Wednesday, September 23, 2009

APS "Policies and Procedures" are a mess!

The APS Board of Education is charged with writing district wide policies. The administration is charged with writing procedural directives that enable the policies to be carried out.

The Board and administration are in the midst of reviewing all policy statements and all procedural directives. They are finding policies without procedures, procedures without policies, and that many changes, particularly in procedures have not shown up in Board Policies or in APS Procedural Directives. I don't see malevolence, more like careless, sloppy record keeping.

I have been arguing for a long time that the leadership of the APS has been playing fast and loose with policies and procedures. It would appear that I have been vindicated by incontrovertible evidence.

The public will never see that evidence. One of the arms of the current effort is to get current policies and procedures up on the district's website. Policy Committee Chair, David Peercy has directed that the current and screwed up policies and procedures not go up on the website until after they are "fixed".

This is typical good ol' boy problem solving; solve the problem without admitting there was ever a problem in the first place.

One might argue, who cares as long as the problem gets solved?

I care. I care because the first priority is not problem solving,
it is problem hiding. Although some problems can be solved in
secret, the priority of hiding them while they are being solved
is fundamentally dishonest.

It works only to the advantage of those with something to hide,
and it prevents the solution of any problems which cannot be
solved in secret.

It sets a poor example, for staff, for students, and for the community.

The process of reviewing and revising all policies and all procedures at the same time, makes a certain amount of sense, since they are so interwoven. Unfortunately, Peercy and the rest of the leadership of the APS are using it as an excuse to not examine publicly, the most fundamental policy/procedure of them all; the APS Student Standards of Conduct which are, by logical extension, the Adult Standards of Conduct, and the procedure the administration intends to follow in order to teach and enforce those standards.

I would argue that the standards to which they hold themselves accountable, should be reflected in their decisions regarding every other policy and every other procedural directive.

They are simply hiding the fact that they cannot summon the character and the courage to discuss standards and role modeling openly and honestly.

photo Mark Bralley

No comments: