Normally, I try to leave reporters out of the fight.
I hold editors responsible newsworthiness decisions.
In this case, link, I hold the reporter responsible, if for
nothing else; the content. It is (deliberately) misleading.
The average Journal reader of this article will probably come away believing APS is doing an ok job on character education. They are not.
Read the resolution by which the APS School Board unanimously adopted Character Counts! as the model for character education, link.
Take a look at the search of the APS website for "character counts!", link.
If you ask APS Director of Communications Rigo Chavez for a public record indicating that the District has spent even one penny on any concerted district wide effort, he will admit there is not one.
Carole Smith who is apparently being paid to be the district wide coordinator, admits that there is no district wide effort to coordinate; the "... emphasis looks different at every school."
Tell me that the District's effort for Character Counts! is not an abject failure by any honest measure.
The most glaring omission in the piece was the subject of role modeling. How can you investigate and report up character education and not investigate and report upon role modeling?
Character is taught by role models.
Character is taught by personal example.
Character is taught only by personal example.
There used to be a role modeling clause in the standards of conduct that applied to administrators and board members.
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,The statement was important because it represented our promise that we would not expect more of students than we expect of ourselves. 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.
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
The role modeling clause was removed by board members who did not want to be held honestly accountable to the same standards of conduct that they establish and enforce upon students; the Pillars of Character Counts!, a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.
The leadership of the APS has no intention of being held honestly accountable to any standard of conduct higher than the law. The law, being the lowest standard of conduct among civilized people. There is ample evidence that they have no intention of being held honestly accountable even to the law.
The leadership of the APS has no intention of being held honestly accountable to any standard of conduct that requires them to tell the truth.
They have abdicated as role models of the Pillar of Character Counts! and reporter Hailey Heinz didn't report it. (Neither has she investigated and reported upon the cover up of corruption in the APS Police Department, nor upon the denial of due process to whistle blowers.)
The buck stops on the desk of Kent Walz who either
encouraged her, or allowed her to write a story that saves
School Board President
Marty Esquivel any embarrassment over the fact that he cannot look voters in the eyes and promise them that he will hold himself honestly accountable as the senior-most role model of the student standards of conduct even for the few hours a day he holds them accountable to those same standards.
There just might be a few "nut job" voters out there who think that the character and the courage necessary to step up to as a role model of honest accountability to the student standards of conduct, are important qualities in a school board candidate.
cc Hailey Heinz upon posting.
photo Mark Bralley