Friday, October 19, 2012

Journal weighs in on Indianapolis trip

The Journal covered the APS in Indianapolis story this morning, link; "covered" being a relative term.  The journal offered its tacit approval of APS' justifications for the expenditure of $34K and a week of their (our) time.

The "justifications" are as follows;

  • "drumming up interest in next year's event"
  • "they will be responsible for many of the logistics of next year’s conference"
  • "we can look at how other districts are doing things" and
  • "We get a lot of good benefit, I think, from collaborating with a lot of people.” 

How does drumming up interest in next year's conference help the half of our children who leave APS every year without the education they need?  And doesn't the City of Albuquerque have their own team of specialists in drumming up interest in conferences in Albuquerque?

Our people, who should be busy solving the problems contributing to APS' 50% failure rate, only need to be trained to run conferences, because Winston Brooks and the Board want to host one.

A dozen staffers will spend the next year preparing for the conference.  Who is going to do the work they would have been doing if Brooks and the gang didn't want to throw a big party?

"They need to go to learn".  Fair enough, if they actually learned anything.  What are they learning?  Have you once seen or heard one of them list the things they learned on one of these junkets?  There's a reason why.

There really isn't a lot of "new" left.  There are no magic breakthroughs to share.  If they learned anything at all, it could only be something they should already have known.  It may be news to superintendents and board members, but none of it is new to teachers or anyone else working everyday with students.

Board Member David Peercy says;
We get a lot of good benefit, I think, from collaborating with a lot of people.”
But do students benefit a lot because Peercy benefits a lot from his networking?

APS COO Brad Winter and School Board Member David Peercy are presenting the research they've been conducting, on the correlation between truancy and well maintained new construction, in tough economic times.

You do not have to build a case for maintenance; it's a no-brainer.  We don't need another reason to take care of public resources in the APS.

You do have to build a case for building a whole bunch of new buildings.  Especially if they aren't necessary for any other reason than to cheer up students a little.  Look up manifestly self-serving arguments and you should be linked to Winter and Peercy pointing to their research.

How many hours have Peercy and Winters invested in their little research project; how many hours have been invested by their staffs?

The conference gives the bigwigs (link) a chance to tell each other what a wonderful job they're all doing.  That and to get away from town and their problems for a week or so.

An endeavor servers no purpose if its only purpose
is to perpetuate the endeavor.

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