Saturday, December 22, 2007

APS' Ethics and Accountability Issues Are Real

No one in the leadership of the APS has denied it.

Not even Monica Armenta can look stakeholders in the eye and say; "ethics and accountability issues in the leadership of the APS are insignificant."

And the
significant number of ethics and accountability issues; are just the tip of the iceberg. They are the manifest proof that

the system tolerates and enables incompetence and corruption.

It is easy to fix the system.

  1. You audit.
  2. You eliminate the corrupt, the incompetent, and the practices that enable them.
The problem is that many of those whose records cannot survive an audit, are reluctant to surrender their comfortable circumstances.

They are powerful, and they are able to protect themselves from accountability by means of
"win at any cost" litigation , underwritten by virtually unlimited and unwitting taxpayer support of "education".

They are further protected by the media.

The President of the APS School Board,
Paula Maes,
is also the President and CEO of the
NM Broadcasters Association, so you know she is hooked up with powerful people in the "news".

She is married to the president of the
Modrall law firm, which makes millions of dollars litigating exception to the law for the leadership of the APS, so you know she is hooked up with powerful people in the "justice" system.

As a manifestation of her own character; and as the President of the
Character Counts Leadership Council; she renounced the student standard of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts, as the standard of her own conduct as the APS' most senior public role model.

This is the privileged class.
And this is crap.

Torches and pitchforks;

in all of history, only they have displaced the privileged from their seats of privilege.

In all of history; nothing else ever has.

The privileged cannot be expected to simply give up their privilege.

Those who expect that they will, want that which has never been, and that which will never be.

It takes a whole bunch of people carrying torches and pitchforks to wrest the privileged from their seats of privilege. It has always worked, it's the only thing that ever will. But only if you have enough guys.

We're gonna need more guys.

How worried are they, do you think, about this little blog and the fifty or so people a day who read it?

"You pick a side, when you don't pick a side."

Linda Sink's Lock on the Superintendency

Zsombor Peter writes in this morning's Journal (no available link) that Linka Sink's appointment as interim superintendent may limit the number of applicants who may want to apply for the job.

Although Peter's writing is leagues ahead of the competition, the Journal's other education writer Andrea Schoellkopf, and the Trib's Susie Gran,
he has still missed the point.

Sink's leverage in the process doesn't come from her interim appointment, but from the reason why she is the interim appointment; she is willing to protect the good ole boys in the leadership of the APS from an audit that will expose their incompetence and corruption. She is willing to be a willing participant in the cover up of the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS. She is willing to stonewall legitimate questions about the public interest in the public schools;

even at the cost of her own character.

The perfect candidate for the APS Superintendent.

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Ms. Sink", Johnny blurted out.

"Yes Johnny" acknowledged Ms. Sink, his teacher.

Little Johnny said, "I have a question. What should I say when someone asks me if I will hold myself honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct."

"Well Johnny, the first thing you do is consult with your lawyers. They can best tell you how to avoid honest accountability for your lack of accountability", Ms. Sink advised the impressionable young man.

"Thank you Ma'am, Johnny said.

epilogue; Little Johnny is grown up now and
working for APS/Modrall, litigating against the public interest,
and making a ton of money.

APS Police or, APS Security

The APS will not have a "police" department any time soon. Although they will continue to sport all the education, training and armament of a police force; they will not be able to call themselves a police department without legislative approval. With the exception of eligibility for federal grants and the ability to do their own background checks, it appears to be a distinction without a difference.

Neither name in truth is appropriate.

For as long as the department is accredited by only the leadership of the APS, for as long as it is certificated only by the leadership of the APS, for as long as it is accountable only to the leadership of the APS; the department is the APS Praetorian Guard.

At the departmental level, the APS Police are the enforcement wing of APS' "culture of retribution and retaliation." They exist to insulate the administration and school board from accountability for their misconduct.

Consider former APS Superintendent Michael Vigil. When he, in the wee hours of the morning, was being arrested for an aggravated DUI, he wanted to call Gil Lovato, then Chief of the APS Police.

Why? do you think.

Why have Gil Lovato and his lawyer Sam Bregman averred that if they get the chance to tell the truth in court, "there won't be a senior administrator left standing in the APS"?

Is it because Lovato and the APS Police have been hiding the bodies for years?

The Journal, the Trib, Tempting a Journalistic Malpractice Lawsuit

I listened with interest to a talk radio host who was pondering the improvement in our lives that would follow a few successful journalistic malpractice suits.

Consider the damage that the Journal and Trib are doing with respect to their cover up of the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS. If only they could be sued for negligence and fraud.

Imagine the shot callers from the Journal and Trib sitting on a witness stand trying to get jurors to believe that they really knew nothing of the accountability crisis, and of the effort to prevent an independent and honest audit of the administration of the APS.

In the alternative, imagine them arguing that they knew about the problem even through three elections, but really believed that it was in the public best interest to keep the truth hidden from voters.

An absolute lack of accountability (for abusing power)
corrupts absolutely.

Socrates (derived)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The inside story on the APS" Police"


APS Supt. Sink Declines the Question, It Would Appear

It isn't that Linda Sink won't answer the question;
Linda Sink will not admit that she hears the question.

Her email address is unpublished; and the public forum depends on the whim of Paula Maes. There is no way to petition the senior administrative public servant in the APS; a right guaranteed by the first amendment.

I have asked only one question.

Ms. Sink,
Will you, or will you, not hold yourself honestly accountable as a role model of the student standard of conduct?

She has not declined to answer the question.

She has declined the question.

It's almost like she thinks that is OK.

Is it?

... I can't hear you.

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg

continues to refuse to explain, defend, or even acknowledge her refusal to move on the evidence of public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the APS.

She continues to support the efforts of the leadership of the APS and Bernalillo County Sheriff and congressional candidate, Darren White, to suppress the evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving members of the leadership of the APS and Darren White's Sheriff's Office.

I would assume that she continues to find time to resolve boggles regarding cookie recipes. (link)

Truth is an absolute defense to defamation.

APS Leadership's Character Easily Tested

If you want to test the character of any APS administrator or board member; all you have to do is ask them if, within their public service, for eight measly hours a day, they are willing to be held honestly accountable to any higher standard of conduct than the law, (which represents only)
the lowest recognized standard of acceptable conduct.

Every single one of them is a senior role model of the behavior that they expect from students.
Daily, they tell students to hold themselves honestly accountable for their own conduct.
Daily, they tell them that their character depends upon their holding themselves honestly accountable to a higher standard of conduct than the law.
Daily, they tell students that their character counts.

When asked to walk their talk, they chose instead to renounce their duties and obligations as role models for 90,000 students and 10,000 employees.

They escape accountability through the egregious and the wanton abuse of the public trust and treasure.

Shame on those who control the local news
for their betrayal of the interests of the community
in favor of the interests of a relative handful of
incompetent and corrupt APS administrators and board members.

APS Supt. Linda Sink in Hiding

It would appear that Interim Superintendent Linda Sink will deal with the controversy of an administrative accountability audit by avoiding refusing to admit that she has been asked for a response.

Her email address is unpublished, and apparently she has ordered her secretary to ignore emails related to her refusal to stand on the record and offer a candid, forthright, and honest answer to the question of the audit.

At best she is a coward, at worst she too, is corrupt.

The evidence supports no other conclusion.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Interim superintendent has lofty goals for school district"


According to Susie Gran and the Trib,
Linda Sink's goals are to;

•Hire a chief business officer and auditor.
•Negotiate with school police officers to increase wages.
•Develop a strategic plan with the teachers' union to support struggling schools.
•Create the 2008-09 district operating budget.
•Support the district during the Legislature.
•Focus on the instructional master plan for reading and math strategies.
•Prove success in student achievement.
Each is reasonable and worthy.

Not one represents any attempt to mitigate the effects of, or even acknowledge the existence of corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS.

Conspicuous in its absence, is any mention of the issue of the abject lack of accountability in the leadership of the APS.

Governor Bill Richardson, when he was trying to help pass a $316M bond issue; conceded that the leadership of the APS has an earned, statewide reputation for its lack of accountability.

Mayor Martin Chavez tried to take over school board seats in order to rectify what he described as a lack of accountability in the leadership of the APS.

The President of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, Terri Coles is a long time critic of the lack of accountability.

The Council of the Great City Schools wrote that administrative evaluations in the APS are subjective and unrelated to promotions or step placements.

The Maintenance and Operations Department was wracked by a corruption scandal.

The APS Police Department was wracked by corruption and incompetence; the truth of which is yet to be released by the leadership of the APS.

The Financial Department is wracked with corruption and incompetence.

Their record of litigating for themselves, exception even to the law, is so full of corruption and betrayal of the public trust that they must keep it secret, even in further violation of the law.

Everywhere there is an audit; corruption and incompetence are exposed. Underlings may or may not be held accountable, and no one in the leadership of the APS is ever held accountable for anything.

There is every good reason to commence an immediate audit; not the least of which is restoring public faith in the public schools.

There is no ethical reason not to do an audit. none.

If there is, no one has suggested it, and I cannot imagine it.

There is a simple test of courage and character.
To date, no member of the leadership of the APS
has passed the test. Not one; not even the
President of the Character Counts Leadership Council,
and the President of the APS Board of Education,
Paula Maes.

Beth Everitt couldn't pass it.

Now it's Linda Sink's moment of truth.
Ms. Sink,

As the senior administrative role model for the 89,000 of this community's sons and daughters in the APS, are you willing to hold yourself honestly accountable to the same standard of conduct that you demand of students?

Are you willing to model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts, a widely recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct?

Will you shoulder, or will you shirk your obligation to model and promote honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct; under a system over which you have no control, and which will hold you accountable even against your will?

Any answer except yes, ... means no.

According to the First Amendment to the Constitution

Citizens have a right to petition their government.

According to APS BOE President Paula Maes, et al;


their "all caps", not mine.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

APS Reveals New Communication Strategy; Cancels Public Forum

The leadership of the APS, Paula Maes, Modrall, et al
have canceled the public forum at the next regular meeting of the school board. (link)

For the first time in the history of the APS,
as far as I know.

First they take it off the public record,

and now they have taken it away altogether.

Apparently, they don't want their little passing of the baton ceremony to be marred by any complaints about the conduct and competence of either the departing or the emerging superintendent of the APS.

Neither on the record, nor off.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why Johnny can't read.

He doesn't want to.

according to a column in the Trib. (link)

Friday, December 14, 2007

DA Kari Brandenburg; APS Rush Job

The Journal reports this morning, that a principal accused of rape, has seen the charges dropped. He is cleared to return to his position at a local elementary school. (link) sub req.

APS needed their principal cleared of rape charges in a hurry. And Kari Brandenburg put aside her dedication to clearing up problems with cookie recipes; (link) long enough to review all of the evidence and "clear" the principal.

On the other hand, the leadership of the APS wants to keep the public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the APS Police Department secret for as long as they can. And Kari Brandenburg says she just can't find the time to examine that evidence. She'll get around to looking at that evidence when she finds the time. She hasn't found the time in almost a year now.

It is almost as if the 2nd Judicial District Attorney
Kari Brandenburg is part of the conspiracy herself.

A conspiracy including the leadership of the APS,
the Bernalillo County Sheriff and congressional hopeful
Darren White, and the District Attorney Brandenburg;

the purpose of which is to secret the details of public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the APS, and in the BCSO, from public knowledge.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Linda Sink Has "no comment" on Audit

Asked for a candid, forthright, and honest response
to the question of an immediate
APS Administrative Accountability Audit.

Ms. Sink will (apparently) have "no comment".

Just like Beth Everitt.

Public Servants Who Stonewall Legitimate Questions Are Unfit for Public Service.

Yet "no comment" is an acceptable response from public servants,

who have usurped control over power and resources that are not their own,

and who now use public power and resources against the public interest;

with impunity.

What more proof could one need;
the public has lost their control
over power and resources that are fundamentally
their own?

APS Superintendent "Unfit". Proof Offered.

In circumstances such as these;
it is the responsibility of the Chief Administrative Officer of the APS, the Superintendent, to protect public power and resources from waste and misuse.

It is the responsibility of the CAO, to ferret out and eliminate incompetence, corruption, and the practices that enable them.

In circumstances such as these, it is the responsibility of the CAO, to commission an honest audit.

It is the responsibility of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education to hire and employ a CAO who will protect the public trust and treasure with transparent accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence.

With the exception of Marty Esquivel, who has asked
for APS' first Annual Administrative Accountability Audit;

Paula Maes and APS/Modrall oppose any audit that will hold individual administrators, "like Tom Savage" honestly accountable for their conduct and competence as public servants. She and the board members who follow her lead, are as unfit to serve as board members, as the unfitness that they tolerate from their only direct hire.

And local news media are unfit to be trusted with
the responsibility of telling stakeholders the truth.

An allegation that is proved prima facie;
evident without proof or reasoning; obvious.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Was Linda Sink Promoted to APS Superintendent, to Stonewall?

When the APS Board of Education was deciding who to promote to Superintendent, did they ask the prospective superintendents about their intentions with respect to an honest administrative accountability audit?

If not, then why not?

If they did, then why did they promote one who was willing to stonewall?

Unless that is their intention as well?

stonewall; to refuse to answer or cooperate,
to resist or rebuff, to engage in delaying tactics

fyi; The leadership of the APS enforces a code of ethical conduct upon students. Students are taught that stonewalling is unethical, and therefore unacceptable.

The leadership's example stands in diametric opposition, and in blatant disregard of the contrary message they are sending.

The leadership of the APS have simply abdicated as the senior role models for 89,000 students in the APS.

How can they simply except themselves from accountability as role models?

"... APS, which depends on taxpayer support

for multi-million-dollar bond issues, can't afford continued public skepticism about the way the district handles public money."
That's what Trib editors wrote about problems with APS finances almost a month ago. Phill Casaus and his crew understand the problem and the potential impact on taxpayer support of the APS.

"... Albuquerque Public Schools officials ... don't seem as exigent about the disarray (in APS' accounting department) as they ought." the editors added.

The refusal of the leadership of the APS to conduct an audit, in the context of their declination to explain, defend, or even acknowledge their refusal, illustrates the absolute necessity of an audit.

Why won't Phill Casaus and company, ask the leadership of the APS to explain, to defend, or even to acknowledge that they are dedicated to escaping an honest and impartial accountability audit of the administration of the APS?

Except that they are themselves, corrupt?

And that there really is a conspiracy to cover up
an ethics and accountability scandal
in the leadership of the APS?

The New Mexico Broadcasters Association President and CEO

Paula Maes, would like to thank her many friends
at KOB, KOAT, KRQE, and KKOB, for their help in keeping secret, the demand for an honest and impartial accountability audit of the administration of the APS.

I would suppose.

APS' "Iron Lady", Lillian Barna

(As best I am able to recollect)

Lillian Barna was the APS' Superintendent from 1985 to 1988. She was hired to deal with the issue of APS administrative sprawl.

She fired around 55 administrators before she
was herself, fired. Fired I would suppose,
by the remaining good ole boys; in their own
self defense.

Upon her departure, the slots grew back of course
and with a vengeance.

Whole new buildings became necessary to house them all.

The APS edifice of corruption and incompetence,

the Uptown Administrative Complex, stands in plain view.

The lesson is; pruning a weed does not kill it.
Treating symptoms does not cure disease.

As late as their latest audit by the Council of the Great City Schools, the leadership of the APS is composed of individuals who are not required to demonstrate by any objective means, that they are in any way qualified to hold the positions they hold.

The CotGCS wrote that the good ole boys in the APS are evaluated according to a system that is "subjective and unrelated to promotions or step placement."

The CotGCS wrote that the good ole boys except themselves from accountability by maintaining a "culture of retribution and retaliation."

You have to take out the good ole boys if you want to solve the problem.

The good ole boys will be taken out by an immediate and impartial forensic audit. They are damned by their records of public corruption and incompetence.

Every lousy stinking one of them.

They win if, and only if, they can avoid an audit.

The Journal and Trib will continue
to do what ever they can to help of course.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

APS Supt. Sink; betwixt a rock and a hard place

The rock; the undisputed need for a full scale audit of the administration of the public schools.

The hard place; APS' "culture of retribution and retaliation"

and the threat posed by those in the APS who's careers will end with the audit.

If you believe the Council of the Great City Schools audit; the person who begins the audit will feel the wrath of the good ole boys faster than you can say Lillian Barna.

The auditors did not use the word lightly when they described APS' "culture of retribution and retaliation".

Linda Sinks best choice at this point would be to become the superintendent who started the audit, before the new supt. gets here; and then left town.

We would name a community board room after her.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's the worst thing Marty Chavez ever did?

Jim Villanucci was talking about Marty Chavez' political future today.

At one point he wondered, what the worst thing that Marty Chavez did as mayor?

Without question;

it was his betrayal of Character Counts.
A widely recognized, accepted and respected
code of ethical conduct.

The standard of conduct for students in the APS.

Proactive, and the single best approach
that has ever been offered,
for growing children into adults
who embrace honor and courage and character.

Marty Chavez, when it was convenient,
embraced Character Counts and called himself
one of its founding fathers.

He taught children;

Stand up for what you believe in;
even if you are standing alone.

And then he let them.

He betrayed Character Counts in deference
to the leadership of the APS
who have themselves have betrayed its principles.

And that is the single worst thing Marty Chavez
has done as mayor.

in my humble opinion

Sunday, December 09, 2007

APS Supt. Sink's mettle to be tested.

"mettle n. [Variant of metal.]
Courage,fortitude, spirit;
inherent quality of character"

Linda Sink's test;

yes or no;

will she provide a candid, forthright and honest answer to the following question?

Are you prepared to begin an honest and impartial
accountability audit of the administration of the APS?

To date;
every single member of the leadership the APS,

has refused, tacitly or implicitly, to answer the question.
Linda Sink has tacitly refused to answer the question already.

The mettle of the leadership of the APS has been tested.

With one exception; their record is;

they lack the "mettle" to be the senior administrative role
models for 98,000 of this community's sons and daughters.

* except Mr. Marty Esquivel; the first public servant in the history of the APS to propose an honest and impartial accountability audit of the administration of the APS.

endnote; Mr. Esquivel was then abandoned by every
APS stakeholder who ever thought, said or wrote;

somebody should do something.

And there has not been,
nor will there ever be, an audit.

cc. Interim Superintendent Linda Sink.
c/o M Armenta, Sink's email address is not available.

and by the same test, the mettle of the media is found wanting, as well.

No news media in Albuquerque will ask
any member of the leadership of the APS, for
a candid, forthright and honest response to this question;

Are you prepared to begin an honest and impartial
accountability audit of the administration of the APS?

and then report upon their answers.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Phill Casaus sees the light; finally.

In an editorial tonight (link), Trib editor Phill Casaus has finally come out and said that you cannot take the APS Board of Education at their word.

Not straight out of course.

After the board voted to install Linda Sink as the interim APS superintendent; each and every board member went to great lengths to explain that Sink was the best interim choice and that, that choice would have no effect on their final decision.

They gave their word; they all but swore a blood oath.

Never the less, Casaus wrote;

"... the board has... raised ... questions about the impartiality of its search ..."

That allegation is substantiated
only by the belief
that what board members say, cannot be believed.

That their word means nothing.


Go Phill.

APS' Taskforce on background checking.

From the Journal this morning, (link)

"All New Mexico school districts now screen new hires for criminal background, as required by a 1997 state law."
According to NM State Senator Joe Carraro, in an interview with KRQE's Jessica Garate (link) under "background checks",
The intention of the law was that all employees be checked for a criminal background.

Rather than answer the question;

Why is APS using legal weaselry to escape the intention of the law?

Everitt, according to Garate, refused to be interviewed.

On the issue of teacher involvement in the decision making process;
"The district "intends" to work with the local teachers union to develop the details." (emphasis added)
(The article implies I think, that this position was articulated by Andrea Trybus, APS' Director of Human Resources. I will bow to controverting fact.)

It would be consistent with previous statements I have heard from her, indicating that the involvement of teachers in the decisions that affect them will always be the district's "intention". And nothing more, unfortunately.

Never one to make waves, local Union President Ellen Bernstein is apparently content to wait and see what Trybus will determine in the best interests of teachers, students, and administrators.

The task force recommends the board adopt a new policy mandating that employees arrested of any ... "offense involving moral turpitude" report to his or her supervisor within three days. Moral turpitude would include ... dishonesty (emphasis added) .

So what happens with an openly dishonest superintendent, that the DA not only will not arrest; but will not even investigate?

She simply continues along on her merry way
just like nothing happened; that's what.

Darren White; truth headed to the shredder?

A local blog reports that Darren White can shred the proof of criminal misuse of the federal criminal background check system entrusted to his supervision (link).

On a local note, the logs kept by Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department are apparently shredded after one year. Even if they are proof that a crime was committed by APS Police (accessing with no FBI ORI). Interesting... (emphasis added)

So all District Attorney Kari Brandenburg has to do to cover Darren White's ass in his run for congress, is to stall for a few weeks longer. Then Darren White can shred the records and pretend nothing happened.

Will he shred the records, pretending to be unaware of their significance?

Perhaps he already has.

The record so far, is that he lacks the character to hold himself and his department accountable for their part in APS' criminal misuse of the criminal background check system.

He is part of the cover up involving the leadership of the APS, the District Attorney's Office, and the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.

His character has been tested.
He failed the test.

Darren White for congress?

... not! !!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Darren White's Character

It has been a year now since it was alleged that members of the leadership of the APS used computers under the responsibility of Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White, to do illegal background checks on their girlfriends and enemies.

As a manifestation of his character; Darren White
is yet to come clean. He hasn't even admitted that
there was a cherry tree; much less,
that he had anything to do with chopping it down.

This is not an inadvertent slip.

Darren White has had 365 nights to lie awake in bed and consider what he should do with the truth about the public corruption and criminal conspiracy in which his department and the leadership of the APS were entangled.

Hundreds of nights to ask, what would Scooby do?

And his answer is to join with the leadership of the APS, and the District Attorney's Office, and the media, to continue to hide the truth.

Apparently Darren White is willing to be held accountable to the law, including free use of loopholes, technicalities and legal weaselry;

and to no higher standard.

And he is still in contention to join the line of succession to the presidency.


Everitt is protected by Paula Maes

APS School Board President Paula Maes
is protected by the Modrall law firm.

Her husband's law firm.

The Modrall makes a few million dollars a year litigating on behalf of the leadership of the APS.

APS' insurer, by way of justifying the higher rates that the APS now pays for their insurance, cited APS' considerably larger than normal, litigation costs.

APS/Modrall's win at any cost mentality,
the protect the interests of APS/Modrall at any cost
mentality, is costing taxpayers money, lots of money.

The record, a public record, however is a secret.

If APS/Modrall could actually stand on their record, their record would not be secret.

If APS/Modrall's record was of litigating in the public interest, their record would not be secret.

If Modrall was not using unwitting taxpayer support of education, to fund litigation excepting the leadership of the APS from accountability, even to the law;

the record of APS/Modrall would not be a secret.

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg; corrupt, incompetent, or both?

At this time a year ago, evidence of public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the leadership of the APS, was first coming to light.

The evidence speaks directly to allegations of felony criminal misconduct by senior APS administrators and members of the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.

It is Brandenburg's job to determine if the evidence warrants a criminal prosecution.

She claims she is too busy to review the evidence; although she is not to busy to invite questions on her work phone, about recipes that she discusses on her radio talk show.

For as long as she continues her "investigation", the public records of public corruption, incompetence and criminal conspiracy, can be secreted (legally, not ethically) from public knowledge .

Secreting the public records works to the advantage of senior APS administrators who do not want their record of participation to become public.

Secreting the public records works to the advantage of the Bernalillo County Sheriff, Darren White. He intends to run for congress without having to explain, defend, or even acknowledge that his computers were used to do illegal background checks on, among others, APS Superintendent Tom Savage's girlfriend, and upon the whistle blower, Joseph Lopez, who had exposed the million dollar fraud being perpetrated on taxpayers by administrators at the Albuquerque Vocational Charter High School.

Secreting the public records is against the public interest.

Sitting on evidence for a year to protect a handful of members of Albuquerque's privileged class from accountability, is against the public interest.

Brandenburg's dereliction of duty is against the public interest.

Yet another story you will read about
in neither the Journal, nor the Trib.

Another $3M for the edifice of corruption and incompetence

APS' UAC is a nice place to work.
But apparently, not nice enough. Perhaps with another $3M in improvements, it will become a little more livable.

Beth Everitt and the leadership of the APS have already spent so much money on their "apartments in the sky" that they won't answer questions about the spending. Beth Everitt steadfastly refuses to surrender an honest accounting of the spending at the
Uptown Administrative (retirement) Complex.

Despite the fact that the record of every dime spent there, is a public record, none of the truth is public knowledge.

According to the article in the Journal, the $2.7M
(part of $108M they "found") will be spent on "code corrections"; the same excuse they used for spending a million dollars to update a board room who's very existence is yet to be justified by anyone in the leadership of the APS.

Not even the highly touted, and highly paid Monica Armenta has figured a way to spin it to make it sound OK. She, like Beth Everitt, is reduced to stonewalling; the only defense of an indefensible position.

A reader asks; I just want to know how much more they are going to gild the lily, while I can't get books for the classroom.

Apparently, as much as they feel like.

And there's nothing you can do about it.

Thanks in no small part to corruption at the
Journal and the Trib.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

APS speeds construction on 17 projects

according to the Trib tonight. (link)

According to this morning's Journal (link)
that is because APS just "found" $108M.

Apparently the state gave APS some "critically" needed money in 2006; $67M. And then APS pushed a bond issue by taxpayers to pay for the same two high schools. Taxpayers have paid twice, creating some $67M of the $108M "surplus".

"The remainder of the $108 million comes from interest, leftover balances from previous projects, an emergency fund and better-than-expected tax collections."
APS considers it a wind fall that they can now spend on other projects.

According to the Trib;
"None of the projects are new. All have been on the drawing board, but funding to complete them, or start them in some cases, was not available until now."

"... the district doesn't spend money as quickly as it takes it in. In the meantime, it collects interest. Kizito Wijenje, who heads up APS' construction program, said the district has always gotten some extra revenue that way."

But as the district's capital program has grown, so has the interest on unspent funds. In addition, tax collections over the past couple of years were better than anticipated.

Based on projected revenues from interest and other sources, APS anticipates another $122 million over the next six years that it can apply to its capital needs, figures show.
A year ago, Governor Bill Richardson told us that APS desperately needed money; so desperately that voters should ignore the APS' earned "statewide reputation for their lack of accountability" and support a bond issue "for the sake of the children."

Marty Chavez was complaining about the lack of accountability in the APS, and telling voters to support the bond issue anyway, "for the sake of the children."

Now we find out that they are raking it in faster than they can spend it, and tax dollars are earning interest for APS rather than for taxpayers' households.

When the leadership of the APS asked taxpayers for a third of a billion dollars a year ago, did they know about the "surplus" they just "found", or they did not know about it.

Either they knew about it, and kept the truth from stakeholder voters and taxpayers;

or they didn't know about a hundred eight million dollars they had lying around.

Neither of which is acceptable.

And for neither of which
any one of them will be held accountable.

If Beth Everitt had nothing to hide

Beth Everitt would be hiding nothing.

Aiken County School Board; are they corrupt, incompetent, or both?

Beth Everitt refuses to explain, defend,
or even acknowledge her decision not to audit
her administration of the APS.

The purpose of the audit, would be to expose the wasting of public power and resources, as the direct result of incompetence, corruption, and the practices that enable them.

An accountability audit would expose the abject lack of accountability in the leadership of the APS.

The competent have nothing to fear from the audit.
An audit is clearly in their best interests.
An audit in in fact, owed them.

Nor do those whose public service reflects the type of character that we pray that our children will grow to embrace, have anything to fear.

At risk; only the incompetent and the corrupt;
whose continuing existence depends on protecting
a system that tolerates and enables
their corruption and their incompetence.

Honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct is fatal to incompetence and corruption; absolutely and without exception.

If there is an immediate and impartial forensic audit;
there will be an immediate end to corruption and incompetence and the practices that enable them
in the APS.

There is no reason to oppose an audit except to protect the incompetent and the corrupt.

There is no other reason.

... nada, zero, squat, ...

If Beth Everitt has one; she must share it. She must share it so that stakeholders may reflect upon it; and then participate meaningfully in the decision to accept or reject it.

Beth Everitt's record is of engineering her exception
to meaningful standards of conduct; including the law.

That is why her record is a secret.

I would presume that the afore going is successfully refuted and rebutted by anyone who can offer any ethical explanation at all;

why she and the rest of the APS good ole boys club, are no longer honestly accountable for their conduct and competence as public servants; not even for eight measly hours a day.

Any school board that hires Beth Everitt,

any school board that allows Beth Everitt
to draw even another dime of her salary,

should be demanding as a condition of her (continued) employment, that she explain and defend her record.

Whether in Aiken or in Albuquerque,

any school board member that serves Beth Everitt
by betraying the public interest,

is incompetent, and is corrupt;

by the fact itself;

ipso facto.

Did Beth Everitt escape the NMPED "investigation" due to juice in the Governor's Office?

It has been suggested that Beth Everitt escaped participation in the Gradegate investigation because her husband has juice with Governor Bill Richardson, who tells his appointee NMPED Secretary Veronica Garcia what to do, who tells NMPED Educator Ethics Bureau Directer Paul Calderon what to do.

I would be happy to publish any other explanation as to why neither Everitt, nor Miguel Acosta, nor Teresa Cordova, was asked to answer even a single question during the "investigation", about their involvement in the scandal.

Hell, I'll even publish your reasonable conjecture.

(This represents an opportunity for Beth Everitt, or anyone else, to respond without attaching their name. She has now, no ethically justifiable reason to continue to stonewall the question.)

Choosing between Everitt's interests, and the public interest, apparently the Augusta Chronicle sides with Beth

In the Chronicle this morning (link). (free reg req)

Reporter Julia Sellers writes;

"... she's proven to be a good leader during her 25 years there."
The truth is that the Mayor of Albuquerque and the President of the local Chamber of Commerce, together demanded that the mayor be allowed to personally appoint board members, in direct response to the lack of leadership and accountability in the Everitt administration.

New Mexico Governor and presidential hopeful,
Bill Richardson has written of the APS' "... well earned, statewide reputation for its lack of accountability."

APS Board Member Marty Esquivel, still the only public servant in the city who stands in favor of a full scale audit of the leadership of the APS, in response to the still secret public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the APS Police department (and by reasonable extension in the overall leadership of the APS), said there was a "leadership vacuum in the APS", and likened it to "Keystone Cops".

Sellers mentions,
"... allegations of... an audit of that system."
Sellers does not elaborate. Had she, Chronicle readers would know that a the news conference where she announced her resignation under fire for a number of ethics and accountability scandals in the APS; Everitt promised stakeholders an impartial audit of her administration. The audit would have proven once and for all whether the leadership of the APS is riddled with incompetence and corruption.

Everitt has not taken a single step to begin an audit.

Paula Maes, APS School Board President, has sworn never to allow an audit which would hold individual administrators, "... like Tom Savage for example ..." to be held individually accountable for their conduct and competence as public servants.

Sellers again writes;
Dr. Everitt was investigated for her initial support of the administrator who approved the grade change, but she was exonerated when the New Mexico Education Department ruled she did not receive enough information to make a decision.
Beth Everitt, the former school board member, and his county commissioner wife, all managed to escape interviews during the investigation. None was required to respond to even a single question on the record. Everitt was not "exonerated" by any reasonable definition of that concept.

Sellers goes on to quote School Board President Paula Maes;
"So much of that is not released ..." Ms. Maes said. "... you cannot judge a person by one incident."
"That" meaning "the truth" about gradegate. It is not released (as required by New Mexico State Law, the NM Inspection of Public Records Act) do to the use of legal loopholes, legal technicalities, and legal weaselry.

Everitt will not, because she cannot, offer any defense of her refusal to surrender the truth to public knowledge. No defense anyway, that will measure up to any ethical standard of conduct.

If it is OK with stakeholders in Aiken County, that their superintendent not be held honestly accountable to any standard of conduct that uses the word ethical, that is of course their choice.

But the Chronicle violates standards of ethics in Journalism by choosing to make that choice for stakeholders, rather that telling them the whole truth and allowing them to make up their own minds.

Finally, Sellers quotes the local teachers union president;
"You're not getting a lemon," Mrs. Bernstein said.
And that depends on what Aiken County Schools are looking for. If they are looking for a superintendent who will model before students, staff, and community; honest accountability to a meaningful standard of conduct, they absolutely do have a lemon.

Ms. Sellers is yet to respond to a four days old email in which I pointed out the substantial errors in her report. Apparently, the Augusta Chronicle, like Albuquerque's Journal and Tribune, has concluded that readers just can't handle the truth.

Which leaves the Aiken Standard,
as Aiken County's only "... trusted local news source."

It will be interesting to see what they write.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Beth Everitt, her moment of truth, Aiken County Schools

Beth Everitt has promised Aikenians the truth.

A candid, forthright, and honest answer to a legitimate question.

The question is;

As the senior administrative role model for 25,000 sons and daughters in the Aiken County Schools, and as the senior administrative public servant in the Aiken County Schools, will you hold yourself

a. accountable only to the law, and only after a vigorous and expensive litigation funded by taxpayer support of "education", has failed to provide for your exception, or

b. honestly and transparently accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct, by a system over which you have no control, and which will hold you accountable even against your will?

Every generation expects the next generation
to be the first generation
to hold itself honestly accountable
to meaningful standards of conduct.

If we really expect our children to grow into adults
who embrace honor and courage and character,

someone has to show them what it looks like.

In the Aiken County Schools, that "someone"
will be Beth Everitt.

If asked the question, Beth Everitt will stonewall.

Uncertain, but pivotal to the outcome;
the response of the people who call the shots
at the Aiken Standard and the Augusta Chronicle.

If they join the effort to stonewall the question,

Aikenians are pretty much screwed.

Like Albuquerqueans have been screwed by the folks
who call the shots here at the the Journal and the Trib.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Diogenes' six, in search of an honest leadership of the APS, has just passed 10,000 hits, and is honored to be, for a week, the third most influential political blog in the state of New Mexico.*

Not too bad for an old shop teacher, eh? is one stop shopping for anyone who wants to read the top twenty political blogs in the state, you get there by clicking the logo to your right.

*BlogNetNews' Blogosphere Influence Rating combines a variety of data sets to determine which blogs are most powerfully influencing the direction of the New Mexico political blogosphere. The exact method BNN uses to calculate influence scores must remain proprietary in order to prevent attempts to game the system. BNN's methodology takes into account the fact that all Internet data is profoundly limited in its reliability by using multiple data sets that, when combined, reveal a fair picture of activity in the blogosphere.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Open letter to the Aiken County School Board

I don't know if you can get out of this deal or not.

But it would be in the best interests of 25,000
of your sons and daughters

if you did.

Beth Everitt,"Anybody can ask me anything."


The Augusta Chronicle ran a story on Beth Everitt's selection as the superintendent of the Aiken County Schools. I will give you a (link). It's a bit of a hassle to use; you have to register (free), and then search for "Everitt", and then click on the story entitled "Board names leader"

Quoted here in significant part; (my own emphasis added)

Mr. Hightower said he had some concerns about Dr. Everitt, noting that he had heard allegations of audits and grade changes in Albuquerque schools.

Dr. Everitt said she welcomes anyone in Aiken to ask her about those situations.

Dr. Everitt and other educators in the Albuquerque system were the subject of an investigation about a grade that was changed by a principal from an F to a D, allowing a former board member's son to graduate, according to a New Mexico Department of Education transcript. The department found that Dr. Everitt and other administrators weren't at fault because they didn't have adequate information about the case when they backed the principal.

"Anybody can ask me anything." Everitt said.

Not true.

Not even close.

Everitt didn't back the principal, and she wasn't cleared by the NMPED. She was not asked even a single question on the record. Neither were the parents; a former school board member and his wife; a county commissioner.

They all escaped the investigation entirely;
as members in good standing of Albuquerque's
privileged class.

It is interesting that she said, anyone "in Aiken" can ask her questions. She sure won't answer questions in Albuquerque.

And not just my questions.

Jessica Garate, a local TV reporter, said she tried for two weeks to get Everitt to stand and deliver answers to a few legitimate questions, and Beth Everitt would not meet with her. (link) under "background checks".

Not only will she and the leadership of the APS
not answer questions; they will not allow them
to be asked.
  • The Public Forum has been moved off of the public record of school board meetings so that she and board members can not be asked legitimate questions, on the record.
  • Rather than have the community witness Beth Everitt and board members stonewall the questions, broadcast records of school board meetings were deliberately falsified to hide their (non)response to the question.
And I (as a bonafide candidate in a school board election) was actually removed from four board meetings by the APS Police for legal and ethical attempts to ask questions on the record. There are video tape records of all four incidents and I will absolutely stand on the record.

I was removed from four board meetings in a row, by members of a Praetorian Guard. A publicly funded, private police force that reports directly to the leadership of the APS, and only to the leadership of the APS.

I was removed for trying to ask Beth Everitt and board members a single question;
"Will you hold yourself honestly accountable to the student standard of conduct?"
Beth Everitt abdicated as the senior administrative role model for 89,000 of this community's sons and daughters. And she will not explain, defend, or even acknowledge that she has done so. None of the leadership of the APS will.

And the Albuquerque Journal and Tribune
are so corrupt, that they won't report upon it.

I hope either the Aiken Standard or the Augusta Chronicle will ask her why she removed the following language from her own standard of conduct;
In no case shall the standard of conduct for adults
be lower than the standard of conduct for students.

And then has the integrity to report the fact that she will not answer.

Not here

and not in Aiken.

Superintendent searches in general.

This (link) will take you to an editorial in the Aiken Standard.

It discusses a superintendent search process that includes the finalists sitting before the public and letting the community have a look at them. Although they didn't say so specifically, I would suppose there would then be a process by which the community impression would be measured and meaningfully integrated into the decision making process.

Imagine that;

A school board that respects stakeholders enough
to allow them to participate meaningfully
in the decisions that affect their interests.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Aiken County Schools Superintendent Search Committee stiffed

The following is an excerpt from a letter to the editor of the Aiken Standard. (link) The writer was a member of the superintendent search committee.

"I am writing at this time because I am concerned about the allegations that have surfaced about Dr. Everitt during her tenure in Albuquerque, N.M. The (APS) school board, that is six of its members, apparently do not consider these allegations to be serious and have come to the defense of Dr. Everitt, "... but I doubt that Dr. Everitt would have been named one of the 10 applicants for the school board's consideration if these allegations had surfaced during the search committee's deliberations." (Emphasis added)
Among other things, Aiken County was not apprised of the fact that the most recent poll by the Albuquerque Trib, saw half of the respondents rating Everitt with an "F", and another 20% giving her a "D" as APS Superintendent.

Two problems present themselves.

Six members of the Albuquerque School Board apparently downplayed, to the Aiken County School Board, allegations of incompetence and corruption leveled against Beth Everitt.

This would have been acceptable, if in addition to their unofficial and personal opinions, the APS Board had actually done the annual evaluation of Beth Everitt as required by APS Board Policy, State School Board Policy and NM State Law; the results of which would be part of the public record, and subject to inspection.

They did not; and whatever they wrote to the Aiken County Board, they wrote in secret and do not have to explain, defend, or even acknowledge that they have written. The honesty of what was written cannot be challenged; although apparently it should be.

The second problem, is that Everitt was not the top choice of the search committee.
"During the process of evaluating applicants for the superintendent's position, the search committee was very diligent in its efforts to identify 10 individuals to be submitted to the school board for further review."
"Out of this process, we rated each applicant on various areas of competency in an attempt to assign a numerical value to each applicant. After that process was completed, we determined the top 10 applicants. Of the top 10 applicants, Dr. Frank Roberson and Dr. David Mathis were rated number 1 and 2, respectively based on their total numerical rating. Dr. Elizabeth Everitt was among the top 10, but I do not remember how she rated among the remaining eight applicants."

In fact, she was not the first choice of the community either. Of the three finalists, Everitt ran a distant third in polling.

Knowing APS Board President Paula Maes as I do, I doubt that APS' search committee will fare any better in its influence on this board's decision.

What else would you expect from a board who's new "code of ethics", does not include any reference to the word ethical, other than in its title?