Monday, January 04, 2010

Journal Staff writer rips APS over cell phone policy, missing cogent point.

Albuquerque Journal writer Jolene Gutierrez Krueger has penned a piece, link, about the intention of the leadership of the APS to create a policy to ban cell phones.

She hit a couple of nails square on the head. The squarest hit was upon the fact that APS already has policies in place that specifically address the issues the new policy is intended to address.

The question she didn't ask, the point she didn't make, was;
if students are already ignoring school board policies,
what is the point in writing another?

Although the leadership of the APS is making every effort to keep it hidden from stakeholders, the truth is
students are in charge in the APS.

Before taking me to task on that assertion, ask yourself one
question, who is "in charge", the adult who writes the rule, or
the student who decides to break the rule?

There is a huge problem in the APS; a problem that presents
a formidable obstacle in educating the 90,000 of this
community's sons and daughters in the APS;
the lack of student discipline.

There are no statistics to point to, that prove that point.
But only because the leadership of the APS refuses to compile

If the APS Research, Development, and Accountability Division
gathered statistics on the issue of student discipline, those statistics would demonstrate conclusively that a fair number of students are out of control and disrupting the learning process for other students.

I would offer as simple proof, the fact,
there is no written district Discipline Philosophy.

If the leadership of the APS has never sat down and articulated
the shared assumptions about students and discipline, if they
have never compiled the shared philosophy, how can they
expect to write policies that are enforceable?

Policies have their foundation in philosophy.

If there is no philosophical foundation for a policy, when a
student asks why can't I have a cell phone, the only answer
any adult can offer is, because I said so.

Anyone who thinks "because I said so" settles the issue for
students in the APS is wrong.

So why doesn't APS have a Discipline Philosophy? Why have
they never sat down and articulated the shared assumptions
and beliefs.

The answer is simple; that process cannot take place without
addressing the issue of adult role modeling of the standards of
conduct being enforced upon students.

Because the leadership of the APS is unwilling to be held
honestly accountable as role models of the student standards
of conduct, they have simply refused to hold the discussion,
thereby keeping that refusal secret from stakeholders.

Their refusal is a manifest example of their unwillingness to be
held accountable to the same standards they establish and
enforce upon students, specifically the standard which requires
candor, forthrightness, and honesty.

I have asked them repeatedly, to suggest any reason for their
refusal to step up as role models of the Pillars of Character Counts! except their lack of character and courage.

To date, they have offered none. Because there is none.

To date, they won't even acknowledge they have heard the question.

photos Mark Bralley

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