Thursday, October 28, 2010

Elephant outed, Monahan gets credit.

In a nutshell, Blogger Joe Monahan wondered if Martinez Administration would treat the press fairly. His wonder is the result of Gubernatorial Candidate Susana Martinez' decision to not meet with certain members of the press. The Martinez campaign has an earned reputation for discrimination against at least some of the press. Lt Gov Diane Denish's campaign has the same reputation; equally earned.


The elephant in the room is that both candidates promise transparency and neither is offering it.

Who ya gonna believe, the candidates or you lyin' eyes?

Monahan gets credit for being the first legacy journalist to wonder out loud, why should we believe they will behave any differently after election than they do before.

Everyone has been pointing to the current lack of honest transparency, but Monahan is the first and the only one of the heavy hitters to draw the connection to the inevitability of things getting even worse, when the winner is even more insulated from, and less beholden to the people and their press.

Isn't past a solid predictor of future performance?

Now if the rest of the "legacy" press will step up and point to the disconnect between the talk and the walk with respect to real transparency; we might actually end up with some.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brooks stiffs FOG, gets award anyway.

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government
has asked nicely, and still, APS Supt Winston Brooks,
dba APS Custodian of Public Records Rigo Chavez,
refuses to surrender public records of corruption in the
APS Police Department.


And now, he isn't even responding to their emails.

The NM FOG still plans to give Brooks a Dixon Award;
their highest honor for champions of transparency in government.

They will honor their champion at the next School Board Meeting, November 3rd.

One can forgive most of the leadership of the NM FOG for
allowing their most prestigious award to be conferred upon
a man who is mocking their impotency. They were, I think,
hoodwinked by the likes of Marty Esquivel and Kent Walz.
The rest of the board let their guard down and got bamboozled.

One can forgive them their misplaced trust.

One cannot forgive so easily that, they found out they were
misled, they're going to pretend nothing happened and
give him the award anyway.

They cannot summon the character and the courage to admit
they make a mistake, and then rectify it. Instead they will
allow the Dixon Award to be dishonored.

Their names can be found here; link.

Brooks thinks he can sue taxpayers for more money for the APS

APS Supt Winston Brooks is contemplating suing the legislature for more money for the APS.

On top of that outrage; he steadfastly refuses to prove to taxpayers, that he is spending efficiently, the tax dollars he already gets.

How arrogant is that?

No efficiency audit; no more money.

No standards and accountability audit, no more money.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

APS Audit Committee Agenda not posted

APS' Audit Committee is meeting tomorrow, and the agenda is still not posted.

I honestly cannot remember seeing an agenda for any board meeting, that was posted before the very last minute under the law, many have been posted with fewer than the 24 hour notice required by law, and in clear violation of the law.

When the agenda is posted, it will not include a discussion of whistle blower complaints. Board Policy requires the Audit Committee to "review and approve" any whistle blower complaint. They have yet to review and approve of even one.

It is logical to assume that most of the hundreds of complaints were filed against administrators. The complaints were adjudicated their fellow administrators. Executive (School Board) review of administrative self policing, is a critical check and balance. The refusal of the Audit Committee to live up to its responsibilities and obligations under School Board Policy amounts to a monumental betrayal of the trust placed in them by the community and every single person who filed a whistle blower complaint against an administrator.

If APS Supt Winston Brooks was confident that the claims had been handled ethically, he wouldn't need to hide the adjudications.

Just as, if he was confident that the APS Police Department had handled their investigation of corruption in their own senior leadership, he wouldn't need to hide the report from the independent investigator.
Just as, if he were not ashamed of his failure to step up as a role model of the student standards of conduct, he wouldn't have to hide APS' entire character education effort.

APS is hiding a lot of information from stakeholders.

There is only one reason to hide the truth. They are ashamed of, embarrassed by, and lack the simple courage to acknowledge the truth about their conduct and competence.

If there were a reason to hide the truth, beyond their lack of character and courage, they would point to it. It does not exist.

If Journal Editor Kent Walz could offer any excuse what so ever, for the Journal's failure to investigate and report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, he would. If for no other reason, than to get me off his back.

If he could look his readers in the eye, and tell them there is no ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, why wouldn't he?

Marty Esquivel really is a coward!

The face of a coward; APS School Board President Marty Esquivel.

It was only fair to send a link to the following post to the subjects of the post; Marty Esquivel, Winston Brooks and Kent Walz. After all, I do accuse them of cowardice and corruption and they have a right to refute or rebut my allegations.

They can't of course, because the allegation is true. Neither Winston Brooks nor Marty Esquivel can summon the character or the courage to hold themselves honestly accountable as a role model of the Pillars of Character Counts!, the APS student standards of conduct. And their crony Journal Editor Kent Walz hasn't ordered an investigation and report upon this particular scandal, nor upon the global ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Esquivel responded in a true coward's fashion;

"Don't send these to me, Ched."
He would rather hide from the truth than address it.
His position;
  • failing to step up as a role model of the same standards of conduct he enforces upon students,
  • denying due process to whistle blowers, and
  • covering up corruption in the APS Police Department,
is indefensible.

The only defense for an indefensible position is to hide.
So he hides like a coward.

And his buddy, and fellow NM FOG Board of Directors member Journal Editor Kent Walz will help him do it.

Esquivel still refuses to defend his naked abuse of power in
"revoking my privilege" to attend board meetings and his
unlawful ordering of APS' publicly funded private police force
to deny my right to speak freely and petition my government.

I will of course respect his demand, however cowardly,
that I not copy him on posts wherein I point to his lack of
character and courage. Being one of the kind of lawyers that
give the rest a bad name, he would probably sue me for
harassment if I did not.

What a despicable man. Is this really the best we can do for our School Board?

He stands for re-election in February.




photo Mark Bralley

Character Counts! week; everywhere but APS

Students in the APS have celebrated Character Counts! Week, link, every year since it was unanimously adopted by the APS School Board in 1994. But not this year.

This year, no mention of the nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct, despite the fact that it is still the APS Student Standard of Conduct.

It was not mentioned because neither the senior most administrative role model of the student standards of conduct, Supt Winston Brooks nor the senior most executive role model School Board President Marty Esquivel can summon the character or the courage to step up and show students what moral courage looks like.

Their is no community outrage because the community is being kept in the dark about their abdication as role models. They are being kept in the dark by Journal Editor Kent Walz who is keeping stakeholders in the dark about a lot of things;

  • the abdication of senior role models,
  • the cover up of corruption in the APS Police Department, and
  • the denial of due process to hundreds of whistle blower complaints against APS administrators.
It's a regular rogues gallery of cowardice and corruption.













The coward Winston Brooks, the coward Marty Esquivel

and the corrupt Kent Walz




photos Mark Bralley



cc Walz, Brooks, Esquivel
upon posting

Monday, October 25, 2010

Please help to inspire young voters (by pandering to their ignorance)

There are, I suppose, at least two ways you can inspire young voters; appeal to their intellect by explaining issues and their importance and hoping to motivate them, or, by appealing to their ignorance by defining the election in caricature; link.

The Justice League PAC, link, would like you to donate money to them, in order that they may continue their travel along the high road.

FYI, their travel along the high road apparently permits the shameless ripping off of DC Comics' copyrights, wikilink.

Can you imagine how the founding fathers would feel,
knowing what their dream has become?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Denish. Rules are for fools

Apparently, there was an agreement between the parties in the debate last night, that no "props" would be brought on stage.

At approximately 24 minutes after the hour, Lt Gov Diane Denish pulled out a folded piece of paper that she had secreted in her jacket pocket, and then introduced its contents into the debate.

Were this egregious disregard for the rules not bad enough, she then pretended to be reading from the paper, when in fact, she was substituting her own pejorative terms for the ones that were actually on the paper.

When Susana Martinez called her on her blatant breach of the rules, Denish ducked and did not respond.

Moderators Tom Joles and Nicole Brady, sadly, ignored the breach and their duties as moderators.

Although Denish did this in plain sight and unashamedly,
there will be no consequences to her or her candidacy.

Which begs a question, if her disregard for the rules is so blatant when she is "vulnerable" as a candidate, what heights will her disregard reach if she finds herself invulnerable behind the power of the Office of the Governor?

Walz and the Journal covering up APS' abandonment of character education

If you go to APS' website and search for any evidence that students are the objects of any concerted effort to help them develop their character, you will find none.

If you go to the Journal's website, and search for any evidence that they have investigated and reported upon the fact that all efforts to develop character in students have been abandoned, you will find none.

I think Journal Editor Kent Walz, seen here explaining why Winston Brooks deserves a Dixon Award as a champion of transparency, is fully aware of the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS. The reason(s) he will not report upon it, are known only to him.

I suspect that he is covering the asses of Marty Esquivel and Winston Brooks, APS' senior most role models of the student standards of conduct.

In 1994, the APS School Board unanimously adopted a resolution that included the phrase

"... the core curriculum should continue to give explicit attention to character development as an ongoing art of school instruction." (emphasis added)
At that point character education became an integral and inextricable part of the curriculum in the APS, binding on all parties, including the Board. In order to change board policy, it must be formally removed or replaced; it doesn't have a shelf life. It is as binding now as it was in 1994.

Also in the unanimous resolution;
"... the Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to
creating models of ethical behavior among all adults
who serve students and schools." (emphasis added)
There in lay the rub; the obligations of role modeling.


Walz
and the Journal did not report it to stakeholders when the leadership of the APS removed from their own standards of conduct, a role modeling clause. It used to read;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
The leadership of the APS cannot summon the character and the courage to admit that, they have no intention of holding themselves honestly accountable as role models of the student standards of conduct.

Walz will not out his buddies; Esquivel and Brooks. He will not have investigated and reported upon, their abdication as role models of the APS Student Standards of Conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!

If there is any other reason the Journal will not investigate and report upon the abandonment of character education in the APS; Walz has every opportunity to share it. He has barrels of ink to explain to stakeholders, why 90,000 of this community's sons and daughters are being denied an opportunity to develop the character that will enable them to become a positive influence in our future.

He could point to good and ethical reasons to remove the role modeling clause from the standards of conduct that apply to administrators and board members.

While he is at it, he could point to good and ethical reasons to cover up corruption in the APS Police Department for more than 3 1/2 years.

He could also point to good and ethical reasons to deny whistle blowers the due process guaranteed by school board policy.

He could; if there were any. There aren't.

Which leaves us with a cover up orchestrated by Brooks, Esquivel, and Walz.

If there is any other explanation at all, someone point to it.

cc Walz upon posting




frame grab Mark Bralley

A few Tampa junket facts

Though the information is still not available on APS' "award winning" website; it is in the Journal this morning, link.

Bottom line; cost is supposed to total around $20K, though there is some confusion apparently about from what account, exactly, the money will come, though we do know, they are tax dollars.

APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta, who did not get to go, defended the trip;

"Money spent on professional development directly impacts student success."
In general, that statement is true but only as it applies to people who actually meet with students; the further the training takes place from a classroom, the less likely the impact on student success.

School Board President Marty Esquivel also defended the junket;"
"I can understand how it may appear in (financially) troubled times, but I also trust my colleagues to assess the value it brings to the district in terms of attending the conference."
The actual value will become apparent when the traveling board members return and
"give presentations to the full board about what they learned and gained from the conference".
Don't expect much. This is not the first conference and it will not be the last. No one, ever, has come back from any conference with game changing insight. Conference after conference after conference has not solved the fundamental problems that stymie educators.

Has it occurred to anyone, if there really were magic bullet cures for what ails public education, that someone could have, would have, and should have pointed to them?

Board Members on the trip include, Delores Griego, Lorenzo Garcia, David Robbins and David Peercy.

Senior administrators along for the ride; Chief Operating Officer Brad Winter; Executive Director of Technology Tom Ryan; Capital Master Plan Director Kizito Wijenje; and Executive Director of Instruction and Accountability Rose-Ann McKernan.

Supt Winston Brooks, of course, is along for the ride. Part of his bill is being underwritten by the conference. He sits on the Executive Council of the Council of the Great City Schools whose conference it is.

Not surprisingly, Brooks' name is in the hat for another "excellence in urban education" award. Apparently, it is "excellent practice" to cover up corruption, deny whistle blowers due process, and to hide from obligations as a senior most administrative role model of student standards of conduct.


Noteworthy; though the Journal has reported a few of the facts surrounding the Tampa junket, they steadfastly refuses to investigate and report upon Brooks' cover up, denial of due process, and abdication as a role model of the Pillars of Character Counts!; the APS student standards of conduct. Nor will they report that Board Members Robbins and Esquivel are integral to the denial of due process to whistle blowers, nor that Board Members Peercy and Esquivel are suppressing discussion of student standards of conduct and of executive and administrative responsibilities as role models.

Nor will the Journal report on the conflict of interest involving Journal Editor Kent Walz and Esquivel, Brooks, the NM FOG and their recognition of Brooks as a champion of transparency".

They will report, I suppose, on Brooks' acceptance of an award for "excellent leadership".

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Not your average kid

These are a few of the students on APS Supt Winston Brooks' SuperSAC, link; his Student Advisory Council.

None appear to be members of a gang.
None look like they will drop out before graduation.
None appear to be armed, stoned, or chronically disruptive.

None appear to be suffering from any of the ailments of
the students who are being failed by the APS.

Honestly, they look more like the kind of kids who bullies pick on because they're taking their educations seriously.

They will look great in photographs with Winston Brooks.

As far as getting council from those who might offer some
real insight into the issues of public education, Brooks has
chosen to not have; a Parents Advisory Council,
Citizens Advisory Council, or Teachers Advisory Council.

Perhaps his SuperSAC advisors know some students who are struggling, and can therefore advise Brooks on how best to address their needs. Else, they will be of little constructive use.

Too much corruption to cover?

I sent an email to R. Braiden Trapp, the Managing Editor of the Rio Grande SUN. I had been steered toward him as a man who was unafraid of exposing corruption.

In fact, he was recently honored by the NM FOG, with the same Dixon Award being given to APS Supt Winston Brooks.
The difference being that, Trapp actually deserves his award.

I asked him if he had any interest on doing a story on the corruption in the APS. I forewarned him that the investigation would illuminate problems in the leadership of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, who is currently honoring Brooks as their champion of transparency, in utter disregard of the reality of his obstruction of transparency.

Trapp
sits on the Board of Directors of the NM FOG.

He responded;

"Sorry, I can't cover all the corruption in our area.
I can't go to Albuquerque."
I reminded him that I had offered to make my way up to Espanola to meet with him.

He did not respond.




photo Mark Bralley

School Board Junket still secret

A quorum of the APS Board of Education is in Tampa, Florida attending a conference.

If you go to APS's award winning website, you will not find the names of those who are attending, the cost of their travel, or the identity of those who are paying for the trip.

If you contact the School Board Office and ask them, they will refer you to APS Director of Communications Rigo Chavez for answers.

If you ask him, he will not respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

If you go to a "public forum" at a school board meeting, and ask who went, who paid, and how much did it cost?, you will be told that you are not allowed to ask questions at school board meetings. If you persist in exercising your right to ask questions according to your constitutionally protected human rights to free speech and to petition your government, you will be taken into custody by members of their publicly funded private police force and removed from the meeting.

If you look on APS' award winning website, to find out how much you're paying Rigo Chavez to not answer legitimate questions candidly, forthrightly and honestly, you won't find that either.

As matter of fact, you won't find any administrative salaries, even on the page entitled "administrative salary schedule", link.




photo Mark Bralley

NM FOG looking for fair pricing

Unscrupulous Custodians of Public Records use weakness in the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, to gouge record seekers with unjustifiable costs, as a means to discourage requests for public records.

The NM FOG has published a press release illuminating their effort to end the practice.

FOG Executive Director Sarah Welsh writes;

“We’ve seen an uptick in complaints regarding excessive charges for electronic copies, particularly at the local level,” New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Executive Director Sarah Welsh said. “These include big bills to receive routine documents as e-mail attachments, and big bills for the privilege of making your own copies with a scanner or digital camera. Whatever the situation, unreasonable copy fees violate open-government laws and strongly discourage public access to information.”

Under state law, every person has the right to inspect public records for free. If a person wants copies, records custodians may charge “reasonable fees” not exceeding $1 per page for legal-size or smaller paper.

The law doesn’t explicitly address e-mailed documents or documents burned onto digital media like CDs and DVDs. However, the law’s “reasonable fee” provision has long been interpreted as a mechanism for recovering actual copying costs. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King’s office, which conducts sunshine-law training seminars throughout the state, routinely counsels public agencies to determine and pass along the actual cost of copying public records – regardless of their form or format.

In the case of an e-mailed document, that might include any staff time needed to scan, attach and send the document. If the agency provides the document on a CD, the cost of the blank CD could be added to any staff copying time. When a requester brings his own equipment to make a scanned or photographed copy, the agency pays nothing and so should charge nothing for the copies.

“Documents are evolving, but the principle remains the same,” Welsh said. “The public has the right to inspect public records and copy them for a reasonable fee. If it takes a public employee 30 seconds to attach a document to an e-mail, the cost to the agency is virtually nothing. And that’s how much it should cost the requester.”

Welsh said agencies are often relying on old policies that were enacted to deal with paper copies, and paper copies alone.

“I would encourage any records custodian or government attorney who is unsure of how to deal with electronic copies to consult with the Attorney General’s office,” Welsh said. “There is usually a reasonable way forward that works for everyone.”

Welsh said copy charges have long been an issue for open-government advocates and a key part of the effort to ensure freedom of information.

“There are already a host of practical barriers to obtaining public information,” Welsh said. “As a citizen, I have to know what I’m looking for and who’s holding it, and I have to take the time and effort to request it. Sometimes I’ll need to study the law and argue my case for weeks or months on end. If I’m successful, copying charges often represent one final barrier to access. Citizen requesters will balk at paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for information, and that’s harmful to the public interest in government transparency and accountability.”


It would be nice if the NM FOG has some success in this endeavor, but that is unlikely. The Foundation is well intentioned, but feckless.

Their fecklessness will only get worse when it starts to soak into the political consciousness of the state, that the FOG is giving APS Supt Winston Brooks their transparency award, while at the same time Brooks is stiffing the FOG over the surrender to public knowledge, of the results of an independent investigation into corruption in the APS Police Department.

The NM FOG to date, has offered no explanation of the disconnect between their recognition Brooks as a "champion of transparency" while at the same time fighting with him over his steadfast efforts to hide public records from public knowledge.




photo Mark Bralley

Liar!

Some political pundits say Lt Gov Diane Denish went beyond the pale, an action that is regarded as outside the limits of acceptable behavior, when during their last debate, she turned to Susana Martinez, pointed at her, and called her a "liar".

Whether Martinez "lied" about plea bargaining down the consequences for drunk drivers, is open to conjecture. The allegation that Martinez "lied" about plea bargaining, may well be a "lie" in itself.

That said, if someone is a liar, if someone is deliberately
misleading voters by any means, why not call them a liar?

Why not tell it like it is?

I think sometimes political correctness and diplomacy
stand in the way of learning the whole truth.

Secret fight between State Offices

There is a fight going on in State Court, link, between the
State Auditors Office
and the Attorney General's Office.
Or, is the fight between the State Auditor and the Attorney
General.
We don't know because the whole thing is
taking place behind closed doors.

It is difficult for me to believe that the people are legitimately any access to information about this case; if for no other reason than that both men are standing for re-election.

What if the facts of the case would affect the outcome of the election?

This situation points to the need to re-examine governmental transparency laws. It is clear that the line between the truth that should and should not be public knowledge is not only misplaced but muddy.

The Government Restructuring Task Force should have taken up the issue of transparency as a fundamental component of restructuring. They did not.

They chickened out.

As a result, we are left with those having to most to hide, being the ones who decide what gets hidden and what does not.

Brooks gets leadership award

APS Superintendent Winston Brooks has been recognized for his "leadership in education", link. The award was made by "De Colores, an Albuquerque non-profit which organizes a number of events during Hispanic Heritage Month ..."

Aside from the fact that Gov Bill Richardson was also recognized, we know nothing about the award. No mention is make of who else was in the running or what the criteria were that differentiated Brooks from the also ran. There was no mention of anything he or Richardson might have done to actually earn any award.

If Brooks is a leader at anything, it is at getting good press for a floundering school district; not much of an accomplishment considering the cover the local media is willing to give him. Since that endeavor is dishonest at its heart, an award for such can't be worth much in the over all scheme of things; just like the NM FOG's Dixon Award for "champions of transparency". It may have been prestigious once, but with its award to Brooks, it is no longer.

All these awards are beginning to stink; just a bunch of good ol' boys taking turns slapping each other on the back, independent of any real accomplishment with regard to the subject of the award.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rigo Chavez is not going to email to me, the identity of the School Board members on the Tampa junket.

He tells me, in a phone message, that he wrote the names down on a piece of paper and he had the paper. Further, he told me, he would be willing to read the list to me over the phone or, I could arrange to visit him inside the Castle keep, and read the list for my self.

He will not email their names.

He doesn't respond by email.

He refuses to surrender public
records electronically.

It "... isn't his practice ..."

He is a records obfuscation
wizard, and well paid for it.

I expect that the answer to my other questions;

  1. how much is the Tampa junket costing? and
  2. who's paying for it?
will be just as hard to come by.

I could sue for them I suppose, but why should I have to?

Not to mention that the Courts are their home field;
it's hit or miss even with the best possible case.

Trust me; there is nothing in the law that will allow any APS administrator or board member to be held accountable for obfuscating the surrender of public records.


With Modrall lawyers and a large bore pipe line to public education dollars to underwrite their litigation, it is a certainty.

So is Rigo a rogue administrator; is he out of control;
or does he do what Champion of Transparency
Winston Brooks
tells him to?

And Journal Editor Kent Walz still sees nothing,
hears nothing, and reports nothing.




photo Mark Bralley

Why won't the Journal report that there is corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS?

Or, in the alternative;

why won't the Journal write that there isn't corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS?

Why is the quality of the standards not newsworthy?
Why is the system of accountability not newsworthy?

Why won't the Journal/Kent Walz assure us that
there is honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence in the leadership of the APS?
if they honestly is, and then
show us the proof that there is, if there is actually any.

If there actually is

inescapable accountability
to unequivocal standards of conduct and
competence in the leadership of the APS;
they could be pointing to it;
they should be pointing to it;
they would be pointing to it.

Right?

NM FOG Board of Directors appearance of a conflict of interest.

Appearances of conflicts of interest and impropriety abound on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.

One not yet on the table; Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce President Teri Cole's endorsement of Winston Brooks' award and the cover up of Character Counts! scandal in the Albuquerque Public Schools.

There is the appearance that she is in support of a Dixon Award in order to lend undue credibility to APS Supt Winston Brooks and his cover up of his abdication as a role model of the standards of conduct he established and enforces upon students; the Pillars of Character Counts!, link.

Teri Cole and the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce were early supporters of Character Counts!, in the 90's when it was all the rage; before people realized what they were getting into.

What they were getting into was; honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence.

What they were getting into was accountability as role models of a higher standard of conduct than the law.

When I asked Teri Cole to step up as a role model of the Pillars of Character Counts!, she ran.

And took the Chamber of Commerce with her. Where is the Chamber's support for Character Counts! in the APS now?

If you think about character education in general, and Character Counts! education specifically; it doesn't require a great deal of thinking to come to two conclusions.

The first is that;

Because our children have an absolute right to role models,
we are inexorably obligated to step up as role models
of any standard of conduct that we enforce upon children.

Character is not taught, except by personal example.
The second is;
there is no getting out of the first.

If we really want students to grow into adults
who embrace character and courage and honor,
someone has to show them what it looks like.

Before that became a sticking point, public figures were falling all over themselves to be counted among those who would be models of Character Counts!

One of the early jumpers on the bandwagon, was the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and its President, Teri Cole.

Then I asked her to join me in the effort to hold APS administrators and board members actually accountable as role models of the Pillars of Character Counts!. At which point she bailed.

As did Character Counts! Founding Father Senator Pete Domenici.

As did Character Counts! Founding Father Michael Josephson.

As did Character Counts! Founding Father Marty Chavez.

As did Character Counts! Leadership Council President Paula Maes.

As did Mayor Richard Berry.

As have every single member of the leadership of the APS including school board members.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Journal Editor Kent Walz once endorsed Character Counts! and now no longer will.

Sidebar;
It bears notice; Richard Romero, when asked to step up as a role model of the Pillars of Character Counts!, did not bail. He offered to hold himself, as Mayor, honestly accountable to the same standard of conduct as his student constituents.

Kent Walz' paper didn't report it.
Is there a politician or public servant anywhere, who will stand up and hold themselves honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence?

Is there no politician or public servant who will promise to tell us the truth, the whole ethically redacted truth, and nothing but the truth?

We tell students; their character depends on their willingness to do more than the law requires, and less than the law allows, and no one is willing to show them what that looks like.

We tell them their character depends on their holding themselves honestly accountable for their conduct.

We tell them to respond to legitimate questions by answering candidly, forthrightly, and honestly. We tell them that when the don't, they do so at the forfeit of their good character.

The highest and most powerful role models have simply abandon their obligations as role models, and no one is holding them accountable.

I digress.

Teri Cole once stood up for Character Counts!
She does not now, and has never explained to 90,000
students in the APS, why they are expected to "model
and promote a higher standard of conduct than she.

Someone needs to explain, in words that a child can understand,
why adults will not have in their own code of conduct,
a promise which reads;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for a child.

Cole once supported Character Counts! and now supports Winston Brooks in his battle to remain unaccountable as a role model of a higher standard of conduct than the law.

She will have forgotten all of this.

I haven't.

In any case, on the Board, the following appearances of a conflicts of interest and impropriety;
  • Marty Esquivel, who has also abdicated from his obligation as the senior most executive role model of the Pillars of Character Counts!, and who would not like the subject discussed.
  • Kent Walz, who should be reporting on the abdication by the leadership of the APS, has not. Difficult, if not impossible to explain.
  • Teri Cole, former Character Counts! advocate, who along with the Chamber of Commerce itself, abandoned all support of the APS Student Standards of Conduct.
  • Pat Rogers, who is guilty by association with the Modrall law firm which has made millions , using loopholes, technicalities and legal weaslry, to litigate exception to the law for APS administrators and board members.
Noteworthy; three of the above mentioned four,
make up 3/4ths of the Executive Board of the FOG.
If Esquivel had been given the President's seat,
it would have been four out of four.

Add to this; Winston Brooks will be handed a Dixon Award for
  • hiding evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators, and
  • pointing to the NM FOG's inability, or unwillingness, to do anything about it.
The FOG is feckless, or lackin the will, to compel the surrender of public records; the independent investigation of the public corruption in the APS Police Department.

William Dixon must be spinning in his grave.

If not, he will be the evening of November 3rd
when they present the award with his name on it
to Winston Brooks.




photo Mark Bralley

Kent Walz is responsible

The Journal has failed stakeholders as a watchdog over their
interests in the Albuquerque Public Schools.


I hold Journal Editor Kent Walz personally accountable for the Journal's steadfast refusal to investigate and report upon the lack of executive and administrative standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS.

I hold him personally responsible for the fact that voters don't know about the ongoing corruption in the APS Police Department and that evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators is being kept from prosecutors.

I hold him personally responsible for the fact that voters don't know that due process is being denied to hundreds of whistle blowers in an effort to hide the truth about an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

I hold him personally responsible for the fact the voters don't know that the leadership of the APS has abdicated as role models of the student standards of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!; a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

I hold him personally responsible for the fact that 30 fourth graders, who would have thrived in an "all boys" class, will be denied the education they want and deserve.

I hold Kent Walz personally accountable for the fact that APS Supt Winston Brooks is being honored as a "champion of transparency" when in fact, both of them are quite the opposite.

I will give Walz credit for printing a few letters to the editor, link, from other people who find the actions of the leadership of the APS as disturbing as I do.




frame grab Mark Bralley

Fill it, or kill it.

There once was an elective class for boys who believed they would thrive in an all boys classroom, link.

By any good and ethical measure, the class was successful;
it was hugely successful.

Because it was an elective class, the teacher was obligated to find students to fill seats. If an elective teacher cannot fill all the seats, the class is killed. It is killed independent of whatever success it had, or would have.

I pay pretty close attention to the APS, and I don't remember any effort made by the leadership of the APS to recruit students to this golden opportunity. I would not hesitate to bet that, had any attention at all been paid to the empty seats on APS expensive new website, the class would have filled. It might have over filled. There might now be two classes, or more.

Does anyone really believe that there are not 30 ten year old boys in the entire APS who would make their way to this class? (Update, according to an op-ed from the leadership, he only needed 22 to make his class)

The Journal has not reported the whole truth about this,
I believe, in deference to APS senior administrators who
would rather not be held accountable for their indefensible
decision.

APS Board off on Florida Junket

Four APS Board Members, a quorum, are going to Tampa Florida to attend "training", link.

My questions about who is going and who is paying for the junket, were ducked and have been referred to APS Director of Communication Rigo Chavez.

I have emailed for his assistance;

Mr Chavez,

I am told it is you who will tell me about the board training in Tampa.

I would like to know;
who is going; executive, administrative, and staff,
who is presenting, and
who is paying? how much?

I prefer that you answer by email and at your earliest convenience.



Since it is "not his practice" to answer legitimate questions timely, candidly, forthrightly and honestly; it may be some time before the truth is finally revealed.

In the meantime, I would like to know if there are board members whose terms will end in February, Marty Esquivel, Robert Lucero, and Delores Griego, who are helping themselves to a little trip to Florida, knowing the "training" they receive will leave with them in four months.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Justice League a la New Mexico

The Justice League, wikilink, wore white hats; they were the good guys.

Enter the new Justice League (I assume this, link, is they).
(It is unclear whether they have gone through any of the steps
one goes through to avoid copyright infringement;
no one seems to want to answer that question.)


They are trying to affect the outcome of the Gubernatorial election by putting together, clever little ads, link, that play to voters' ignorance and naivete.

Can you imagine the effect, had this creative energy been
spent, not in manipulating voters by distorting issues,
but rather, spent instead on illuminating the issues of in the election?

And how much prouder they might have been of their body of work?

Questions beforehand!

If you watched the Gubernatorial Debate Sunday night,
you probably said to yourself, more than once,

... she's not answering the question.
Were you impressed with even your champion's answers?
Was either of them entirely candid, forthright and honest?

It is only by their own deliberate choice that they present
themselves for questions in forum where they can then duck
inconvenient questions.

By some good and ethical process; compile a list of (nearly)
every legitimate question of a candidate for Governor.

Put them to the candidates well in advance of a forum.

Then they sit down, sit still, and answer the damn questions;
one by one, and candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

Voters are being played for fools by political operatives
who are ruining the election.

Serrano, "The time has come to split up APS."

In the Journal this morning, link, west side leader Dan Serrano argues in favor of putting an APS split on the ballot in the school board election in February. Serrano sees splitting the APS as the solution to APS' accountability problems.

The leadership of the APS is not accountable to the people.
They are not accountable to meaningful standards of conduct
and competence. The truth is, they are not even accountable
to the law.

The leadership of the APS shows little to no respect for stakeholder's input. Their entire effort to allow stakeholder input consists of an opportunity to speak at a nearly inaccessible public forum for two minutes, twice a month.

Stakeholders are "not allowed" to ask questions at public forums. The leadership insists that questions be put in writing, a format that is easier for them to ignore. In fairness, they don't totally ignore them; those who submit questions will receive a post card thanking them for submitting a question. The question itself will be ignored unless the answer to the question would look good in the Journal.

Serrano and the Citizens Advancing Student Achievement, think splitting a large district into smaller districts will increase accountability.

Their argument rests on a specious premise; the smaller a school district is, the more responsive the leadership will be to input from stakeholders. The argument has a nice ring to it, but little in the way of empirical evidence to support it.

Serrano, et al, would be far better off confronting a recalcitrant leadership where they find them, than to create another set of leadership who could be every bit as recalcitrant.

West siders routinely re-elect
Robert "the weasel" Lucero

as their representative on the
APS School Board.

This despite the fact that
Lucero
speaks regularly in
favor of limiting public forums
even further than they already are.

What makes Serrano think that
Lucero would act any differently
if he were a board member in a smaller district?

The answer is for stakeholders to take back control over power and resources that belong fundamentally to them. That can be done just as easily in a big district as in a small one. All it requires is "enough" people to show up at a public forum demanding transparent accountability and accepting nothing less.

In the meantime, Serrano et al, should be looking for someone else to support when Lucero stands for re-election in February.



photo Mark Bralley

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fascinating perspective on public education

I highly recommend that you invest eleven minutes and forty seconds in watching this fascinating perspective on changing paradigm for public education; link.

Cemetery seating;

five rows of six student desks, wherein sit 30 children
with nothing in common except the date of their
manufacture; who are expected to move as one;
staying on the same page in same book on the same day
as the other 29; for twelve long years.
There has to be a better way.

You cannot have at once, individualized education and standardized testing. You cannot at once, meet the needs of individual students and the requirements of NCLB; the single worst stumbling block restraining public education.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance ..."

... and a people who mean to be their own governors must
arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

James Madison

Friday, October 15, 2010

Brooks' blinders

APS Supt Winston Brooks is going to invest a considerable amount of time visiting with high school students; they are to become some of his most important advisers, link.
Brooks
says, ... we really want to get their input.

The students he will be meeting "... were chosen by their principals, who were asked to choose a diverse group of students who are leaders and can influence their peers."

Likely not among them;
students carrying weapons,
students high on drugs, or
any who drop out this year.
Nor will there be even one
student with a chronically
disruptive disposition.

The impression Brooks will gain
will be skewed because
his sample is skewed.

He is also not gathering input from parents; APS' Citizen's Advisory Council was dissolved by the leadership of the APS in lieu of a "better idea". So far they have not come up with a better idea.

He is also not gathering input from his teachers, who between them share more than 70,000 years of current and on going teaching experience.

He surrounds himself with sycophants who are as long out of the real world classroom as he. As far as I know, their is not one year of teaching experience on the entire school board.

I have often suggested that board members and senior administrators should work occasionally as substitute teachers. And not just in the honors classes; they need to get their fingers dirty dealing with the learning disabled and the unmotivated, the stoned, the dangerous and the chronically disruptive.

Then, they can tell everyone else what to do with some
actual credibility.




photo Mark Bralley

Brooks seeks advice from students.

The Journal reports, link, that APS Superintendent Winston Brooks has assembled a bunch of teenagers to guide his decision making. Students were not deemed capable of electing their own representatives to the group, which was instead, appointed by administrators.

The Journal did not report it when the leadership of the APS

  • dissolved the Citizens Advisory Council,
  • promised to replace it with "something better" and,
  • replaced it with nothing at all.
The Journal has not reported that there is no Teachers Advisory Council, never has been, and never will be. This despite the fact that APS teachers share between them, more than 70,000 years of teaching experience.

The Director of the APS Research Development and Accountability Division freely admits that the leadership of the APS has never surveyed teachers and asked them; what is wrong and, how what can the administration do to help.

Now, we have an otherwise completely powerless group of people, from whom Brooks will take his lead.
"Brooks said the group will soon undertake the serious business of advising him on budget cuts and other topics."
And now, the money line. Brooks admitted said;
"My experience is that school board members will probably listen to (students) more than they listen to me,"
Which begs a question; if school board members listen to
students more than they listen to their superintendent,
whom they pay more than $250K a year,
does this point to a problem in the leadership of the APS?

duh! !!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

OK here's proof

I am asked always to point to 20 second soundbites that prove my case. It is a challenge.

One has popped up.

There is the appearance of
conflicts of interest regarding
School Board President
Marty Esquivel's

service to stakeholders







and his service to Bruce Malott
and his Meyners +Co.















I will ask for all public records that reflect Esquivel's conduct with respect to disclosing all of his conflicts of interest, and whether he has recused himself appropriately from votes that benefit his friends and clients.

If past practice is any indicator of future performance, APS Custodian of Public Records, Director of Communications Rigo Chavez will;

  • ignore the return receipt request that accompanies the emailed Request for Public Records, and
  • he will refuse to communicate by email; he uses snail-mail as a matter of "practice", then
  • he will insist that I have to come to his office in order that he can watch me inspect them, but only after,
  • the APS police show up to hassle me a little, and then
  • he charges 50 cents a page, though the law limits his take to "legitimate costs" of copying. That is assuming the records are actually there,
  • he often feigns ignorance of the law in order to stall.
  • He rarely produces the records specifically identified in the request. In response to request for audio or video recordings, he routinely surrenders blank or otherwise unusable information.
  • He once gave me a recording of a TV playing the recording I had asked for.
As a recently joined member of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government I would like to nominate Mr Rigo Chavez as the foundation's Dixon Award as their next true champion of transparency.

I digress.

I will ask for the public records which pertain to Esquivel's conflicts of interest and response to them.

The will either respond to a legitimate question candidly, forthrightly and honestly, as required by their obligation to "... model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!"

or not.




photos Mark Bralley

It will be one week Friday

since I stood in front of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Board of Directors meeting and informed them that;

two of theirs where giving a Dixon Award to a man who during the day is making a mockery of the impotence.

As far as I know, they intend to go through with it.

The entire Board of Directors will sit and do nothing while;
Marty Esquivel deliberately denies due process to whistle blowers
Winston Brooks hides evidence of felony criminal misconduct by senior APS administrators, and
Kent Walz refuses to investigate and report upon any of it.

NM FOG Executive Director Sarah Welsh is "trying" to get Brooks to hand over the ethically redacted results of an independent investigation into public corruption in the APS Police Department, link;

... fectlessly.



For awhile, the board members could claim that they were
only asleep at the wheel when the Brooks Dixon Award
was slipped by them.

Now it is something worse.

And it's getter worser, every day.

APS/Esquivel to extend Malott contract

The APS School Board will vote tomorrow, link, to extend a contract, link, with Meyners + Co, link, a local firm.

Meyners
has been tied to the pay to play scandal in Santa Fe, link.

Meyners
is led by one Bruce Malott.

Malott is a friend and client of APS School Board President Marty Esquivel.

Esquivel is defending Malott, link, against allegations stemming from the corruption and incompetence in the investment of state pension plans. Malott is being sued by Frank Foy, former New Mexico Educational chief investment officer, on behalf of the state.

This represents two conflicts of interest for Esquivel,
about which he is apparently unwilling to answer legitimate questions; link, link.

The conflicts of interest should have compelled Esquivel to recuse himself from any votes to steer APS' business to his friend and client's accounting firm.

I suspect that Esquivel has not, and will not, recuse himself,
though proof will be as hard to find as are any public records
in the hands of the leadership of the APS.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Friends of Marty Esquivel, step up.

And friends of Winston Brooks and Kent Walz.

I submit that Brooks and Esquivel and Walz will not tell stakeholders the truth about the corruption in the APS Police Department, and about the School Board's denial of due process to more than 200 whistleblowers.

And further, the reason they will not, is that not one of them
can summon the character and the courage to tell the truth,
the whole ethically redacted truth, and nothing but the truth.

If any of you friends and supporters,
can think of any good and ethical reason at all,
to suppress testimony, evidence, and public records
in blatant violation of the law, or to deny due process
to whistleblowers,

please share it, now, ___________________________

Marty? Winston? Kent? Did you boys chop down that cherry tree?

According to the standards of conduct that apply to students in the APS, young George Washington did the right thing when he held himself honestly accountable for his conduct.

According to the standards of conduct that apply to administrators and board members, young George should have hired himself a Modrall lawyer.

It would appear that School Board President Marty Esquivel, APS Supt Winston Brooks, and Journal Editor Kent Walz are hiding something.

The question is; are you boys hiding the truth about public corruption in the leadership of the APS?

Winston, are you hiding evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators?









Marty, are you really denying due process to hundreds of whistle blower complaints?









Have you both, abdicated as role models of the APS Student Standards of Conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!?


And Kent, are you really going to
show up at an APS School Board
Meeting
and give NM FOG's most
prestigious award,
the Dixon Award
for
Champions of Transparency
to Winston Brooks?





Are you really going to try to keep the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, secret through yet another school board election?

George Washington reportedly, would fess up.

We tell the 90,000 of our sons and daughters in the APS;
their character depends upon their responding to any
legitimate question by, answering candidly, forthrightly
and honestly.

If we really want students to grow into adults who
embrace character and courage and honor,
someone has to show them what it looks like.




photos and frame grab Mark Bralley

It's our truth.

In the Journal this morning, link.

"Brutal attacks at the jail last year triggered public outcry and a call from Bernalillo County commissioners for an independent review of jail operations."
The results of the review are being kept secret from public knowledge.

Commissioners are ultimately responsible for whatever is revealed. Commissioners are the only public servants who are actually directly accountable to the people. If we are to hold them accountable for their conduct and competence, we have to know the truth about their conduct and competence; the ethically redacted truth, non the "massaged" truth.

If power corrupts, absolutely, the corrupting influence is the ability to deliberately manipulate the truth without accountability. The fundamental abuse of power is dishonesty.

To hear them tell it; they would love to tell us the ethically redacted truth about their spending of our power and our resources.
County Attorney Jeff Landers said in an interview.
"I can't go into detail on what they are because that information is protected by attorney-client privilege."
Landers would have you believe that, because of "attorney client privilege" he is prohibited from telling the truth.

The truth is, "attorney client privilege allows him to not tell the truth. They ran the investigation through an attorney deliberately in order that they could then hide the results under the loophole.

There is a trend; more and more independent investigations will be handled through attorneys who are paid by taxpayers but not accountable to them.

Its how they hid and are hiding from public knowledge,
an ethically redacted version of the independent investigation of the MATS scandal.

Another common dodge, by politicians and public servants who want to protract the surrender of ethically redacted public records real time, is to refuse to deliver any requested records until they can deliver them all simultaneously. They find one to nitpick over, with their loopholes and legal weaselry, and the people are told nothing about how their power and resources are act.

This investigation has been going on for nearly a year and a half. Are we really to believe that there is nothing our $106,930 has bought us nothing that we have a right to know?

It isn't just the county.

APS Supt Winston Brooks and School Board President Marty Esquivel are sitting on top of a three and a half year old "investigation", and hiding public records of felony criminal misconduct.

NM FOG is no longer a player; they still intend to show
up in APS' million dollar boardroom on November 3, and
give their most prestigious award to Winston Brooks
while is mocking their impotency.

This despite the many apparent discrepancies between the
the supposed goals of the NM FOG and the manifest behavior
of their Champion of Transparency Winston Brooks
including his on going cover-up of corruption in the APS
Police Department.


The FOG is proving less than useful in getting Brooks to hand over the ethically results of an independent investigation of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators.

The Journal will be of no use. Editor Kent Walz must continue his part in the cover-up, because it was he who actually nominated Brooks for the award. If he exposes Brooks, he exposes his obligation to answer a few questions like,
wtf were you thinking?

The power belongs to the people.
The resources belong to the people.
The ethically redacted truth about how they're being spent belongs to the people.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Duneesh ad; right on the money

There is an ad being aired that shows Lt Gov Diane Denish endorsing Bill Richardson.

She argues that, the ad shows that the Republicans are running against Richardson not against her.




Au contraire; the ad shows one of a few things about Diane Denish at the time she cut the ad.

Since we now know, the Richardson administration wasn't doing well at the time; she either believed all the stuff she was saying about one of the most corrupt administrations in recent memory; meaning she was incompetent, or,
she did know what was going on and was willing to lie to people in order to get elected, meaning she was corrupt.

Which begs an answer to a question that has been asked an awful lot of times; If Denish knew about the culture of corruption, why didn't she champion a campaign against it?

If she didn't know about it, then why didn't she?

Was she complicit, compliant, complacent,
... or what, exactly?

It's a fair question.




photo Mark Bralley

Walz; no comment

Kent Walz has either not received my email, or chose to
not respond.

When the question is; will you tell me the truth?
any answer except yes, means no.

my question and email to him;

Sir,

I am wondering if you will offer any explanation for the fact that the leadership of the APS has completely abandoned any concerted effort to offer character education to APS students, and that the Journal has not investigated or reported upon that situation.

grateful for your time and attention
He is yet to respond; I have no idea why; I have my suspicions.

When the question is will you tell the truth;
any answer except yes, means no.

No, Journal Editor Kent Walz
is not willing to offer any candid,
forthright and honest explanation for his ongoing failure to investigate and report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.





I will offer one; he doesn't want to be exposed as the person who nominated Winston Brooks for his Champion of Transparency Award.

Right after he exposes his "champion" as an utter fraud.

The biggest obstacle for the Journal to overcome in investigating and reporting upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, is their own credibility. Before Walz can investigate and report credibly upon on the current scandal, he must report credibly on his failure to report credibly on the scandal in the 16 years heretofore.

The leadership of the APS has been hiding from their obligations role models of the Pillars of Character Counts!; ever since they were unanimously adopted by the board, as the Student Standards of Conduct, in 1994.

Walz reported to stakeholders when the Board adopted the Pillars of Character Counts! as the student standard of conduct, and consequently, as their own.

He did not report it when they abdicated as role models when they removed from their own code of conduct, the words;
"In no case, shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students."
He will not now report that his buddies Marty Esquivel and Winston Brooks are hiding public records and evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.

He will not now report that his buddies Marty Esquivel and Winston Brooks are denying due process to every single one of more than 200 whistle blower complaints.

He will not now report that his buddies Marty Esquivel and Winston Brooks, the senior most role models of the student standards of conduct, have renounced their own accountability to the same standards of conduct that they establish and enforce upon students, even for the measly few hours a day that they hold students accountable.

Most of all, Journal Editor Kent Walz is not going to report to you, why he is not going to report to you.

His position is indefensible.

The only defense for an indefensible position is, to hide it.

He is hiding his answer to a legitimate question;
Will you tell us the truth about the (alleged) ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS?

Any answer except yes, means no.

He means, no.

He will not tell the truth, even through the next school board election; just as he did in the ones before.

"Never pick a fight with a man who buys his ink and his silence,
by the barrel." - Twain I believe




frame grab Mark Bralley

Journal extolls bullying website

The Journal is quite pleased with APS' new bullying website, link.

The site, link, should be of use to the victims of bullying,
assuming their eyes are not swollen too shut to read along.

The Journal chose to not mention that,
the site represents no threat to bullies, at all.

The greatest threat to bullies, would be some meaningful
character education, district wide.

The Journal chooses also to not mention that
there is no concerted character education in the APS, link, at all.

APS Supt Winston Brooks superficial repair is newsworthy, apparently, his underlying fundamental failure is not.

APS abandons character education.

The leadership of the APS has decided to abandon character education in terms of any concerted effort.

The leadership of the Albuquerque Journal has decided that, that isn't newsworthy.

I will bow to controverting fact.

Brooks walkabout expensive and feckless

The Journal gives APS Supt Winston Brooks free space on a regular basis, to write whatever he wants without fear of contradiction or rebuttal.

Today, link, Brooks writes about his walkabout, wikilink, the 1230 square miles that encompass the APS. He did not write about the cost; hourly wage x hours at each school x 163 schools, but if he makes it to every school and spends a couple of hours going, being, and coming, we're paying north of $40K for his little adventure.

$40K is a pittance when compared to the district's more than $1B budget.

It is also nearly the salary of another teacher, two teachers aides, another 1000 textbooks, etc.

Brooks writes;

"Although the school administration sets the agenda for
these visits, they aren't staged."
Right, and a pint of Häagen-Dazs serves four.

It is hard to believe that a man in a position of such authority could be so naive. How much more likely is it, that he is simply being dishonest?

Imagine you are a school principal. Imagine the Supt is coming to visit your school. Imagine you set the agenda for his visit. Imagine which classrooms you would lead him toward, and which classrooms you would avoid.

This isn't about "wasting" 40 grand, it's about building APS' image in the community to lessen the sting of the egregious failure to meet the educational needs of 90,000 of this community's sons and daughters.

Brooks' time would be better spent;
  • addressing the corruption in the APS Police Department, or
  • providing due process to more than 200 whistleblowers, or
  • finding a code of conduct for students, of which he is not afraid to speak, or
  • beginning an honest and independent audit of administrative and executive standards of conduct and competence, and accountability to them.
Instead, he and the Journal, will continue to hide the problems and tout the successes.