Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This is why you can't trust APS Board Meeting Minutes

Tonight, one of the first things the board will do is to vote to
approve the minutes of the last board meeting, link.

From those minutes;

B. Bond Election Update
Dr. Brad Winter introduced Kizito Wijenje who informed the board of the progress in opening new schools and renovating current schools.

Mr. Wijenje advised that the Celebrate the Schools! Program, which involves the school and surrounding communities in planning and dedicating new facilities has created community ownership, built goodwill and kept the parents, elected officials, and the general public informed about all of the expenditures that have gone into improving the school environments.
The media is invited to come to the celebrations to review and document that APS has kept the promises to use the monies raised by the past bond elections. He advised that the process will continue with educational interactions and questions fielding with grassroots campaign groups, legislative committees, and other organizations.
The Capital Master Plan Committee will be meeting to determine the final assessment prioritization, which will be brought to the board for review and approval.
Research and Polling will be conducting a survey to ask respondents if they feel that APS has used public monies wisely. This will be compared to a survey that was completed three years ago. (emphasis added)
Winston Brooks has created PSA’s in English and Spanish, which have been distributed to all of the media outlets.

D. Presentation on NMSBA Leadership Conference
Dolores Griego discussed the topics of the 2009 NMSBA Leadership Conference.
Specifically, she relayed information about meeting procedures, recent court decisions and legal developments affecting schools, open meetings act technical compliance issues, the 2009 legislative program and her appointment to the NMSBA’s resolutions committee.
APS represents that minutes are written by an admin. The "Bond Election Update" reads like it was written by a stakeholder administrator. It's a little off putting, since minutes are supposed to be impartial and accurate.

Noteworthy, the districts intention to poll stakeholders by conducting "a survey to ask respondents if they feel that APS has used public monies wisely."

Apparently, the poll will be done by APS' Research, Development and Accountability division. The greatest advantage of that strategy is that, the results can more easily, be kept secret from stakeholders. I don't remember seeing any publication of survey results after they did the survey three years ago, and I was paying very close attention to that bond issue election. I will of course, bow to any controverting facts.

On the issue of Ms Griego's presentation to the board on the NMSBA Leadership Conference. It was during this presentation that Ms Griego suggested destroying records of board meetings as soon as the minutes are approved, link.

Note that the outrageous suggestion is not included in the "official minutes."

This omission hides one of two things;
  1. that the suggestion was actually made in the first place, or
  2. the board's intention to move on the proposal under the radar.

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