In general, any endeavor succeeds or fails according to two sets of circumstances;
- circumstances over which we have no control, and
- circumstances over which we have at least some control.
There are at least two circumstances over which we have control;
- the standards of conduct and competence that apply to board members, administrators, staff and students, and
- any actual honest accountability to those standards.
the third, a distant third at best.
If standards are high enough, and if accountability is swift and certain enough, any endeavor can succeed. Indeed, if the standards and accountability are high enough, most endeavors can flourish.
It is important to note that standards and accountability are absolutely inseparable.
There isn't a wit of difference between the highest standards and the lowest, if neither can be enforced; enforced by the least powerful on even the most powerful, and even against their will. Nor is there any value or point in enforcing too low standards, however swiftly, however inescapably.
In the face of school board, mill levy and bond issue elections, APS standards and accountability should be on the table for discussion. Candidates should be taking public positions on their standards and accountability.
They are not.
It continues to astonish me that even during elections, it is impossible to get standards and accountability on the table.
They are not on the table because of collusion between the leadership of the APS and the establishment media.
The leadership of the APS has something to hide and their friends are willing to help them do it. Take for example the cover up of the cover up of felony criminal misconduct by senior APS administrators. Not a word from the Journal, even though they broke the story, link.
Take for example, APS School Board Member Standards of Conduct accountability to their own Code of Ethics, link.
Assume for the sake of discussion, these standards are high enough to protect the public interests in the public schools.
If asked, he won't point to one of these supposed higher standards, he won't identify them by name, he simply expects you to accept their existence and his adherence, sight unseen.
Even if you could find them, are board members actually accountable to them?
By their own free admission, they are not.
Board Member Robert Lucero, once opined,
"...maybe we could get the legislature to hold us accountable."Well, the legislature never got around to it.
And the leadership of the APS never got around to creating a venue anywhere in the entire APS, where a board member can be held accountable by due process, for even the most grievous violation of their code of ethics.
You can, if you want to, sue them.
You will find yourself standing in opposition to an unlimited budget for litigation, even against the public interests. The full weight of government will be brought to bear, all their lawyers and all manner of legal weaselry in a cost is no object in effort to insulate board members and senior administrators from the consequences of their corruption and incompetence.
Any examination at all, of APS' record in suits filed against board members and senior administrators will find large, secret settlements and no consequences for administrators. No consequences, except that they are compelled to use their golden parachute to bail out.
Don't take my word for it, look at the public records. Look at the findings of at least three investigations into felony criminal misconduct by senior APS administrators.
All you have to do is to get the board and APS Supt Winston Brooks to produce those findings.
My efforts to exercise my rights to inspect and copy ethically redacted records, has led me, and them, to Federal Court.
You will have to accept that there is meaning in their refusal to produce ethically redacted public records. The fact that they won't let you see them, even in the most egregious disregard for the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, means something.
There is only one reason to hide the truth, and that is to escape the consequences of telling the truth.
The sitting board will not allow a public meeting during which APS standards and accountability can be discussed openly and honestly. They will not permit or participate in, two-way communication on the subjects of executive, administrative, staff and student standards of conduct. They will not discuss accountability to those standards. They will not discuss role modeling.
I don't know if its fair to say that not one of the candidates is willing to talk about standards and accountability publicly. It is fair to say, not one of them has.
Neither, has the Journal, nor any of School Board President and NM Broadcasters Assoc President and CEO, and oh yeah, candidate for the APS School Board Paula Maes' cohorts at KRQE, KOAT, KOB, and KKOB.
There is an ethics and accountability
scandal in the leadership of the APS.
And nobody wants to talk about it.
photos Mark Bralley