Thursday, January 05, 2012

"reasonable specificity"

The School Board intends to meet in secret from stakeholders tomorrow morning when they get together to extend APS Supt Winston Brooks' already twice extended contract. It amounts to a golden parachute; guaranteeing payment even without performance a la those ridiculous packages UNM coaches are given.

A majority of them will vote to extend Brooks' contract beyond their own tenure on the board; they're forcing their decision on a majority of board members who have not yet stood for election.

There are a number of good reasons to not extend Brooks' contract. The only reason to extend it is to give the impression that the board did the right thing in hiring Brooks in the first place.

The Board is aware of the law; the Open Meetings Act. They point to it in the agenda, link. They are accustomed to picking and choosing the parts they follow and ignore.

This time, as usual, they will ignore that part of the law that requires them to disclose "with reasonable specificity", what they intend to discuss in secret from those whose power and resources will be spent behind those closed doors.

They say they intend to adjourn "... for the Purpose of Discussion of the Superintendent’s Contract". Perhaps some parts of that discussion should be, for good and ethical reasons, discussed in secret; but, the whole discussion? A disclosure with "reasonable specificity" would give us a better idea of what is really going on.

Do we really have no right to know what "problems" are being discussed and addressed?

The law "allows" secrecy, it doesn't require it.

The standards of conduct the board established and enforces upon students is clear on the issue; people of character often have to do more than the law requires, and less than the law allows.

The board is in hiding because, when they evaluate their Superintendent, they are at the same time evaluating their selection of him; they are evaluating themselves.

That they are doing that at all, much less in secret, points to real problems with the way they do business and goes a long way toward explaining why they need to go into hiding to do it.

Some folks would argue, he's little more than a misogynist and a bully.

Is that going to come up in their secret evaluation?

Still nothing on the subject from the Journal, giving their tacit approval of a golden parachute worth three quarters of a million dollars to a Supt who can offer little to no objective evidence that he is doing any good at all.

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