Monday, October 18, 2010

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
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

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