunch of even more expensive executive chairs for the overworked asses in senior administration?
At least they were kind enough to let the great unwashed roll around in their cast offs.
As always, I will bow to (and report honestly upon)
any controverting fact.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:58 AM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (link) has appointed a new executive director to replace the much respected Robert "Bob" Johnson, who passed away recently.
The Journal reported this morning that Leonard DeLayo has been chosen to fill the very large shoes of the foundation's founder. (no available link)
When an organization selects an executive director there is an inherent possibility that it will "shoot itself in the foot"; it will appoint someone who in the end,
will hurt the organizational interests.
Those at NMFOG, who voted for Leonard DeLayo
as the new Executive Director, have instead
blown both legs off at the knees.
While "serving" on the APS Board of Education,
Leonard DeLayo voted for, tacitly approved of,
or failed to stand in opposition to assaults on
the very interests that the NMFOG is dedicated to.
The school board removed the public forum from the public record.
They eliminated the only opportunity that had existed, where citizen stakeholders could stand nose to nose with their elected public servant; and ask questions about their public service.The school board removed language from the employee code of conduct that held them actually accountable as role models.
They did so to prevent a particular question from being asked on the record. It had been asked in about a dozen previous public forums, and on the record. That record was then deliberately falsified and broadcast to the community. Missing from the broadcasts was board member responses to the following question; Will you, as a public servant, and as a steward of a billion tax dollars a year, and a senior role model for 99,000 of our sons and daughters, hold yourself honestly accountable to the student standard of conduct?
They removed language which read, In no case shall the standard for an adult be lower than the standard for students.
The school board denied protection to employees who expose ethical misconduct by administrators or board members.
They passed a Whistle Blower Policy that failed to provide protection for those whose expose ethical misconduct. They did so deliberately.The APS BoE continues to employ the Modrall law firm to litigate exception for the leadership of the APS, from the public records act.
The President of the Modrall is the husband of School Board President Paula Maes. Modrall makes millions of tax dollars litigating exception to the law for senior administrators and board members. The exceptions to the NMIPRA in particular, fly in the face of everything the NMFOG fights for.
In diametric opposition to the interests of the NMFOG, Leonard DeLayo's record is of opposition to every effort to open up the government. He cannot point to a single vote that he cast in twenty years on the board, in support of open government in the APS.
You have to wonder why the NMFOG would even consider, much less select DeLayo. A visit to their website (link) suggests a possibility.
On the NMFOG Executive Committee;
- Kent Walz, editor Albuquerque Journal
The Journal of course, has steadfastly refused to report upon any of the anti NMFOG votes that DeLayo cast over the years. I don't mean refusing at this moment, I mean refusing over years and through at least three elections.
- Patrick J. Rogers, attorney, Modrall
Modrall is making millions of dollars off the APS, in part for litigating for the leadership of the APS, self exception to the law; including the open records act.
And on the NMFOG Board of Directors;
- Phill Casaus, Editor, Albuquerque Tribune
Casaus is absolutely aware of DeLayo's record. I have been dunning him about it for years. He absolutely refuses to expose the corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS. He absolutely refuses to stand in support of an immediate accountability audit of the administration of the APS.
- Terri Cole, President,Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce used to support Character Counts. When I asked Cole and the Chamber for help in defending Character Counts against the assault of DeLayo and others, she refused. The Chamber website indicates that they have know abandoned Character Counts, in support of APS' abandonment.
- Michelle Donaldson, News Director,KRQE-TV
KRQE has videotape of me being thrown out of a board meeting for trying to exercise my legal and ethical rights to petition the board, on the record. I was removed, four times ultimately, by members of a publicly funded, private police force functioning as a Praetorian Guard. Their Commander at the time, was the now disgraced Gil Lovato.It would appear that the leadership of the APS/Modrall,
I suspect that Donaldson has more than a passing acquaintance with Paula Maes, school board president, and President of the New Mexico Broadcasters Association.
in their efforts to hide public records from the public,
has little to fear from the the NM FOG or their
new Executive Director.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:01 AM
Monday, October 29, 2007
I will pay for comments left on my blog.
I will pay twenty dollars to (at least) the first person
who leaves a comment on this blog that meets
but a few criteria.
Comments must meet an unequivocal standard,
in particular; The Pillars of Character Counts;
a widely recognized, accepted, and respected
code of ethics. It is the standard of conduct for
students in the APS.
I will provide a link to the Character Counts national website. There can be found, a document called Making Ethical Decisions. It will be the set of principles that govern the acceptability of a response. In other words your response must be ethical; technicalities, loopholes and legal weaselry are unacceptable. (link)
Justify any of the following situations and circumstances as acceptable and in the public interest, and in the interests of 99,000 of our sons and daughters.
- The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education has excepted itself from accountability to the student standard of conduct; abdicating as the district's most senior role models for students.
- The Superintendent has excepted herself from accountability to the student standard of conduct; abdicating as the senior administrative role models for students.
- The record of APS/Modrall is that, board members and senior administrators are not accountable even to the law.
- The leadership of the APS refuses to begin an immediate forensic accountability audit of the APS.
- The leadership of the APS refuses to explain, defend, or even acknowledge that they are refusing an audit.
- None of the Journal, the Trib, KOAT, KOB, or KRQE will investigate and report to stakeholders; the implications of, and the controversy over, an immediate forensic accountability audit of the leadership of the APS.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:11 PM
The length of a news cycle approximates the attention span of the public.
The editorial (link, sub req) about hiding the truth at Madison Middle School will be forgotten by the next editorial. It will not be added to the other parts;
which themselves have not been added together.
People forget that the truth hiding at Madison, followed the truth hiding in the APS Finance Department, the truth hiding in grade gate, the truth hiding in the APS Police Department scandal, the truth hiding in Micheal Vigil's drunk driving arrest, and the truth hiding about every other senior administrator who was given a few hundred thousand tax dollars along with their discharge; which followed the truth hiding in the M&O scandal (which cost taxpayers as much as a half million dollars),
which accompanies the truth hiding about spending at the Uptown Administrative Complex.
It would appear that unless all of the parts appear in one news cycle;
unless either the Journal, the Trib, or TV news investigates and reports upon the widespread and deeply embedded suppression of the truth by the leadership of the APS; (an investigation which would reveal far more examples than are served by my poor memory);
stakeholders will never assemble the parts into a sum
greater than the parts; the sum conclusion that;
the leadership of the APS cannot be trusted
to tell the truth.
And if the leadership of the APS can not be trusted
to tell stakeholders the un-spun and honest truth,
Is it not time for a full scale forensic audit
of accountability in the administration of the public
trust, and power, and resources, in the APS?
Is it not time to replace the leadership of the APS
with people that the community can trust?
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:23 AM
The leadership of the APS has been taken to task by a Journal editorial this morning. (link sub req)
"Albuquerque Public Schools, operated with public money, is supposed to serve public school children's educational needs. But when it comes to giving the public the straight story about an incident of obvious public interest to the ... community, district officials would rather duck and cover."Nothing will change because the point will not be pushed.
It will not be pushed because it is feckless to do so.
Because the leadership of the APS is not accountable
to the community in any manner which will prevent
them from repeatedly acting to protect
their own interests in lieu of the public interest.
If this sounds like a broken record, it is because
the issue surfaces again, and again, and again,
without amelioration, and without any response from
the leadership of the APS, except more false promises
of their intention to improve communication with stakeholders.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:54 AM
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Teacher’s contracts are very specific. They spell out exactly the hours and the days when a teacher is a teacher.
And there is a history of very literal interpretation of contract language by the leadership of the APS.
I am aware of at least one teacher who tried to break up a student fight; off school grounds and after school hours. He was injured; rather severely. The leadership of the APS decided that he did not enjoy their protection because he was off school grounds and it was after school.
Now, the leadership of the APS has decided to broaden their interpretation of contract language. They would like to hold teachers and other employees accountable for their conduct outside of school hours and away from students. Robert Lucero in particular, would like to crucify teachers who are caught driving drunk, and off the clock.
Employees will resist on at least two counts;
- they will not have been meaningfully involved in a decision that affected their interests, and
- they will resent being held accountable, by the leadership of the APS, to a higher standard of conduct, than the standard to which administrators and board members are accountable.
Yet he has deliberately and methodically excepted himself from any personal accountability as a role model of any standard of conduct at all. Not as a public servant and the steward of a billion tax dollars a year, and not as one of the most senior role models in the entire district.
He, ... and the rest of the leadership of the APS.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:01 PM
Beth Everitt failed.
As did Kari Brandenburg.
As did Darren White.
There is no law written so succinctly, so unequivocally,
that there is not a lawyer without scruples,
who can argue that the law was in fact written
in the self interests of their client.
The test of character is not in whether or not the law
was followed in a "legal" sense; but in whether or not
the intent of the law was followed in an "ethical" sense.
When given a test of opening up the public record
of their conduct and competence as public servants,
and candidly, forthrightly and honestly discussing
their involvement in the criminal misuse of
the criminal background check system; they failed.
They chose to interpret open government laws,
not in the public interest, but in their own.
Everitt, and Brandenburg, and White
are all behaving "legally"; and if they are not,
their lawyers can still argue forever, that they are.
Everitt, and Brandenburg, and White
may be behaving "legally",
but they are not behaving "ethically".
There are actually laws that require public servants
to behave ethically. NM State Statute 10.16.3 requires
public officials to;
" ...discharge ethically the high responsibilities of public service."The law is dated 1978. When I asked the 2nd Judicial
District Court Clerk for the records of complaints filed
under the law, I was told that there is no record
that any public servant has ever been held
accountable to that law.
"Apparently, it has never been necessary."
Public servants are apparently not accountable to
the law. Despite the fact that obedience to the law,
is obedience to the lowest standard of conduct
that decent humans beings will tolerate in each other.
Corrupt and incompetent public servants have created
a system under which they are held accountable
by law to a higher standard of conduct;
and then excepted themselves from any real
or honest accountability to that law.
So, while Everitt and Brandenburg and White are
technically obeying the law; they are demonstrating
that they 1) lack character, and that 2) they cannot
be held accountable for their lack of character.
One of them is the superintendent of the 20th largest
school district in the United States.
One of them is the top law enforcement officer
in the largest judicial district in New Mexico.
One of them is the top cop in Bernalillo County,
and running for congress.
Without explanation, without defense, and with having
even to acknowledge their manifest lack of character.
We are screwed.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:06 AM
Saturday, October 27, 2007
According to APS, teachers in the APS are absent 8.7% of the time. The national average for teachers and instructional staff is 5.2 %.
The issue is illegitimate absences, not legitimate.
Let's assume for the sake of argument that teachers are actually sick 4% of the time and their consequent absence is legitimate. Remember that teachers hang around sick kids all day, every day. And 4% represents less than one full day per month.
We are left then with a national average of 1.2% illegitimate absences.
We are left then with, in the APS, 4.7% illegitimate absences.
The 3.5% difference, divided by the 1.2% national average of illegitimate absences, yields 2.92. Or, APS teacher morale and absenteeism are 292% worse than the national average.
Or, it sucks so bad to be a teacher in the APS,
that teachers here take "mental health days"
almost three times as often as teachers nationwide.
Sometime after the leadership of the APS
admits that there is a problem;
they will start working on its solution.
In the meantime, they are content spin the truth
and allow teachers to take the heat from stakeholders.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:33 AM
The Journal reports; (link, sub req)
APS teachers are taking too many days off; according to an audit by the state's Legislative Finance Committee. APS teachers take off more sick days than the national average among teachers and instructional support staff.
The numbers are provided by APS. In the APS, the absence rate is 8.7%. The national average is 5.2%. Therefore, according the leadership of the APS, and the Journal; APS teachers have 3.5% more absences.
3.5% more, so what? you might wonder.
While their math is technically correct; the real math is that APS teachers have an absence rate that is 67% higher than the national average.
67% higher; and now the problem is more apparent.
The reason the leadership of the APS and Journal, chose to spin the truth, rather than tell the truth, is; absenteeism and employee morale are directly and inversely correlated. And, the leadership of the APS owns the issue of employee morale.
The truth is that, teacher morale in the APS is 67% worse than teacher morale nationally; not 3.5%.
The leadership of the APS is doing a 67% worse job of maintaining and bolstering employee morale;
The failure of the leadership of the APS to inspire and motivate teachers is the fallout from their policy of tolerating and enabling administrative incompetence and corruption.
Morale plummets when administrators decide to spend millions of dollars fixing up their digs on Uptown Blvd, at the expense of teachers and kids in substandard classrooms and schools.
Teachers do not own the absenteeism issue
except on an individual basis. District wide
the leadership of the APS owns the absenteeism issue.
They do not want to be held accountable;
so they have spun the truth;
with the aid and abet of the Journal.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:34 AM
According to the Journal; (link - sub req)
There is a little inter school rivalry building between West Mesa High School and Albuquerque High.
Apparently, some students from AHS went over to WMHS and vandalized WM's mascot; a mustang. They painted it green and strapped a dildo onto its head. The students signed their work with what APS spokesperson Rigo Chavez described as "clues"; "AHS" and paw prints. (Sherlock) recognized that AHS could mean Albuquerque High School, and that paw prints could associated with the AHS mascot; a (bull)dog.
In apparent retaliation; some students from WMHS went over to AHS and did about $10K worth of damage. They left more "clues" like "mustangs" spray painted over the AHS bulldog. The leadership of the APS conceded that "mustangs" could refer to the WMHS mascot which is coincidently a mustang.
The APS leadership's line;
"What people are quick to do is point fingers," Albuquerque High Principal Tim McCorkle said. "... There's no proof my kids did it over there, or their kids did it over here."Another APS administrator, whose name I didn't catch, was on TV to float the idea that some unidentified third party was trying to stir up trouble between schools.
Unclear is any apparent motive behind the expensive and dangerous clandestine operation.
The leadership of the APS has assured the community that they are studying crappy video tapes, in an attempt to identify the perpetrators, from a dozen grainy pixels of each of their faces.
The leadership of the APS spent $700K dollars repairing vandalism last year.
They also a million dollars refurbishing an unnecessary board room. That million alone could have substantially upgraded the District's ability to identify vandals and recover damages.
Instead of installing the necessary lighting and video surveillance to protect schools, they spent millions of dollars refurbishing the Uptown Administrative Complex.
Submitted, as proof of incompetency.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:03 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
A kid has been shot to death.
I am compelled to point out;
- If students in the APS were held accountable to the Pillars of Character Counts;
- if the District was really promoting and modeling the Pillars of Character Counts;
- if the leadership of the APS had not abdicated their responsibilities as role models for students, of the Pillars of Character Counts;
It would be considerably less likely that they would be out throwing golf balls at strangers;
and there would one less dead kid.
They could not be more responsible except that the murder took place on school ground.
The issue of modeling and promoting the Pillars of Character Counts; is not an unimportant issue.
It may very well be the most important issue of all.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:20 AM
In an editorial bull's eye, the journal editorial clearly states the salient points. (link, sub req)
"It's one thing to want to follow federal law. It's another to follow it blindly at the expense of a school district's reputation and an employee's rights. That's apparently what the state hopes to do in the case of Albuquerque Public Schools administrator Elsy Fierro."Consider open government laws. Any one of them can be interpreted in diametrically opposite ways. One uses the law to require the greatest disclosure of the truth, the other uses the law to justify the greatest secrecy.
While lawyers of the latter have a place on earth perhaps;
they do not have a place in public service.
The public should not be paying for the lawyers of corrupt and incompetent public servants, who are trying to escape accountability for their corruption and incompetence. The public should not be paying the salaries of lawyers litigating against the public interest.
The lawyers who's salaries are paid by the public, should be representing the public interest; and they should be litigating against public corruption, incompetence, and the secrecy that enables them.
There are APS administrators who's reputations would suffer if the whole truth were known. There are administrators in the New Mexico Public Education Department, and the New Mexico Educators Ethics Bureau, who's reputations will suffer if the whole truth were known.
There is no other reason to pay lawyers to litigate exception to open government laws.
"Fierro deserves the chance to publicly clear her name. And everyone connected to APS— from the teachers who give F's to the parents who support their kids to the taxpayers who fund the district— deserves to know its officials are held accountable."...according to the Journal.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:28 AM
The APS school board has exactly one employee;
the superintendent of the APS.
They are obligated to evaluate their one employee every year.
Paula Maes and Robert Lucero both said that they didn't really need to do an evaluation this year; they were so pleased with her superintendency that they were prepared to offer Beth Everitt an extension of her contract regardless.
Never the less, the board still has an obligation to complete an honest evaluation her previous year of superintendency; including the principal shuffle, gradegate, and the scandal surrounding the public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the APS Police Department.
They will not; and their evaluation will not be part of the package that Everitt has to shop around before prospective employers.
She was spared an evaluation, apparently in exchange for her resignation.
Which is exactly the way lemons are passed from one school district to another. Which is exactly the way predatory pedophiles are moved from one teaching job to the next.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:54 AM
According to the APS website (link) there will be a Character Counts celebration at James Monroe Middle School.
Apparently the celebration is "student driven" which is particularly encouraging. As I have written before, I believe that Character Counts is far and away, our best opportunity to reach young people on a level which will really make a difference in the lives of students, and in their education.
Also expected to attend the ceremonies are the state Character Counts coordinator Carole Smith and other state representatives.Carole Smith is an APS employee, a director, who works out of an office high up in the Uptown Administrative Complex.
Her claim to fame so far, is to prevent the Character Counts Leadership Council from discussing the fact that the leadership of the APS has abandoned the Pillars of Character Counts as their own personal standard of conduct; that they have abdicated their responsibilities as role models.
Which makes Carole Smith a perfect employee in the eyes of those in the leadership of the APS who wish to except themselves from honest accountability to any meaningful standard of conduct.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:44 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
There is a political cartoon in the Trib tonight; Glasgow's View. I can't find it on line so I can't link you to it.
The gist is that, APS police officers are so feeble and incompetent that arming them results only in a ready source of guns for miscreants. It is not a political cartoon in the sense that it does not illustrate any point in the argument over arming APS police, controversial or otherwise.
It is offensive and based on no facts in evidence.
It is a cheap shot; nothing more.
You're an asshole.
Posted by ched macquigg at 6:48 PM
Say the leadership of the APS; trust us.
They offer no other assurance that incompetence and corruption in the leadership of the APS have been discovered and dealt with, consistent with the public interest.
- They offer no meaningful standards of conduct or competence, against which their conduct and competence can be measured.
- They offer no means, by which allegations of corruption and/or incompetence, will see a principled resolution.
Submitted as proof:
Is it true that the code of ethics recently adopted by the board of education, as their own standard of conduct, is (1) comparatively meaningless* and (2)absolutely unenforceable?
*compared to say; the student standard of conduct.
By her response, you will know the truth;
especially if her response is, to say nothing at all.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:59 AM
State May Drop Ethics Charges in Grade Case
(Journal, sub req)
"State Attorney Bruce Berlin said he tried to contact the student through his mother but was unsuccessful." He would have been looking for permission to have the student's record opened up in a public hearing; thereby ending the controversy over whether or not the hearing needed to be secret from public knowledge.
If the mystery student were willing to be held honestly accountable to a higher standard of conduct; he would open the record of his conduct and competence as a student and accept the consequences.
If Teresa Cordova were willing to be a role model for her son, and honest with her constituents; she would open the record of her conduct and competence as a parent and a county commissioner.
If the leadership of the NM Educator Ethics Bureau, and the NM Public Education Department, were willing to be held accountable for their conduct and competence as public servants; they would not be using legal loopholes and technicalities to deny access to public records.
If the leadership of the APS, were willing to be held accountable for their conduct and competence as public servants; they would open the record of their public service to an honest and impartial forensic audit.
The common thread is obvious; no one is willing to hold themselves honestly accountable to any meaningful standard of conduct. And, they are willing to do anything to except themselves from accountability; even pervert the law.
None of which is being lost on those who look to them
as role models.
“Example has more followers than reason.”
— Christian Nevell Bovee, American author and lawyer (1820-1904)
"Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character."
— Albert Einstein, Swiss-American mathematician, physicist and public philosopher (1879-1955)
"Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike."
— Theodore Roosevelt, American adventurer and 26th president (1858-1919)
"The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he’s born."
— William R. Inge, American playwright (1913-1973)
"If we want our children to possess the traits of character we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are and why they deserve both admiration and allegiance. Children must learn to identify the forms and content of those traits."
— William J. Bennett, author and former U.S. Secretary of Education (b. 1943)
"The formation of character in young people is educationally a different task from and a prior task to, the discussion of the great, difficult ethical controversies of the day."
— William J. Bennett, author and former U.S. Secretary of Education (b. 1943)
"A man's character is his fate."
— Heraclitus, Greek philosopher (c. 540-c. 475 B.C.)
"If you can’t explain what you’re doing in simple English, you’re probably doing something wrong."
— Alfred Kazin, American critic and author (1915-1998)
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:30 AM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
From the Trib; a report by Susie Gran. (link)
The story is the same; Elsy Fierro and her attorney are arguing that she has a right to a public hearing.
The Educator Ethics Bureau and the Public Education Department say they are "required" to conduct the hearing secret from public knowledge.
These are the same people who did an "official" investigation of gradegate and did not interview Beth Everitt on the record. (link)
If they were actually ethical; they would be surrendering the truth to public knowledge. Instead they are doing everything they can to keep it hidden; even in violation of the law.
Their exception to the law is litigated by lawyers
working on the public dime.
There is no good reason to hide the truth.
If there was a good reason; they would offer it
to public scrutiny.
Really, they would.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:54 PM
Our failing schools need more than talk. (link)
The editors place the brunt of the blame on No Child Left Behind. Although there is more than enough anecdotal evidence that, NCLB is causing more harm than good; it is far from the greatest barrier standing between children and a quality education.
If you asked me; or if you asked teachers to tell you what stands between children and their quality education; they would offer;
- that children aren't interested enough in their own education,
- and that children don't have self discipline enough to learn despite their abject lack of interest and/or motivation.
The biggest problem with the NCLB, is that it requires that we teach subjects that don't intrinsically interest or motivate students.
Which is not to say that there are not mandatory subjects. Children for example, should be able to read as a result of their public school education. NCLB compels us to reach that goal by having every single student in every single classroom, reading on the same page, in the same book, and on the same day. The NCLB requires that the book be one that students would not be, at the moment, reading of their own volition.
What if the choice is;
- you teach children what they want to learn. You turn schools into happy places where children are eager and hungry and excited about learning. (And you hope that over the length of their public school education; they have learned all of the things that they need to know to become decent human beings with adequate skills sets for their life.)
- Or, you demand that children learn what you tell them , and when you tell them.
The old saw applies. You can lead a horse to water; but you can't make it drink.
The editors observed;
Among these efforts is a shakeup that, in part, is moving veteran principals from successful schools to unsuccessful ones to fix them. Such rotations might or might not work, but the sheer magnitude of the problem seems to preclude this as the sole solution.correctly.
Still, too much effort and too many resources are being spent in the effort to prove that if you just assign enough administrators, the horse can be made to drink.
The editors echo that sentiment;
Part of the equation, we suspect, might be to test less and teach more.In other words; if we continue doing the same thing,
but we do it more;
we will achieve a different result than the result
we have always achieved, ...always.
Isn't that the definition of crazy?
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:08 AM
Fredrick William “Bill” Reed III has been named director of the APS Police Department.
I have been taken to task by a reader, for not giving him a chance;
"How about we give the guy a chance before we start holding him accountable for other's mistakes."I have been misunderstood.
I have not suggested that the new APS top cop be held accountable for anything; in particular I have not suggested that he be held accountable for the previous public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the APS (police department).
I have asked that he declare his intentions with regard to fixing the problems.
Does he intend to fix things on the QT; protecting all of those who's incompetence and/or corruption led to the debacle? Will he continue the exception to accountability that is enjoyed by the leadership of the APS?
Or, does he intend to fix things openly and above the board; letting the chips fall where they may?
This is an appropriate question for his first day.
It was an appropriate question to ask before he was hired.
I suspect that the question was asked before he was hired. I suspect that he answered the question correctly, and that is why he was hired. I suspect that the answer to the question was that he was in fact, prepared to continue to hide the truth from stakeholders; and protect senior APS administrators from exposure.
The fact that he is stonewalling the question,
tends to indicate that the truth would not sit well with stakeholders.
The stonewalling tends to indicate that he will attempt to fix the problems in the leadership of the APS Police Department, without exposing any of the corruption and incompetence that caused them. It tends to indicate that he is prepared to protect Tom Savage, Gil Lovato, and any others in the leadership who have culpability in the scandal.
He could dissipate the cloud of questions over his head by simply answering them. And if he won't; then we have real reason to suspect his intentions.
... even from the very first day.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:16 AM
The Journal reports;" (sub req)
A state hearing officer has closed today's ethics hearing for Albuquerque Public Schools administrator Elsy Fierro, citing concerns about student records.So who are you going to believe when conflicting stories emerge; the person who wants the whole thing open and above the board, or those who want the whole thing done in secret?
Attorney Gail Stewart has filed a motion in state District Court to open the hearing on behalf of Fierro, but Judge Nan Nash is not scheduled to consider the matter until Nov. 8.
"They don't have a right to close this hearing," Stewart said. "Dr. Fierro wants it to be an open hearing."
APS/Modrall, the NM Educator Ethics Bureau, and the NM Public Education Department, all have a lot to hide. The previous investigation, conducted by the NMPED and NMEEB, did not include interviews with Superintendent Everitt, any other teachers or the parents.
Beth Everitt has still to make any statement, on the record, and under oath, regarding her participation in the grade change. The investigation, and the whole process including the hearing today, smack of incompetence and/or blatant public corruption.
Or, business as usual. (link)
Posted by ched macquigg at 7:57 AM
Monday, October 22, 2007
Link to a previous essay; Role models, schmole models
The student standard of conduct; if applied to the new
APS Chief of Police, would require that he sit and
answer questions regarding the public interest,
and regarding his public service.
... candidly, honestly, forthrightly.
If we want students to come to believe that,
their character counts; we acquire obligations.
Not the least of which is, we are required to show students what a commitment to character looks like.
Character is taught by modeling;
in fact, it is taught only by modeling.
Every generation tells the following generation,
a story about George Washington.
That story is among the first stories told to children
for a reason. It is because the first rule is:
you have to obey all of the other rules.
And the difference between children and adults
is who enforces the first rule;
is the control internal or external?
We begin with the story about holding one's self accountable to illustrate the importance of holding one's self accountable for one's conduct.
And the importance holding one's self accountable to a higher standard of conduct than the law; the lowest standard of acceptable conduct.
Every generation expects the next generation,
to be the first to hold itself honestly accountable
to a higher standard of conduct.
But their talk is not their walk.
By following the example that is set for them,
every following generation learns to
except itself from accountability
to any standard of conduct at all.
The average student in the APS has no idea what
is going on in the leadership of the APS.
But what is going on their sets the tone for
the entire organization.
Students may not see the corruption first hand,
but they will certainly and inevitably, feel it.
Mr. Reed will or will not hold a "town meeting";
there, to win the confidence and trust of stakeholders;
to remove the cloud of suspicion
over the administration of the APS police department.
No one in the leadership of the APS
will simply sit and answer a legitimate questions.
Not one, will model and promote
the student standard of conduct. Not one,
will hold themselves honestly accountable to
the Pillars of Character Counts; not even the
School Board President Paula Maes; President of the
Character Counts Leadership Council.
Not even Carole Smith, an APS senior administrator
whose job it is to model and promote
the Pillars of Character Counts;
the administrator most directly accountable for
the character and conduct of a hundred thousand
of our sons and daughters.
Role models or schmole models?
Town meeting or no town meeting?
You will not read about this in the Journal or the Trib.
nor will you see it on the news.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:05 AM
Saturday, October 20, 2007
If, when the leadership of the APS when searching for a top cop, they hired someone who intends not to be candid, forthright, and honest about the public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the APS (Police Department);
what makes you think they won't
use that same criteria to hire the new superintendent?
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:55 AM
What does it mean to be honest?
You would get ten, at least slightly different answers.
As Character Counts Trainers; we had a definition that we represented as the truth, that we taught to children. I personally taught the standard to thousands of students, community members and even a governor. I know what I am talking about.
If you are curious about this standard; a widely recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct, you may first source here. It is well worth the read.
In any event, the leadership of the APS requires that students be held accountable to a very specific higher standard of conduct.
Despite the fact that they are the senior role models for almost a hundred thousand of our sons and daughters, the leaders of the APS will not hold themselves accountable to that same standard of conduct; they refuse to role model accountability to the student standard of conduct. The have methodically and deliberately abdicated as role models. And kept it all secret from stakeholders.
Submitted as proof;
The Journal and Everitt would have you believe that;
"She" (Everitt) also wants more public reporting from the police agency, as well as some type of public oversight of the department."Yet the Journal and Everitt are still being less than honest about the lack of oversight which precipitated Lovato's firing, and Everitt's resignation. Their production of the truth, their "honesty",
falls below the student standard of honest production; far below.
Fortunately for them, the "leadership" of the APS is not accountable to the student standard of conduct. They are not accountable to any code of conduct that actually uses the word ethical. They are not accountable even to the law; as irrefutably proven by their record.
The Journal and Everitt would have you believe that;
the Journal and Everitt ""... want to make sure everything is as transparent as possible...".
All you have to do to believe in that transparency,
all you have to do to maintain your faith in
the character of the leadership of the APS,
all you have to do to defend your faith
in the journalistic integrity of the Journal (et al)
is to come up with a good reason why
the leadership of the APS
does not have to hold itself honestly accountable
to the student standard of conduct.
As the senior role models in the district, how can
they simply except themselves from accountability
to the same standards of conduct and honesty
that they establish and enforce upon students?
Come up with a good reason why the leadership of the APS should not be absolutely and honestly accountable to the student standard of conduct,
for eight measly hours a day.
And then please come up with a good reason why
the Journal and Everitt have not, and will never,
explain, defend, or even acknowledge that reason in the paper, and on the record.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:38 AM
Friday, October 19, 2007
According to an article in the Trib, here; Board Member Delores Griego has alleged a prejudice in the leadership of the APS, against south valley schools; and that they have not been treated equally.
"What has happened the last seven years?" Griego asked. "This is not equality in a school system."It is a serious allegation.
She has offered no facts to substantiate her allegation.
Oddly, an administrative accountability audit
would absolutely substantiate her claims.
And she is yet to join Board Member Marty Esquivel
in calling for that audit.
It is almost as if she is selling out
the interests of her constituents in favor of supporting
those who's interests are served by avoiding
an honest audit of the conduct and competence
of the leadership of the APS.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:43 PM
The Trib covered the policy committee meeting with two stories, here, and here.
Between the two articles, readers found out about the name of the new high school and about the fact that the committee gave a "do pass" recommendation on the motion to arm the APS police.
The article did not reveal the administration's plan to hold employees accountable for their conduct out of school and away from students.
The Trib chose not to inform union members that their unions have been left out of the decision making process; again. The Trib chose not to give employees the opportunity to protest the fact that they were denied meaningful participation in a decision that affects their interests; again; that their trust has been betrayed; again.
They have been denied a chance to protest the fact that the leadership of the APS is going hold employees accountable to a higher standard of conduct than their own. They have been denied the opportunity to protest the fact that, the leadership of the APS cannot demonstrate by their record, that they are accountable to any standard of conduct at all.
... bad Trib. bad.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:30 PM
He was the Division Commander of Field Services, and a Captain in the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the APS website; Supt. Everitt said. “We believe Mr. Reed will help rebuild the respect and trust that the department deserves.”
Mr. Reed could go a long way toward "rebuilding the respect and trust the department deserves" by simply stating on the record that he had nothing to do with the criminal misuse of the BCSO criminal background checking privilege by the leadership of the APS; and that he had no, and has no, guilty knowledge of that alleged public corruption and conspiracy.
Which begs another question; if he didn't know about the repeated felony criminal abuse of the background check system; why didn't he? He was the division commander of field services, and a captain, right?
It is unfortunate that there is no reporter to ask him those questions, and no newspaper willing to print his response.
He could end the stonewalling; he could offer to comply with the spirit of the inspection of public records act.
He could answer a legitimate question by telling the truth; candidly, forthrightly, and honestly.
and if not, then it will seem like the leadership of the APS has in fact bought his silence, and the APS Police Department is again, their Praetorian Guard. (link)
Posted by ched macquigg at 6:59 PM
Open government laws were created in recognition of the right of the public to know the fate of the power and resources that they have entrusted to public servants.
Exceptions to the law were written to provide for the (rare) situation where the public interest is genuinely, honestly, legitimately served by secrecy. It is clear that exception was created only to serve the public interest.
A toe in the door, is what those legitimate exceptions represent to unscrupulous public servants. Those who want to keep more and more secrets about what they are doing with public power and resources. They hire lawyers to pry the crack wider and wider open; in order to hide more and more from voters and taxpayers.
The odd and particularly upsetting irony, is that those public servants and their lawyers are using public resources to keep their incompetence and corruption secret. Public power and resources are being used against the public interest, and in plain view.
It is in the public interest to know about the public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the APS; both in the leadership of the police force, and in their financial department.
It is information voters need in order to hold board members accountable at election. It is information they need to decide whether or not to support bond issues and mill levies.
It is the self interests of Darren White and Beth Everitt, which are being served by keeping the records of corruption and incompetence secret. Both are responsible (either directly, or indirectly through their lack of oversight over subordinates and resources) for felony criminal misconduct surrounding the illegal criminal background checks.
If Kari Brandenburg has a personal interest, some exposure of her character and competence, I am unaware of it. Never the less, she too refuses to inform the public as fully as the spirit of the Inspection of Public Records Act requires.
She has a lawyer, paid for by taxpayers, to litigate for herself, an exception to the law.
Darren White has a lawyer, paid for by taxpayers, to litigate for himself, an exception to the law.
The leadership of the APS has many, many lawyers, paid for by taxpayers, to litigate for themselves, an exception to the law.
Lawyers litigating, not in the public interest,
but in the interests of public servants who wish
to except themselves from the law.
Lawyers litigating to keep secret from public
knowledge, the fate of the power and resources
that have been entrusted to public servants.
What is the fate of the public trust and treasure?
... shouldn't someone do something?
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:29 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
It was announced at the policy committee meeting this afternoon; that the administrative leadership of the APS would like to hold teachers and other employees accountable for their conduct outside of school and away from students.
The five other jaws dropped as one when Board Member
Marty Esquivel said, OK, but if we're going to do this
thing for employees; it should be for board members too.
Robert Lucero was so stunned that he didn't inform Mr. Esquivel that the board is not accountable to the employee code of conduct because they are not really "employees". Lawyer Melendrez from Modrall has offered his expert legal opinion that in fact, board members are not covered by the employee code of conduct because they are not really "employees".
Lucero did ask Superintendent Everitt if the board could hold principals accountable outside of their work and contact with students.
Everitt said that there was no "final agreement" with the principals; hoping people would assume that, that meant an agreement was near. Then she described the conversation as "very preliminary". That's APS spin-speak for, they haven't talked about it at all; an allegation easily verified by asking any principal.
APS Executive Director of Human Resources Trybus was there to run a few ideas for changes in the employee code of conduct, by the board;
- The Administration would like to hold teachers and other employees accountable for misconduct outside of school and away from students.
- They would like to do random background checks on employees.
- They would like to require employees to inform supervisors if they have been arrested, and not yet convicted of a crime.
- When asked, lawyer Melendrez informed the board that they could get away with it "legally".
All of this will be news to the employee unions.
When (I think it was Mr. Esquivel who) asked what the employee unions thought about all of this; Trybus informed the board that union representatives have not participated in the policy development so far.
I think it was Robert Lucero who offered that teachers and other employees could have input into the policies after they were implemented and during contract negotiations.
You see, it's not really about whether or not employees should be accountable to their employer for what they do when they are not at work;
it is about the leadership of the APS saying that they intend change with regard to communication and stakeholder participation, only to betray the trust of stakeholders, over and over again.
Fool me once, shame on you;
fool me twice, shame on me.
How can anyone possibly believe APS leadership?
How many times will they look us in the eye,
promise to improve communication,
and then betray our trust;
before we finally concede that they can not be trusted?
And that there is a reason that they have
excepted themselves from accountability to any
standard of conduct that prohibits a betrayal of trust?
Posted by ched macquigg at 6:28 PM
According to your lawyer,
Bernalillo County Attorney Jeffery Landers;
Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White can hide the public records of investigations into the criminal misuse of the criminal background check system under his oversight.
Despite the fact that the public records might demonstrate that White has some culpability in the public corruption and criminal conspiracy, Sheriff White can continue to secret the record from public knowledge because the investigations of the criminal misconduct fall under the "self-critical" analysis privilege. The privilege allows members of the privileged class to investigate their own misconduct and then claim exception to the public records act based on the fact that they investigated the misconduct themselves. (?)
In the language of legal weaselry, is sounds thus;
You cannot have the public records because they are excepted from the NMIPRA under the self-critical examination privilege, and
"... courts decline to require the production of these documents absent an en camera inspection and some sort of protective order. In addition, reports or other documents related to investigations conducted by governmental entities also contain information that is protected by “deliberative process privilege.”
At this point we continue to maintain that the documents are exempt from production.
You may treat this email as a denial."
"we" meaning the bad guys and their lawyers;
all of whom are public servants, and all of whom are
supposedly serving the public interest.
... like hell they are.
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:22 AM
Where character counts, when an agenda item reads discussion/action, it means that stakeholders will participate meaningfully in the discussion of an issue and in deciding whether or not an action will be taken.
In the APS, discussion/action means that a very few administrators and board members will get together to discuss an issue and then take action; both, without any meaningful stakeholder participation.
Despite their often iterated claims of an interest in improving communication between the APS leadership and stakeholders; there is a discussion/action item on the agenda today, and the community knows nothing about it.
III. Code of Conduct for APS Employees (Discussion/Action)They have complied with the minimum requirements of open government laws by posting the agenda in a "public place" at least 24 hours before the meeting. Never mind that the "public place" isn't public at all. A half million dollar a year "communication" department, and the best they can do is an obscure post on an unusable website.
Consider please the following points having to do with the Code of Conduct for APS Employees, and what happens when the leadership of the APS gets together to discuss and take action on their accountability to any meaningful standard of conduct;
- Robert Lucero and the board disposed of a motion which would have required, as a matter of enforceable policy, that administrators and board members would have to answer legitimate questions (honestly).
- Mary Lee Martin disposed of a motion which would have held administrators and board members honestly accountable to the student standard of conduct.
- They created a whistle blower policy the deliberately denied protection to those who exposed administrative misconduct, unless the misconduct actually broke the law. They denied protection to those who expose ethical misconduct.
- They excepted themselves from any accountability to the student standard of conduct; they abdicated their responsibilities and obligations as role models for students.
- They removed the following statement from their own code of conduct; in no case shall the standard of conduct for an adult be lower than the standard for students.
- They then lowered their own standard of conduct; it no longer contains the word “ethical”.
- Robert Lucero and Modrall claim that the board is not accountable even to the lowered standard of conduct, because; they are not “really” employees.
- The board then adopted its own code of ethics. Compared to the student standard of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts, the board standard is meaningless.
- Their new code of “ethics” does not include the word ethics, except in the title.
- By their own admission, the board’s new code of “ethics” is absolutely unenforceable.
- Robert Lucero offered that maybe the board could get the legislature to legislate a code of ethics that included "real" accountability.
- They have refused, with the exception of Mr. Marty Esquivel, to allow an independent audit of accountability in the administration of the APS.
- They spend a half a million dollars a year to spin the truth to stakeholders.
- They are hiding public records of felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of the APS.
- They are violating the spirit and intent of the Inspection of Public Records Act.
- They have removed the public forum from the public record.
- They pay their Board President Paula Maes/Modrall law firm millions of dollars a year to litigate exception to the law for the leadership of the APS.
They will not because they can not.
Where character counts; there are newspapers and news media who investigate and report upon the truth.
The leadership of the media know about each of the points listed above. They know them to be true. They have known, through at least three election cycles, and refused to inform stakeholder taxpayers and voters.
Where character counts; there are role models who will demonstrate before children, honor, and courage, and character.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:29 AM
The policy committee is supposed to meet at 5pm today.
There are at least two items on the agenda which warrant attention;
- Code of Conduct for APS Employees (Discussion/Action) and
- Board of Education Policy and Procedural Directive on APS Police and Fire Arms (Discussion/Action)
The Employee Code of Conduct discussion/action comes as a surprise. There has been no previous mention of another change in the already pathetically inadequate policy. It is hard to believe that it could be watered down any more than it already is.
Employees are no longer accountable as role models of the student standard of conduct; and administrators are no longer accountable to any code of conduct which uses the word "ethical".
The discussion/action on firearms policy and directives (the issue of whether or not APS Police Officers will be allowed to arm themselves 24/7) is again on the agenda.
If board members Lucero and Griego are able to derail the process again, it will be at least another month before officers are armed.
Worth noting; a gun was recently taken from a student at West Mesa High School amid heightening gang tensions.
Tip of the hat to the brave APS officers who confront armed students; themselves woefully unarmed.
Posted by ched macquigg at 7:47 AM
There was no discussion of either the accountability audit or of the arming of APS Police on the agenda.
I went to listen to the public forum and Matters of Information.
A number of parents spoke at the public forum about the home hospital program for students who have medical problems which keep them from attending school.
The parents were upset that the program is apparently underfunded and cannot provide textbooks or testing space for students. They were also upset that a teacher had been removed from the (already stretched thin) line up and replaced with yet another administrator.
Beth Everitt defended the program and insisted it has her support.
I can find nothing about the program on the district website.
Posted by ched macquigg at 7:37 AM
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
According to the APS website, the spin goes like this;
Wilson Middle School went into lockdown at around 9:45 a.m. today, Wednesday, Oct. 17 due to a small amount of an unknown liquid a student brought to school grounds. APS and city officials investigated and determined the substance was harmless. The lockdown was lifted at about 10:15 a.m. All students are safe.
Is it just me, or does this seem to you
like only part of the whole story?
Posted by ched macquigg at 1:43 PM
Does it not follow that, there must be something to hide?
Posted by ched macquigg at 11:46 AM
It turns out that there is a very good reason why there are departments of Internal Affairs who investigate allegations of misconduct.
If a public agency, say Darren White's Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office, investigates itself; the results of the investigation can be kept secret from the public, through loopholes and technicalities in the Inspection of Public Records Act such as the "self-critical" analysis privilege.
So if Darren White investigated his own involvement in permitting the leadership of the APS, the criminal misuse of the the criminal background check system under his oversight, he can hide the truth under the guise of self-critical analysis; and prevent the disclosure of public records that prove he betrayed the public trust.
The same is true with the leadership of the APS, which also investigates itself when an allegation of misconduct is leveled.
It is interesting that they actually call it a "privilege".
Usually the privileged class is a little more discreet
when exercising their "privilege"
of self exception to the law.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:56 AM
But they aren't.
Your interests are served by finding the truth about the public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools and the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.
Kari Brandenburg is serving someone other than you. She is serving the interests of those who do not want the truth to be made public. In this case; that would be Beth Everitt and Darren White. Neither of them want you to know the truth about how members of the leadership of the APS and the BCSO conducted illegal background searches; felony criminal misconduct.
Darren White in particular, does not want the truth to be part of his campaign for congress.
Evidence of the misconduct was supposedly turned over to Kari Brandenburg. She was to determine if criminal misconduct had taken place; and whether or not criminal charges would be filed. That was months and months ago.
I would like to know if she has done anything at all. I would like to know if she is just sitting on the evidence; waiting until I am the only one who cares anymore.
I would like to know if she has betrayed the public trust.
So I made a request for the public record. I requested a "billing statement" or other public record, that shows that the DA's office has spent even one hour investigating the public interests in this scandal.
In response to the request; Kari Brandenburg wrote;
"Records from ongoing investigations and pending prosecutions are not subject to the Public Record Act."Kari Brandenburg, unless she is the Custodian of Public Records for the District Attorney's Office; had no business responding to the request. Her responsibility under the law, if she is not the rightful Custodian of Public Records, was to immediately forward the request to the rightful custodian of records.
There are two kinds of public records in the custody of the District Attorney; those that are related to the scandal in the APS police department; and every other record they hold. There is one record in common to both groups; the record that shows whether or not the investigation has even taken place.
Brandenburg claims that record is so much a part of the investigation of public corruption in the APS/BCSO scandal; that it cannot be made public in the public interest.
Sounds like legal weaselry to me.
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:39 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
What do you think?
DA Kari Brandenburg took receipt of a request for public records on Monday the 8th of October, 2007.
The request was for the public records which would document that her office had spent even one hour investigating the evidence of public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the APS.
She refuses to surrender those records. I believe that she will not surrender them because they are evidence of my suspicion that she has not investigated the issue at all.
I suspect that she has not spent even one hour examining the evidence. She has not, because the evidence is evidence of public corruption, including felony criminal misconduct; that she has no intention of prosecuting.
And now she is apparently refusing to identify by name, the Custodian of Public Records for the Office of the 2nd Judicial District Attorney's Office. I asked her straight out for the name and contact information. She responded without revealing the name, and apparently in the capacity of, the rightful custodian of public records.
In general, the public records in question, are of the same public corruption and criminal conspiracy that Darren White is hiding at the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office, and that the leadership of the APS/Modrall is hiding in the APS.
... just thought you'd like to know.
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:48 PM
APS school board policy requires that children be taught that their character counts. Board policy requires teachers to teach students that their character is important and worthy of protection even at some sacrifice.
Students are taught; if you are a public servant and you have in your possession public records; and if you are a public servant of character, you will surrender to public knowledge more documents than the law requires; and you will keep secret, fewer records than the law allows.
In particular, if you are a public servant of character; you will surrender even those records of your own incompetence or corruption.
Yet by our example;
We teach children that self exception from accountability is an accoutrement of power. If you are powerful enough, you can ignore any rule; even the law.
Upton Sinclair pointed out that; we should not be so worried that our children are not listening to us; as we should be worried that they are watching us.
Go APS leadership (senior role models for 99,000 kids).
go Darren White (senior role model for the BCSO).
go Kari Brandenburg (senior role model for law enforcement).
go local "news".
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:05 AM
for information about your interests in the public schools, you can read about what students will be eating this week in the APS.
You will not read about a board meeting scheduled for tomorrow night. Nor will you read about a policy committee meeting the following night.
Consider the number of people who care what kids will be eating. Consider the number of people who care about the issue of arming school police 24 hrs a day; and the number of people who care about the issue of an administrative accountability audit.
Consider how deeply interested are the stakeholders.
If you were a newspaper person; which issues would you investigate and report upon, and which issues would you ignore?
Posted by ched macquigg at 9:56 AM
He hopes that he will not have to tell the truth about the public corruption and criminal conspiracy that made use of public resources under his oversight.
He is stonewalling.
Stonewalling is the only defense of an indefensible position.
He cannot explain how the leadership of the APS did illegal criminal background checks on his computers.
So he will stonewall; and hope it never makes the papers.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:58 AM
Suppose that an honest APS administrative accountability audit is done.
It will reveal that the administration of the APS has weak and/or non-existent standards of conduct and competence for administrators or board members.
It will reveal that there is no system under which complaints against administrators or board members will receive a fair and impartial adjudication.
It will reveal that as a result of lax standards and weak accountability, that there are a number of administrators who are unqualified for their positions by virtue of their incompetence and/or their lack of character.
How many? That is the really tough question. It depends of course, on exactly how incompetence and corruption are defined for the purpose of the audit.
There are enough that their removal and/or remediation will be felt; a significant, appreciable, and positive change will take place in the leadership of the APS.
An indication of how widespread the corruption and incompetence is, is the fact that there is not a single APS administrator advocating for an immediate and impartial audit; despite the fact that such an audit is not a threat except to the corrupt and the incompetent.
Another indicator, is the effort that is being made to keep the subject of an audit from public knowledge. The local media would not have forfeited their credibility and reputations were there not a lot powerful people using their influence over the media to cover up the scandal;
powerful people who's record of public service will not survive an audit.
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:30 AM
Sunday, October 14, 2007
If there is a common thread among APS plans for reform; it is that they are all prefaced by; let's forget about the past. Let's focus instead upon the future.
The flaw in that plan is that you bring into your future;
all of the same corrupt and incompetent people
who screwed up the past. They bring with them,
no meaningful standards of conduct or competence,
and no system by which they can be held accountable
to any standards at all. Not one will bring with them
a reason to behave any differently than before.
Some elephants are too big to ignore.
Consider for example the plight of the new superintendent. Assume that the result of the search is that we have the selected and hired the absolute best superintendent on the planet.
S/he will inherit:
- An administration that is wracked with incompetence and corruption.
- Those who are not corrupt and/or incompetent, have guilty knowledge of those who are.
- There are no meaningful standards of conduct or competence.
- There is no system under which any administrator or board member is accountable even to the law.
- The entire institution, with the exception of one board member, is on record as opposing any effort to expose and eliminate corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS.
- There will have been no audit of accountability in the administration of the public trust and treasure in the APS.
- Not one single administrator will be identified as holding a position for which they are unqualified by their lack of competence, or of character.
- And the local newspapers and media are covering up.
These allegations could be absolutely and completely rebutted by the identification of even a single meaningful standard of conduct or competence to which anyone in the leadership of the APS is honestly accountable.
Not even a hundred thousand dollar a year spin doctor
can spin nonexistent standards and accountability
out of thin air.
Not in response to me; not even to restore the credibility and reputation of the leadership of the APS.
She, like those hiding behind her, is reduced to stonewalling.
All they can do is stonewall.
Now tell me that even the world's best superintendent
has a snowball's chance in hell
of accomplishing anything at all.
Posted by ched macquigg at 7:22 PM
will be commissioned in order to expose corruption, incompetence, and their underlying enablers; equivocal, weak, or absent standards of conduct and competence, and a lack of accountability to standards of conduct and competence.
If it is such a bad idea;
why will no one speak out against it?
If it is such a good idea;
why will no one speak out in favor?
Why is Mr. Marty Esquivel still standing alone?
Posted by ched macquigg at 1:39 PM
The leadership of the local media have picked a side.
On the overall issue of; should public servants be transparently accountable for their conduct and competence by means of annual accountability audits?;
and on the more specific issue of; whether or not the leadership of the APS should be immediately accountable to such an audit;
The Journal, the Trib, KOB, KOAT, KRQE, KKOB, the Alibi, ..., have all picked a side on the issue.
They stand together, and they stand against transparent accountability in public service by means of annual, impartial, accountability audits.
They can refute that allegation by spinning the truth.
"We not taken a side against audits, nor in favor; we have taken no stand at all."I would rebut without hesitation.
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:59 PM
Proof that you no longer have any control over the power and resources that you entrust to public servants
comes in the form of public servants who refuse to answer questions about what they are doing with that power and those resources.
Darren White, for example, refuses to answer questions about the (abuse of) power and resources entrusted to him.
So if he is elected to congress, will he continue to refuse to answer questions about what he is doing with the power and resources that have been entrusted to him?
I think he will.
And for that reason alone, you should not vote for him.
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:00 PM
In an apparently exclusive report, KOB TV (link) reports escalating tensions between rival gangs at West Mesa High School. In a related incident, a WMHS student was arrested for felony possession of a semi-automatic pistol with a semi full magazine, on school grounds.
The story begs a few questions. The first is; the district decided not to make the truth about escalating gang tension at WMHS available to stakeholders. Is the district correct in hiding the truth from stakeholders? Is it in the best interests of stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, community) to keep them in the dark about the situation at West Mesa High School?
Many would argue that it is not. Stakeholders have a right to make their decisions based on the (whole) truth. Perhaps if parents knew that their child was increasingly likely to become the victim of gang violence at school, they might make a decision to mitigate that risk; up to and including enrolling their child in a different school.
Another question; who is in charge at West Mesa High School; adults or gangsters?
If the gangsters are in charge; the truth is self evident; they are wearing their gangster uniforms in school, in open defiance of the rules. If they are sagging, they are in charge at West Mesa High School.
This in not about sagging; it is about the permission of prohibited behavior.
It is about who is in charge in school.
This essay is not an indictment of West Mesa High School. That the gun was found as WMHS, is mostly their bad luck. There are deadly weapons in close proximity to every high school in Albuquerque.
Nor is it an indictment even of WMHS administration.
The responsibility for the situation at WMHS, and at every other school in the APS; the responsibility for the fact that students are in charge in schools, falls squarely on the shoulders of the leadership of the APS. It is they, who have failed to generate even one plan to regain control over children in schools. Their response to date, is to leave thugs in place and ig nored.
Major gang violence in a high school is only a heartbeat away. While the tension does build perceptibly and over time; the climax will be precipitous. Some day, some kid is going to "look" at another in the wrong way. Dozens of adult sized children will be fighting. There will be weapons used. There will be injuries; maybe there will be a death.
It is not a matter of "if" it will happen.
it is a matter only of, when will it happen.
In preparation for that day;
should we be arming ourselves with the truth, and with candid and forthright discussions of the truth?
Or should we be hiring more executive directors of communication to keep the problem from being discussed at all?
We need to do something soon, or a child is going to die.
Do we look at the truth in the light of day,
or do continue to hide the truth and hope nothing happens?
... your call.
Posted by ched macquigg at 10:48 AM
Saturday, October 13, 2007
The intention of the law is clear;
Darren White is to surrender the public record.
He refuses; in violation of (at least the spirit of) the law.
There is what a law is supposed to mean, and then there is what unscrupulous lawyers can litigate it into meaning.
Those who wrote, and voted for the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (link) meant;
"The law requires public access to virtually all public records. ... with "a few legitimate exceptions..."Those who seek to except themselves from accountability to the law, will litigate anything into falling under those few exceptions.
They do not do so legitimately; mostly they do it with loopholes, technicalities and legal weaselry. All of which are paid for with public resources.
Darren White has an obligation to tell the truth about the public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the APS, that lead to the criminal misuse of computers systems under his oversight.
Instead, his lawyers (who's salaries you pay,) will delay the surrender of public records for as long as they can
which is a very, very long time.
Taxpayers are underwriting the cost of corrupt public official's efforts to except themselves from accountability to the law.
There is only one reason to hide the truth; the truth hurts.
In this affair, those who sit at the desk where the buck stops have a reason to suppress public records; they are covering their asses.
Less clear, is why District Attorney Kari Brandenburg is suppressing the truth. Perhaps it is just a courtesy being extended among members of the privileged class.
Less clear still, why the media will not ask Darren White, Beth Everitt, or Kari Brandenburg to explain, defend, or even acknowledge the public records that are being suppressed unethically.
Perhaps that too is simply privilege being extended among members of the privileged class.
Posted by ched macquigg at 12:17 PM
"The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "eeriness", "strangeness", or "weirdness". ..."
According to the Journal; (link) (sub req.)
APS has purchased another multi million dollar software package that doesn't work. And they have a million dollar "maintenance" contract with a company that doesn't return phone calls.
Those who are trying to use the system at the educational interface, say, "What used to take me fifteen or twenty minutes ...now can take up to two hours."
Teachers and counselors think the program is a piece of crap.
District officials think the problem comes from the program's use by the great unwashed,
who are dumbfounded by more powerful programs,
and who have inherent difficulty with change.
Will it happen again?
- According to the Council of the Great City Schools audit; the administrator who spent 233.3 teacher salaries on the system, did not have to demonstrate by any objective means, that s/he had the education, experience, or skill set necessary to purchase multi million dollar software packages. The administrator who has not, and will not be identified, was promoted to his or her position according to an evaluation system that is "subjective and unrelated to promotion or step placement."
- Further, the purchase of the software was not supported by any stakeholder participation in the selection process. It was selected to address the needs of administrators. Teachers and counselors, those who would end up using the software, were never asked what they wanted/needed from a software package.
- Finally, the system is not going to change as a result of this most recent calamity. The district cannot produce any record that indicates a change in the evaluation of administrators, since the CotGCS audit.
We will consult my Magic 8-Ball
... it says ... ... ...
duh ! !!
Posted by ched macquigg at 8:40 AM
Friday, October 12, 2007
The leadership of the APS does not call it a hypocrisy parade of course, they are calling it a Character Counts Parade. It will be held on October 19th at Tiquex Park.
The activity is for the only stakeholders that the leadership of the APS, still expects to model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts; elementary school students.
They have given up a middle and high school because parades don't work any more. Students are old enough and sophisticated enough that parades are no longer enough to get a them to commit to lead a life of accountability to a higher standard of conduct; to lead lives of courage and character and honor.
At this point in their lives they need examples to follow; they have seen too many adults who say one thing and then do another, to follow someone who isn't walking the talk.
Teachers are no longer required to walk the talk. They are required, by board policy, to teach students that their character counts. They are not required by board policy to show students what that looks like.
In their defense; most teachers don't know that their standard of conduct has been lowered. Most probably assume that board policy still says; in no case shall the standard of conduct for adults be lower than the standard for students. It doesn't.
That language was removed by the leadership of the APS in order to except themselves from accountability as role models of the student standard of conduct. They are no longer accountable to a standard of conduct that has the word ethical in it.
The leadership of the APS will not model accountability to the student standard of conduct. They cannot expect middle and high schools students to ignore their hypocrisy; so character no longer counts except for the youngest of students.
The salary equivalent of two or three teachers is paid to an administrator in charge of APS Character Counts. (link) I invite you to visit the site. Click on a few of the links and see what has been going on lately. Judge for yourself whether the person in charge would survive an honest accountability audit of the conduct and competence of the leadership of the APS.
Posted by ched macquigg at 7:31 PM