Thursday, May 31, 2012

Skandera will get back to us

New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera will get back with us on whether there will be any investigation of allegations that APS misrepresented attendance data for APS' make up day.

Taxpayers ponied up between $3M and $7M, depending on how you do the math, to open schools Tuesday. One would assume that in order for the NM PED to "count" it as a make up day, there must be students involved. And further, if there are not enough students involved, the day doesn't count.

Update; And one would have assumed wrongly. From the PED in response to my question whether there is an attendance threshold percentage;
Unfortunately there isn't. Statute and Rule are silent regarding number or percentage of students.
APS is claiming 89% attendance, link, utter nonsense on its face. There is reason to believe APS didn't record attendance at all, much less record attendance.

APS' Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta and Supt Winston Brooks own the bogus 89% attendance claim.

Who will make them back it up with data? Not their cronies in the media. Their investigative reporters stay well clear of the corruption in the leadership of the APS.

One turns then, to the government. The problem is reported to "government" and "government" will take care of business.

If ever I try to get public servants to hold other public servants accountable for their incompetence or corruption, I don't do it because actually expect that they will, but rather to illustrate the fecklessness of that approach, and near certainty that nothing will be done.

With that in mind, I have involved the NM PED in an investigation of Brooks and Armenta's lack of candor, forthrightness and honesty in reporting students attendance on Tuesday.

The email exchange with Strategic Initiatives and Constituent Services Division Director Julia Rosa Emslie NM PED, here quoted in significant part;
It would appear that the Albuquerque Public Schools is over reporting student attendance at their end of year make up day.

Does the NM PED plan to investigate and report upon the finding?
Hi Mr. MacQuigg
Can you please give the names of the schools and any personnel involved?
The story was covered by KRQE
I, of course, have no idea what attendance was at individual schools. It should be easy enough to corroborate allegations that grade books were closed before the day began, and teachers had no way to record attendance because the district's attendance computer was closed.
Thanks for the information. I will forward it to our auditors.
How long a process is that normally?
It's not a guarantee that the NMPED will decide to investigate. If the auditors do decide to move forward, then it depends on the scope of work, amount of data to be reviewed, etc...

I will get back to you on next steps.

photo Mark Bralley

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