Monday, July 13, 2009

APS Finance Committee Meeting tonight.

On the agenda for the meeting tonight;

Discussion/Action/Update Regarding Charter School
Audit Findings

The "findings" are from audits of APS charter schools. There
are somewhere on the order of 40 charter schools. There are
257 "findings". A finding means that some auditing rule or
convention has not been followed.

I am not an accountant and I don't pretend to understand
how serious any of the findings are, or even what they mean.

It appears that auditing rules are clear cut, and that findings
are the result of incompetence or corruption. I didn't see any
finding that screamed "corruption", other than the fact that
the tolerating and enabling of incompetence is corruption

For the most part it seems that decent people are in over their
heads when it comes to understanding and meeting a myriad
of audit requirements. In response to many of the findings,
schools reported their intention to higher more qualified people,
or to give existing staff the training they lack.

On the other hand, it appears that if experts go looking for
compliance, they find a fair number of problems. It is also
fair to conclude that "the books" receive far more, and far
more detailed scrutiny, than any other area of the administration
of the public trust and treasure.

I think that it is fair to assume, that if APS were "audited"
in other areas, auditors would find as many or more
discrepancies from expectations.

I believe that the leadership of the APS will not commission
an audit of the entire leadership of the APS precisely because
any such audit would reveal far more discrepancies than the
financial audits reveal.

Every audit of the APS that has looked at standards and
accountability has found significant issues. One of the
latest audits included the revelation of the fact that the
leadership of the APS has a history of ignoring audit results
as far as making the necessary policy changes.

Before voters decide to trust the leadership of the APS with
another $650M dollars, they have a right to an impartial
audit of standards and accountability in the entire leadership
of the APS.

The leadership of the APS will not commission such an audit.
Nor will they explain, defend, deny, or even acknowledge their
decision to continue to keep administrative problems and
shortcomings secret from stakeholders.

Our newspaper of record, the Albuquerque Journal, steadfastly
refuses to investigate and report upon the need for an impartial
standards and accountability audit, and the relentless refusal
by the leadership of the APS, to respond candidly, forthrightly
and honestly, to legitimate questions about such an audit.

If ever there was Journalistic malpractice, it would be the
Journal refusing to investigate and report upon the ethics
and accountability scandal in the leadership of one of their
largest advertising clients; the APS.

Shame on those in the leadership of the APS, board members
and senior administrators, who cannot summon the character
and courage necessary to tell stakeholders the truth about
standards and accountability in the APS.

Shame on the Journal for covering their asses.

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