Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Teachers, offered a seat at the table, choose to sit in Esquivel's audience instead.

The Albuquerque Teachers Federation has endorsed candidates in the School Board Election.

Candidates met with a handful of union members who then made a recommendation to the Fed Reps. Fed Reps are the liaison between the union leadership and the classroom.

I offered them everything they could reasonably ask for;

  • a seat at the table,
  • real, timely and powerful due process for their complaints
  • and unfettered access to the ethically redacted truth.
Currently, well over 300 complaints have been filed under APS' whistleblower, fraud, waste and abuse program. I would guess that around half of those complaints were filed by union members and against administrators. Every one of those complaints is being denied due process by Marty Esquivel. The APS Audit Committee, though required to do so by School Board Policy, has not reviewed the administration of a single complaint.

The union leadership has endorsed the candidacy a man who is denying due process to their membership.

In stark contrast, I offer teachers and other stakeholders due process of their complaints.

Oddly; this represents my greatest threat to union leadership.
A significant part of what a union offers is grievance processing. I offer a grievance process that guarantees transparent and impartial adjudication of every complaint. I offer a grievance process under which the least powerful stakeholder in the APS, can file a complaint against the most powerful person in the APS, and be guaranteed due process.

The union stands to loose a little "business".

Another area where is sensed some distance, was the subject of collective bargaining. I offer every stakeholder a seat at the table, and the union, I suspect, would like more.

My sense is that they want to be deal makers rather that taking a seat at the table just like everyone else.

There is not a legitimate agenda for teachers or education, that does not move forward on the day that stakeholders become privy to the truth and take their rightful seat at the table.

There is no legitimate agenda that does not move forward on the day that politicians and public servants in the APS are held honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence.

The union leadership abandoned Character Counts!.
Though the union was instrumental in bringing the
nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of
ethical conduct to the APS; I was told more recently
by Union President Ellen Bernstein that,
Character Counts was Don's (Whatley) thing.

Whatley, the former Union President, was a Founding Father of the Character Counts! movement and instrumental in the school board's unanimous adoption of the Pillars of Character Counts! as the APS Student Standards of Conduct.

If the union has something against Character Counts! as the student standards of conduct, then they should move to replace it with something more to their liking; a standard perhaps that doesn't place quite so much emphasis on truthtelling and accountability.

Even they would have to admit, no matter what the student standards of conduct are, they are at once the adult standards of conduct as well.

Teachers are arguably the most important role models in education. And by "teachers", I don't mean just teachers, I mean; all public servants who teach; who spend their working day with students at the educational interface; where the student and the system make contact.

Teachers are not the only ones who need to be held accountable as role models of accountability to the standards they enforce upon students. Leadership starts at the top.

Character is taught by role modeling;
character is taught only by role modeling.
The proof of accountability is accountability;
it is not proven by simply claiming to be accountable.

Marty Esquivel will not hold himself honestly accountable as a role model of the Pillars of Character Counts!; though he will hold students accountable, and though he will hold teachers accountable as role models.

Marty Esquivel cannot point to a single legitimate standard of conduct to which he can be held honestly accountable even against his will. Even in the court system, he is shielded from accountability to the lowest standard of conduct at all, the law. He is shielded by the most powerful law firm in the state, and an unlimited budget for litigation.

The hero of transparency, right now, is allowing the results of an independent investigation into felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators, link, to be hidden from public knowledge by legal weaselry and Modrall Law.

There is no legitimate meaning of the word accountable that applies to Marty Esquivel's public service, not one.

If I am elected, there will be a public meeting, at which any legitimate questions will asked and answered. We will decide what the student standards of conduct really are. And we will decide what obligations attach to people who are being paid to step up as role models for at least the few hours each day, they hold students accountable to "higher" standards of conduct.

As part of that discussion, I would advocate as strongly as I have a right, restoring the role modeling clause to the adult standards of conduct; the one they took out, the one that used to read;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for a student.
Marty Esquivel is opposed to restoring the role modeling clause. He just won't admit it on the record.

Mr "Accountability" does not want to be held accountable at election, for the lack of character and courage he has shown, in abdicating from his obligations as the senior most role model in the entire APS, of APS' student standards of conduct.

He once told me that he is not accountable as a role model because he is not really "an educator".

Clearly, I am disappointed in the action taken by the leadership of the Alb Teachers Federation; an action against the interests of all teachers, members or no.


Anonymous said...

Has the ATF announced their endorsement of Esquivel on their web site? I am a union member and am terribly disgusted with the Union's reckless action. Why Esquivel? This is the same individual who announced that Ruby's transfer to Rio Grande was not considered punitive. How can he discuss APS personnel issues when "the board and its individual members do not address personnel issues other than those related specifically to the superintendent?" (this is straight from the APS web page re the school board)I am going to contact Ellen Bernstein first thing tomorrow morning to ask her why the Union endorsed Esquivel. The Union's move is beyond pathetic. If I only felt safe about my employment at APS, I would quit paying my Union dues right now. Shame on you, ATF!

Anonymous said...

You can quit paying your union dues. I did over 12 years ago. Simply get a teachers umbrella insurance policy attached to your homeowners policy. There are also other policies, if you don't own a home, specifically for teachers that are a whole lot cheaper than the do nothing union.

Do a little research to see how many teachers the union has actually defended. Other than the high profile ones that make it to the poor excuse we have for media in this town, you'll find they were mostly left to hang by themselves. I've lost count of how many colleagues have already quit out of total disgust.

There should be an alternative because a good union is a powerful tool. A poor union, like the one we have, is just a tool.