Friday, May 31, 2013

Imagine an audit of the APS

You will have to "imagine" the audit of executive and administrative standards and accountability in the Albuquerque Public Schools; it will not take place for as long the same group of good ol' boys and girls run the APS and the media.

The audit would cost at most, a few thousand dollars.

APS could even do the audit on itself; as long as the findings were made public.

The auditors would ask;

  1. what standards of conduct and competence apply individually and collectively, to the members of the leadership of the APS, and
  2. by what means are complaints and allegations of failure to meet those standards decided?
The standards of conduct and competence must be written down somewhere.

They can't just pull a Peercy, link, and say, we hold ourselves accountable to the "highest standards" and then not point them.

Anyone in the APS making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, should be able to jot them down in a dozen lines, from memory.

If they cannot be pointed to, if you can't look them up somewhere on APS' award winning website; they don't exist.

Accountability is simple; all they have to do is show us the process in the APS where the least powerful can file a complaint against the most powerful, and the complaint is guaranteed due process.

Where in the APS can the most powerful be held accountable by a mechanism where the powerful can exert no undue influence?

Where is the mechanism, powerful enough to hold the most powerful accountable, even against their will?  Where can a complaint be filed, that APS Supt Winston Brooks is hiding evidence of felony criminal misconduct by senior APS administrators, the Caswell Report, and where that complaint will see due process?

APS Supt Winston Brooks could conduct a PowerPoint presentation on "administrative standards and accountability", but he won't.

He won't tell the truth about his own standards and accountability, anymore than he'll conduct a PowerPoint presentations on student discipline, link.




APS School Board President Marty Esquivel could conduct a PowerPoint presentation on "executive standards and accountability", but he won't.

Their presentations, if they were candid, forthright and honest, would reveal incontrovertible evidence of an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

There is only one reason to not tell the truth,
and that is to escape the consequences of so doing.

Imagine the opposite. Imagine that their presentations prove that they have real, written down standards of conduct and competence.  Further imagine that all of those standards are high enough to protect the public interests.

Imagine that their presentations prove that complaints filed against them see due process; the powerless really can hold the powerful accountable for their conduct and competence, even against their will.

Can you imagine the establishment media, the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, and KOB TV, not reporting on their presentations?

By what standards of conduct higher than the law, would positive presentations of standards and accountability be "newsworthy" and the relentless refusal of the leadership of the APS to report candidly, forthrightly and honestly on the lack of standards and accountability, be "not newsworthy"?

The lack of standards and accountability is not one whit harder to investigate and report upon than an investigation and report upon a wealth of standards and accountability.  All they have to do is, ask Brooks and Esquivel to produce the simple truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Why won't they ask?  Why won't they investigate and report upon credible evidence and testimony of an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS,

... except that they are complicit in its coverup?

If there is another reason, I cannot imagine it, and as yet,
neither they, nor anyone else will articulate it.




photos Mark Bralley

KRQE raked over the coals by blogger

Blogger Joe Monahan, link, suggests that ties between KRQE heavy hitters and principles in the racino scandal, Darren White for one, is affecting KRQE's coverage.

My own history with KRQE corroborates Monahan's impression.

Their close ties with principles, in this case their own lawyer APS School Board President Marty Esquivel, and with former school board heavy hitter Paula Maes, President and CEO of the NM Broadcasters Association, would explain KRQE's relentless refusal to investigate and report upon credible allegations and evidence of a standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

It is hard to imagine anything more disturbing or ultimately more damaging than the press being in cahoots with the folks they're supposed to be covering.

Another example of course is the Journal, also in cahoots with Esquivel and the leadership of the APS, and who also has made a point of not investigating or reporting upon the ethics and accountability scandal.

KOAT and KOB TV are no better - the ties that bind them to the leadership of the APS and the consequent bias in their coverage are the same.

Where, if they can no longer depend on the local press, will voters get the information they need to vote in school board elections and in bond and mill levy elections over hundreds of millions of dollars?

Shame on them all.




photo Mark Bralley

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Journal twixt rock and hard place

Journal editors Kent Walz and Charlie Moore have a problem; their friend APS School Board President Marty Esquivel, the school board and a bunch of the administrative leadership team are about to go down for violating my civil rights.  And for unlawfully hiding public records of public corruption.

The consequent calamity is going to expose what I've been saying all along; there is an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS;

  • they are denying due process to hundreds of whistleblower complaints,
  • they are covering up felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of their publicly funded private police force, and
  • the entire senior leadership has abdicated as role models of accountability to the Pillars of Character Counts!; the student standards of conduct.
It's all true and they and the Journal are finally going to have to tell their readers the truth about what's been going on, and about how Esquivel et al have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And then Walz and Moore are going to have to explain to readers; readers who have depended upon them for the truth about the wielding of their power and the spending of their resources, why the Journal has refused to investigate and report upon credible evidence and testimony of all of the above, through school board elections and billions of dollars worth of bond issues and mill levies.

Perhaps Kent Walz will have to explain why he and Marty Esquivel bamboozled the NM FOG into giving APS Supt Winston Brooks a hero of transparency award, while the three of them were complicit in hiding the Caswell Report findings, on the investigation of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators, from public knowledge.

Perhaps some day, a pint of Häagen-Dazs, wikilink, will serve four.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Marty Esquivel bad lawyer or bad liar?

The Journal covered the story when my complaints were filed in federal court.  I use the term "cover" loosely. Journal editors Kent Walz and Charlie Moore knowingly permitted or negligently allowed reporter Hailey Heinz to pen one sided coverage amounting to journalistic malpractice, link.

In her "investigation and report"; she quoted School Board President Marty Esquivel profusely.

She didn't even bother to contact me, much less quote me.

About him she wrote;

Esquivel, an attorney specializing in First Amendment issues, said he is confident the board has not unfairly limited MacQuigg’s free speech rights. (emphasis added)
Quoting him she wrote;
“I’m very sensitive to how the law should work in terms of people having a right to express themselves, and I have absolutely no reservations about doing what we did as it pertains to Mr. MacQuigg.”
Heinz added;
Esquivel wrote an initial letter to MacQuigg in November 2009, outlining problems with his behavior.
Well it turns out that all the "problems' were videotaped. APS has produced those videotapes, link, link, as evidence against me.

We of course, point to those tapes as constitutionally protected behavior; could not have said it better ourselves.

Heinz argued on Esquivel's behalf;
Board member Martin Esquivel said he imposed the ban on MacQuigg two years ago when he was school board president because of MacQuigg’s conduct, not the content of his speech.
The obvious problem, obvious to anyone who actually watches the record, is not my conduct.  My conduct is well within the limits of the constitutionally protected human to petition one's government.

Also obvious to anyone who actually watches the record, Esquivel's professed confidence that (he) has not acted unfairly is patently unwarranted.

And as obvious to anyone who actually watches the record, Esquivel's "sensitivity" to how the law should work in terms of people having a right to express themselves, is woefully inadequate.  The first amendment specialist is practicing beyond his expertise.

Any lawyer with any sense would have "reservations" in the face of over whelming evidence of his blatant violations of my civil rights.

But not Marty Esquivel.

The problem, obvious to anyone who actually watches the record, is the content of my speech; a relentless effort to hold them honestly accountable for their conduct and competence.  The problem is my standing up at public forums and calling public attention to issues to which they would rather attention not be paid;
  • the coverup of corruption in the leadership of their police force,
  • the denial of due process to hundreds of whistleblowers,
  • the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, and
  • their abdication as role models of the student standards of conduct.
The problem is my relentless insistence that they respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly to legitimate questions about the public interests and about their public service.

Who are you going to believe, Marty Esquivel or your lyin eyes?




photo Mark Bralley

Monday, May 27, 2013

Esquivel's video

School Board President Defendant Marty Esquivel shot some video during the incident at the Aug 25, 2010 Audit Committee Meeting.

Mark Bralley and I were accused of recording an in secret meeting, in violation of the Open Meetings Act; an allegation we flatly deny.

There was no due process,  nor evidence that we had done anything wrong, nor, frankly, even any evidence that anything wrong had been been done, videolink.

The video was shot by School Board President Marty Esquivel.  He's grasping at straws; desperately that trying to prove there is a reason to deny me the free exercise of constitutionally protected human rights, other than the fact that he finds my truth telling  personally threatening; embarrassing, shaming, and maybe someday, worthy of criminal investigation by a police force other than his own.

The video ends when he turns to confront me for taking a photograph of him videotaping us.

 

Note please, the entirely appropriate distance that separates us; contrary to their several unfounded allegations to the contrary.  Note as well, the Character Counts! quilt, in front of which this all takes place.




photo Mark Bralley

Should APS students learn about character?

Should there be in the APS, a conscientious effort to teach students about character in the hope they will grow into adults holding themselves accountable to "higher" standards of conduct?

Where will that question be discussed; openly, honestly and with meaningful public participation?

Sadly, the answer is nowhere.  There is no place where the senior-most role models of student standards of conduct will sit and discuss their efforts to develop character in students.  Their total investment in character education can be found in the Student Behavior Handbook; "... students are expected to model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!"

Ask a student you know, to name all six.

Supt Winston Brooks
There are senior administrators and board members who cannot name all six.

APS' senior-most administrative role model of accountability to the Pillars of Character Counts! Winston Brooks used to have a CC! quilt hanging on the wall outside his office.

It and the attention it drew to Character Counts! are long gone.


 Board Member David Robbins, seen as he was ordering the APS police to eject us, sits below another Character Counts! quilt; less fancy than Brooks' and apparently handmade, perhaps by students, long ago when character still counted in the APS.

Why doesn't the leadership of the APS want to talk openly and honestly about character education in the APS?

I can think of at least one reason; they want to avoid any discussion during which it will be revealed that the entire leadership of the APS has abdicated from their responsibilities as role models of any higher standard of conduct than the law; the lowest standard of conduct, and the highest standard to which they can be held "legally" accountable.

They struck the role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct in an effort to eliminate accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.  When their own code of conduct read;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
they were, by logical extension, accountable as role models of student standards of conduct; standards that require from them;
more than the law requires and, less than the law allows.
The Journal, Kent Walz and Charlie Moore, has agreed, at least tacitly, to help them cover up the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.   As have those whose fists pound the table last at KRQE, KOAT, and KOB TV.

I submit as proof, the self evident scandal and the abject lack of investigation and report by the establishment media.

Do you really believe that if their cronies in the establishment media could report actual, honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law, they wouldn't be splashing it all over their front page and our television screens?




Brooks photo Mark Bralley
Robbins ched macquigg

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Marty Esquivel role model. Not.

The very instant that APS School Board President Marty Esquivel became the school board president, he donned mantelet of senior most role model of student standards of conduct.

You wouldn't know it.  He thinks his silent abdication trumps his moral obligations.

He is yet to explain the math to interest holders.

One doesn't decide whether they are a role model.  Coaches don't get to decide whether they are role models.  The only deciding they get to do is, whether to be role models of accountability to the highest standards of conduct or something lower.

Teachers don't get to decide whether they are role models for students.

And school board presidents don't get to decide whether they are role models for thousands of employees and tens of thousands of students.

Esquivel's abdication, his denial, whether he doesn't want and won't accept the duties and responsibilities of his position as a role model is immaterial.  He is the senior most role model of the student standards of conduct.

The student standards of conduct are a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct. The Student Behavior Handbook specifically and explicitly expects students to “model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!” link.

Fundamental to the concept of ethical standards of conduct, is honest accountability to them.  You really can't have the one without the other.  There is not a whit of difference between the highest standards of conduct and the lowest, if there is not actual honest accountability.

One cannot claim to be “(role) modeling the Pillars of  Character Counts!” except by holding oneself honestly accountable to them.  Accountability is central to role modeling. It is the accountability which needs the very most, to be role modeled.

It is the foundation of role modeling.

Otherwise, all we have is a centuries old fable about a kid a hatchet and a cherry tree, to point to when we need an example of honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.

There is a need for role models to conspicuously manifest willingness to do more than the law requires, and less than the law allows. 

Mr. Esquivel has made it pretty clear that he has no intention to step up as a role model of accountability to the Pillars of Character Counts1, the same standards of conduct he enforces upon nearly 90,000 of this community’s sons and daughters.

He has made it pretty clear that he has no intention to allow me to stand up at a public forum and ask him ever again, if he will point to the time, the day, and the place,

  1. where he will stand up as a role model of accountability to the Pillars of Character Counts!, or
  2. where he will stand up in front of students and explain to them, in words they can understand, why, they are expected to hold themselves honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law, and he is not.
The establishment media is well aware of dual standards of conduct in the APS; the egregious hypocrisy of ethical standards of conduct for students and the lowest standards of conduct for senior administrators and board members.

They choose to not investigate and report upon it.





photo Mark Bralley

The evidence against me; you be the judge

This isn't everything that APS School Board President Marty Esquivel and the rest of the defendants have produced as evidence in their defense against my complaints that they have violated my civil rights.  It isn't even the most damning to their defense.

I've have edited their production to eliminate their repeated recitations of the rules they wrote to prevent me from challenging their character and competence as politicians and public servants from the podium during public forum.

If you Google "worst behavior protected by the First Amendment", about 0.53 seconds later 33,100,000 results will appear.  Admittedly, I have not read them all.  In fact I didn't read one.  Never the less I would be willing to bet the conduct was more outrageous than mine.

Here it is then warts and all; unashamedly and absolutely without apology;

  • APS' video production, June 4, 2008 thru Sept 17, 2008 link
  • APS' video production Sept 17 con't thru December 2nd 2008, link
  • APS' video production Jan 21, 2009 Aug 19, 2009 link
  • APS' video production Aug 19 con't thru November 4, 2009 link
It was after the Nov 4th meeting, when APS Supt Winston Brooks advised school board member Robert Lucero to use a pistol to "take me out", link.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last day of school a waste of money

The last day of school in the APS costs taxpayers the same as every other day of school; nearly five million dollars.  We pay for 182 of them every year.

Students don't get 182 days of learning.  The truth is they get nowhere close.

Take away all the days when students are doing something beside learning; days spent in testing for example, and I wouldn't be surprised to find students probably spend one day in two "learning".  Senior year in the APS ends two weeks early.

In the past, APS' Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta has claimed some pretty outrageous numbers for last day attendance; 2012, link.  That was the year she offered; if the last day of school was meaningless, it was the teacher's fault.  And in 2011, link.

One wonders what she will claim this year.

One wonders if the establishment media will even ask.




photo Mark Bralley

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

APS spending $60K on their defense

APS is yet to comply with an IPRA request to inspect and/or copy the actual signed contract providing for a legal defense for APS School Board President Marty Esquivel, former School Board Member David Robbins,  APS Chief of Police Steve Tellez, APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta, APS Director of Communications Rigo Chavez, and APS Supt Winston Brooks.  But upon information and belief, when the actual contracts are finally produced, they will limit the lawyers fees, regardless of their hourly rate, to $30K.

I haven't seen the contracts, and until we do we don't know what else will be paid for out of "operational funds"; funds that if they were being spent on legal defenses would be spend instead, in classrooms.

We do know for sure, because Rigo Chavez has admitted it, the contracts do not include language requiring a "case analysis" presentation to the entire board.  Right now, the only board members who know the truth are the ones being sued and hiring the lawyers.  They have a manifest conflict of interests.

The presentation of the case analysis, if it ever takes place, will take place in secret and no recording will be made.  If they decide illegally to do something or another, there will be no record to subpoena.

The oversight of the entire board is an important check and balance and should not have been left out of these contracts.  It represents executive oversight (the people through elected board members) over the administration of immense public power and resources.

The only oversight over these contracts will come from the APS Director of Risk Management and an APS "procurement representative"; both of whom are subordinates of Brooks and everyone around and above him.

When the dust settles on this case, and it will settle soon because there is a preliminary injunction in the works,
it will be obvious the best interests of students would have been better served, had they obeyed their own code of ethics, the first rule of which reads;

Make the education and well-being of students the basis for all decision making.
Students would have been better served had Marty Esquivel and the rest of the Defendants simply stipulated their guilt, admitted they had made mistakes and then paid the consequences.  Not only would taxpayers have saved a lot of money, but students would have had a few honest to God role models of people stepping up to face the consequences of their indiscretions.

These people spend a lot of time and energy keeping a story alive about a kid chopping down a cherry tree and then stepping up to the consequences.  We tell kids that story because there are so few contemporary examples to point to instead.

We resort to fiction because there are so few adults who are willing to be role models of honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law; to do more than the law requires and less than the law allows.

Marty Esquivel, Brooks and the rest are doing everything the law allows in their effort to escape earned consequences.  They will do nothing responsible, unless the law requires it, absolutely, unequivocally and only after they have exhausted every possible legal weaselry, loophole and technicality

They will do so in their own self-interests and in those of other board members and senior administrators.








APS Supt Winston Brooks  and APS School Board President Marty Esquivel are the senior-most administrative and executive role models of student standards of conduct, and are unwilling to hold themselves honestly accountable the standards they established and expect students to "model and promote"; the Pillars of Character Counts!.

Every generation expects the next generation to be the first generation to hold themselves honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law.

Every generation expects the next generation to hold themselves accountable to higher standards of conduct than they will hold themselves.

The question here isn't "how much" Marty Esquivel and the rest of the Defendants are spending, it is "why" they are spending that much in an effort to escape the consequences of their own misconduct?

The "talk" students hear is, step up to accountability.
The "walk" they watch is, do as I say, not as I do.

Students are expected to model and promote accountability to higher standards of conduct than the adults, who are arguably unaccountable even to the law; the lowest standards of conduct.

How are they spending in their own interests and without public oversight?

Because the establishment media is in cahoots, that's why.




photos Mark Bralley

Monday, May 20, 2013

The problem with wearing an elephant mask

is not that it means you are a threat or a safety risk, but that someone like Marty Esquivel will try to make it look like it does.

APS School Board President Marty Esquivel is defending himself in federal court against righteous complaints over his disregard of my constitutionally protected human rights to speak freely, to assemble freely, to petition my government for redress of my several grievances, and for due process from the government in its effort to obstruct my efforts.

Esquivel and the other defendants want very badly for someone to believe that he and they have banned me from board meetings, effectively for the rest of my life, because I constitute a realistic threat to his and their personal safety.

There is no real evidence to support their claim.

There are no witness who are not hopelessly conflicted.

Citing as evidence of the threat I present; the wearing of an elephant mask to two school board meetings.

I stood quietly against a back wall.  I made no outward effort to be disruptive; quite the contrary.

On separate occasions APS Director of Communications Rigo Chavez and APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta came to chat with me.  Neither offered any indication that they were at all afraid.

One of them, I can't recall which, came up to me to explain that they had figured out that I was "the elephant in the room."

I wore the elephant mask to those board meetings in an effort to draw attention to the elephant in the room at board meetings; the obvious truth being ignored;

  • the abdication of the senior-most role models of the student standards of conduct; 
  • the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS; 
  • the relentless pretense of high standards and accountability in the face of overwhelming evidence of their absence.
  • In particular the absence of accountability for the senior leadership and role models, to any standards of conduct higher than the law; the lowest standards of conduct.
  • a manifest record of lack of accountability even to the law.  Witness the cover up felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of their Praetorian Guard, their publicly funded, private police force.
Marty Esquivel told me in a later meeting, link, he had thought it was a mouse mask.

Whatever else it did, it proved Esquivel and the board weren't going to talk about standards, accountability and role modeling no matter what.

And it proved the Journal was not going to investigate and report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, no matter what.

So at least, it wasn't a total waste.




photo Mark Bralley


APS and TIG; KRQE, KOAT, KOB and the Journal know

The following email was sent to the appropriate news tip destination at the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, and KOB TV.

Recently, Technology Integration Group was raided by the FBI.

APS and TIG have been business partners for a long time with very lucrative contracts.

TIG has been investigated in other communities.

At one time, APS was audited by Meyners & Co.
You can get a copy of their findings from Rigo Chavez, APS’ custodian of public records. The findings are immediately available; he should produce them rather immediately.


In them, you will find, the auditors found a lack of standards, accountability, and record keeping – a perfect opportunity for corruption.

You will find APS’ records on their interactions with TIG wanting. In fact, you’ll probably remain wanting to see them; I believe they’ve been lost, destroyed, or maybe never created.

One of Meyners’ findings was that APS senior administrators were spending up to $50K at a whack “without involving purchasing”. A lot of that money went to TIG.

It would be interesting to know if APS is involved in the FBI investigation.

It would be interesting to know what records the Meyners auditors found missing.
Newsworthy?  I guess we'll see.

When TIG was throwing parties for APS, KRQE found it newsworthy, link.

One could argue it's newsworthy, regardless of whether APS is getting phone calls and emails from FBI auditors, or not.  Wouldn't good news about APS bookkeeping and procurement be newsworthy?

What if APS' Executive Director of Communication Monica Armenta could actually stand up some where, some time, and assure taxpayers that APS was not likely the victim of some scam, nor is APS about to be accused of being up to their eyeballs in some scam involving one of their longer standing and largest vendors?

How could that not be newsworthy?



photo Mark Bralley

Friday, May 17, 2013

APS TIG records missing

TIG, Technology Integration Group, subjects of an investigation by the FBI, link, were doing business with the APS at a time when auditors from Meyners & Co had found that APS' Finance Department had;

  1. inadequate standards, 
  2. inadequate accountability and 
  3. inadequate record keeping;
the trifecta of circumstances for public corruption and misappropriation of public money.

Nobody ever went to jail for not keeping records accurate and complete enough, to send them to jail.

If the FBI looks for the records of public money flowing to TIG through the leadership of the APS, they won't find many.

These are the same records; a candid, forthright and honest accounting of spending at 6400 Uptown Blvd, that APS COO Brad Winter has already chosen to not produce, link.

These are the same records the Meyners auditors found missing.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

APS vendor raided by the FBI

Technology Integration Group was raided by the FBI today, link.

The TIG has had a long and lucrative relationship with the leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools.  The relationship dates back to a time when APS senior administrators were spending $50K at a whack "without involving Purchasing" in a Finance Department where auditors found; inadequate standards, inadequate accountability to such standards as there are, and inadequate record keeping - the trifecta of public corruption.  Larry Barker was on their trail for awhile, link.  Mark Bralley dug deeper, link.  Likely, millions and millions of dollars went missing.

Most recently, TIG sold APS and taxpayers a whole bunch of whiteboards, millions of dollars worth, now gathering dust all over the district.

Stay tuned.

Esquivel's outrage disingenuous at best

KRQE offers a follow up piece the story about a high school wrestler getting away with murder and politician who helped him do it; County Commissioner Art De La Cruz, link.

KRQE, because of personal and professional ties with APS School Board President Marty Esquivel, they allow him regular opportunities to keep his face in front of voters, who he hopes will one day propel him into the Attorney General's Office.  Their story features Esquivel and his outrage over the Commissioner's conduct unbecoming.

Marty Esquivel is the senior-most of the most senior role models of student standards of conduct in the entire Albuquerque Public Schools.  He expects students to "model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!; a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

He is a role model whether he likes it or not; whether he accepts it or not.

Yet he, and the rest of the most senior role models of student standards of conduct have utterly abandoned their responsibilities as role models, link.

Would be voters will be mightily impressed with Esquivel's righteous outrage over De La Cruz' outrageous failure as a public servant.

Would be voters won't hear about Esquivel's outrageous failure as a role model of the standards of conduct he establishes and has enforced upon students, because like I said,
Esquivel has personal and professional ties with KRQE.

... and the Journal, and KOAT, and KOB.




photo Mark Bralley


Thousands and thousands and thousands of discipline cases every day in APS

APS Supt Winston Brooks was interviewed by KRQE for their story, link, on the specially treated Rio Grande High School wrestler.  During the interview Brooks decried the decision of a judge to override the discipline imposed by the school.

“I’m extraordinarily disappointed that the judge would second guess the school administration’s decision on this given that we make thousands and thousands and thousands of decisions on discipline cases every day.”
In a moment of unusual candor, Brooks admitted to the scope of student discipline problems in APS. We now know there are "thousands and thousands and thousands" of significant disruptions every day.  That's at least 6,000 disruptions every day, not to mention the disruptions that don't get referred to the administration.

How can that not have an adverse effect on test scores and graduation rates? 

Also, consider that most kids don't get in trouble at school.  That means the thousands and thousands and thousands of discipline referrals are being generated by a relative handful of students; chronically disruptive students.

Why won't the Brooks administration tell the truth, link, about student discipline in the APS?

The responsibility for enforcing discipline policies is an administrative responsibility.  If policies are not being enforced adequately, it is an administrative failure.  It is obvious why Brooks needs to keep the record hidden.

Less obvious; the reason the media won't challenge him on the ongoing failure to maintain order in schools and the ongoing secrecy surrounding it.




photo Mark Bralley

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Brooks stodgy thinking

APS Supt Winston Brooks has recently set a new graduation rate goal of 75 percent, link. His battle plan; more of the same;

  • extending the day at our comprehensive high schools
  • offering programs like AVID at more than two dozen of our schools 
  • continue small learning communities and advisories, and 
  • professional learning communities ...
Albert Einstein is widely, albeit incorrectly credited, link, with offering the observation; "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results."  If your horse is running as fast as it can, whipping harder is not going to make it run faster, not 30% faster.

If we want to close the gap on the 30% of students who don't graduate, it won't follow offering more of the same.  Obviously, there are a relative handful of students who do benefit from "extending the day".  But they're never going to be more than a handful.  The vast majority of students who fail, need something vastly different than what they are being offered.  That "something" is within the grasp of educators, but only educators who are released from the constraints of the cemetery seating paradigm (five rows of six desks, everyone in the same book, on same page, everyday for twelve years).

We need bold new ideas; whole new paradigms different from the stodgy thinking of educational oligarchies and "nobody ever got fired for doing things the way they've always been done" thinking.  Those ideas won't come from people deeply invested maintaining the status quo.

The ideas will come from teachers, who in APS alone, have nearly 100,000 years of ongoing teaching experience.  Stodgy thinking keeps them from a seat at the table where the future is planned.

Stodgy thinking is satisfied with growth in graduation rates that is within the margin of error in calculating them.




photo Mark Bralley

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

La Cueva testing brouhaha follow up

A month ago, KRQE reported, link; the NM PED was investigating reports of testing irregularities during SBA testing at La Cueva High School.

The NM PED won't respond to questions about the findings of their investigation, link.

Nothing on APS' award winning website, link.

And of course, nothing in the Journal, link.

The principal has been named Principal of the Year, link


Monday, May 13, 2013

Esquivel "irreparably damaged" relationship with union

Ellen Bernstein, the President of the union that represents APS teachers, has written a letter, link, to the board, Supt Winston Brooks, and "constituents'.  It is addressed to APS School Board President Marty Esquivel.

Bernstein wrote;

For the second year in a row our agreement to bargain in good faith - which traditionally includes an agreement not to do anything that might undermine the bargaining process - has been violated.
Bernstein is upset with Esquivel for broaching a negotiations topic in public before the topic is discussed in meetings in secret with the union negotiators.

For the record, I oppose in secret decision making regarding public interests. When I was a member of the union's negotiating team in the 90s, I opposed it, and I oppose it now. The worst thing any public servant, or union president can do, is anything they do in unnecessary secret.

Rightly or wrongly, an agreement was struck between the union and the board; topics subject to negotiation, like whether teachers could be moved according to administrative whim, would be negotiated in secret, before the positions were made public.

Bernstein continued;
Sadly, I believe your recent statements in the newspaper have undermined our established negotiations process and irreparably damaged our bargaining relationship.
As a result, the union has apparently changed its decades long position on in secret negotiations and dared Esquivel to negotiate in public.
The Albuquerque Teachers Federation proposes holding contract negotiations with APS in a public forum. We suggest that these new “open” contract talks are made available online, as are APS Board meetings. In this new era of public negotiating, I would invite the public to hear first hand the debate on the merits of various contract proposals, unfiltered by the media.
Now we're talking.




photo Mark Bralley

Saturday, May 11, 2013

APS' failures root cause

The success of any venture, like educating nearly 90,000 of this community's sons and daughters, depends on factors over which we have control and those we don't.

Under our control;

  1. the standards of conduct and competence of those who will administer and execute the endeavor, and
  2. the accountability to those standards.
One without the other will not suffice; the highest standards of conduct are no different than the lowest, if neither can be enforced.  And, there is no point in holding people strictly accountable to standards that are too low (to protect the public interests).

If APS were asked for
  1. every public record that identifies a written standard of conduct or competence that applies to senior administrators and board members, and then
  2. asked for every public record that describes a system under which the least powerful interest holder can file a complaint against the most powerful, and where the complaint of failure to meet standards, will see due process,
they would be the beneficiary of a mountain of public records
not one of which establishes for senior administrators and board members
honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence, under a system over which they have no undue influence, and powerful enough to hold them accountable, even against their will.
That is the essence of the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.  Facts could be easily verified by the establishment media, if they had any interest at all in reporting on the scandal.

Teacher slaps student, why?

When a teacher slaps a student, it is an expression of frustration.  Frustration is the result of an incongruity between the teacher's own sphere of influence and their far larger sphere of concern.

It concerns teachers that students misbehave.  In particular, teachers are concerned when misbehaving students interfere with learning by other students.

Teachers have too little influence over student discipline.  The consequences they are allowed to impose are inconsequential, in especially for chronically disruptive students.

Nobody knows how APS teachers feel about the state of student discipline in general, or about chronically disruptive students in particular.  We don't know because the leadership of the APS has never asked them.  There has never been a survey, link, where APS teachers have been asked;

  1. what do you think isn't working, and 
  2. how would you fix it?
Why haven't they been asked? 

Why haven't teachers, who between them have a hundred thousand years of teaching experience, been asked for their input?

They haven't been asked because the leadership of the APS doesn't want to document the administrative failure to enforce discipline policies.

Once again, stakeholders are unaware of the issue because the leadership of the APS and the establishment media are in cahoots in an ongoing coverup; the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, and KOB.

Friday, May 10, 2013

NM PED won't answer any questions about the La Cueva investigation.

There was a problem with testing at APS' crown jewel, La Cueva High School.  The NM Public Education Department rolled in with investigators, link. It's been nearly a month; it doesn't take Jacques Clouseau to figure out if anybody did anything wrong.

I asked, via their constituent services, about their progress.  They acknowledged their receipt and promised a response.  No response by their promised date.

I called, no one to talk to, I got to leave a message.  I asked for a call back.  No call back.

Do we really have no right to know what happened?

Did an APS administrator screw up?
Did the NM PED screw up?

We paid the salaries of everyone involved.  We paid for the investigation.  We own the truth.

I really don't feel like suing them for the truth.
I really shouldn't have to.

Testing is not rocket science

The brouhaha over the NMPED's end of course tests is a blessing in disguise; it will prompt public discourse on testing in general.  The testing game is a sham.

The point of "testing" is to provide for every student, an opportunity to demonstrate their competency.

Qualified teachers don't need testing companies to write their tests for them.  They can create their own "course end" tests.

APS chemistry teachers, for example, are eminently qualified to create an accurate and dependable evaluation instrument to measure learning in any aspect of chemistry.  The same could be said for teachers in every other discipline.  We can create our own valid and reliable tests.

An independent and impartial test center can be created, where anyone can take certification tests, anytime, and having arrived there by any path.  Any "student" who accumulates enough certifications in required areas of study, has certified their worthiness of a diploma.



Resistance will come from those who are in the business of public education, deeply invested in buildings and administrators; spending our power and resources trying to educate groups of students at once.  It is in their interests to create and maintain a monopoly on testing; the choke point in education and accountability.

Problems only exist where there are no solutions, or where real solutions are either ignored or languish unsolicited.  No one of us, has a better solution than all of us.  The best solutions to the problems of testing will come from teachers and community members, not from testing companies and politicians. 

Regrettably, there is no venue in the APS where teachers and other community members can engage in open and honest public discussion about testing.

There is no venue in the APS where community members can engage in open and honest public discussion about anything; student discipline, chronically disruptive students, character education, the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, or any other legitimate issue.

You may, if you would like to, summarize your thoughts on testing or on any other legitimate issue, and recite them to the board during a public forum.  You will have two minutes; no matter what.

They will not respond to your questions.

They may even, not pay any attention to you at all.




photo Mark Bralley

Thursday, May 09, 2013

APS appreciates teachers. Not really.

It is Teacher Appreciation Week.  APS marked the occasion by celebrating a relative handful of teachers, link.

It is worth noting that no APS teacher, not even the "celebrated"; not the Horizon Award winners, not the nationally certified, not one of them has a seat at the table where decisions are made; the truest measure of honest respect.

How does one make people whose opinions, observations, and suggestions are of no interest, feel celebrated?

Put their names up on electronic billboards, link, that should do it!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Korte rant riles readers

School Board Vice-President Kathy Korte let fly May 2nd, in the Journal, a nearly 660 word rant in an effort to heap shame on;

"... adults (who want more testing and who) are (not) walking with high school students as they traverse this new road littered with tests and stress."
Does Kathy Korte really consider herself to be "among those who walk with high school students"?

Riled readers found themselves given nearly a half page in the Journal this morning, to vent their dissatisfaction with Korte's most recent oops-ed.

I've read and re-read the rant, and frankly, a real point escapes me.  At one point she seems to be arguing that a graduate of a chemistry class shouldn't have to prove s/he learned basic concepts.

Korte (pronounced "court", as in, being sued in federal "court") is additionally upset about exit exams being piled upon other exams, piled upon still other exams.

Testing is not a bad thing.  It becomes a bad thing when it is done badly.

Most of the reason testing is done so badly, is teachers have so little input into testing.

The reason that APS teachers, who have between them 100,000 years of teaching and testing experience, don't have a seat at the table is because of school board members like Korte, who despite her own lack of teaching experience, has so little respect for the opinions of those who do.

Korte danced around an interesting fact; a lot of people who passed (chemistry) tests in high school, likely would not pass the same test now, and certainly not with the same high score.  An obvious exception would be those who remain active in the discipline.  Chemists would perform better on their re-takes than those who drifted into other pursuits.

In general, all learning is transitory in the absence of reinforcement.  The transitory nature of learning is well known to educators.  It is the main reason 1st semester tests given before the winter holiday, and not after.

The fact that learning is transitory, flies in the face of arguments that all students need to be on the same page at the same time for twelve years.  It doesn't enter into curriculum and testing because teachers aren't part of the decision making process.

They don't have a seat at the table; because Korte knows best.
Or, at least, Korte believes she knows best.




photo Mark Bralley

APS still fighting agenda notice reform

The APS Policy and Instruction Committee will meet tonight.  On the agenda, link, discussion and action on their Open Meetings Act Resolution; their declaration of their effort to comply with the requirements of the Act.  Within the resolution, the following;

Except in an emergency, the Board of Education draft meeting agenda shall be posted Seventy two (72) hours in advance of a Board of Education meeting.

Except in an emergency, action may only be taken on items that have been officially posted on the final agenda thirty –six (36) hours prior to the meeting, in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.
How does one read this, except that they intend to give only 36 hours notice whenever they feel like it, though the expressed intent of the legislation that changed the Open Meetings Act, is that stakeholders are reasonably entitled to 72 hours notice?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

When a legal opinion is the basis for public policy, it shouldn't be kept secret

APS School Board President, Defendant Marty Esquivel wrote a letter that began a long series of violations of my First and Fourteenth Amendments.  He created a public policy denying my free exercise of constitutionally protected human rights.  He did it based upon a legal opinion, bought with money that could have been, should have been, spent in a classroom instead.

Art Melendres
Before the unlawful restraining order was laid upon me, it came to the attention of least two Modrall lawyers; Art Melendres and Patrick McCormick.

Melendres has been APS' lawyer for as long as taxpayers have been pumping money into Modrall via litigation far "in excess of normal for a district this size".

Unless Esquivel ignored Melendres' opinion, the opinion was the basis upon which Esquivel proceeded to violate my rights.

When asked to produce the legal opinions as evidence, Esquivel, by and through lawyers who enjoy the oversight of nobody but Esquivel, claims work product and attorney-client privilege.

Product and privilege allow the truth to be hidden,
neither requires the truth to be hidden.

Why hide the truth, except
to avoid the consequences of telling the truth?

The standards of conduct for which Esquivel is the very senior-most role model in the entire APS, the standards he establishes and enforces upon students; the Pillars of Character Counts!; a nationally recognized, accepted and respected ethical standards of conduct, require Esquivel to set the example by doing more than the law requires, and less than the law allows.

But then Esquivel has never accepted his obligations and responsibilities as a role model of Citizenship, Caring, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

He blatantly violated my rights, in order to keep me from standing up at a public forum and pointing to his egregious hypocrisy.

He claims he followed his lawyers' advice.

Was the opinion;
It's obviously unconstitutional given the abject lack of justification, but we can keep you out of trouble personally.  
If Journal Managing Editor Kent Walz and Esquivel weren't in cahoots, the Journal would expect Esquivel to explain why he needs to hide the truth about the advice he either accepted or ignored.

Not "how" can he hide the truth, but "why" does he need to?



photos Mark Bralley

Brooks' SuperSAC; super successful?

APS Supt Winston Brooks and the crème de la crème of high school students have folded up their tent for the 2012-13 school year.  According to the award winning APS website, link, before they packed it in;

"The Superintendent's Student Advisory Council played an important role in providing feedback to APS administrators on a variety of issues form bullying and violence in school to cafeteria food to budget."
In an end of the year celebration at the Hinkle Family Fun Center, a SuperSAC sponsor, Brooks said,
“We had another fantastic year with these very bright and focused students; I cannot overstate their impact on policies and the budget in this district.”
Brooks gave credit where credit was due,
"Their (the teenagers, albeit the crème de la crème of teenagers) guidance and true advice to me and the APS Board of Education is invaluable.”
When pressed for what he, other senior administrators and their staffs, and board members and their staffs, actually learn through advisories, public "forums" on bullying and setting district goals, and bus tours of the district, they are want for a response.

One cannot point to something they just learned, without simultaneously pointing to something they should have known already.  The only thing an expert in any discipline can learn from talking to other people, is how those people feel and the specific details of their personal story.

When we pay senior administrator millions of dollars a year to spend our power and resources in our stead, we expect that they already know everything worth knowing about
  • bullying and violence in schools,
  • what expanded course offerings in high schools should be,
  • concerns about food quality and service, and 
  • (what are) their (the teenagers, albeit the crème de la crème of teenagers) priorities in the FY14 budget.
The Student Advisory Council and probably every senior administrator in the APS,
"... spent a day at the New Mexico Legislature and were recognized for their impact on education programs in Albuquerque".
What impact?

Why are the anecdotal examples of these young people so much more valuable to senior administrators and board members, than the anecdotal examples of teachers, teachers who between them share around a hundred thousand years of current experience in classrooms?

Why is there not a Superintendent's Teachers Advisory Council?

Why is there not a Superintendent's Citizens, Taxpayers, Parents and other Interest Holders Advisory Council?

Why are endless anecdotal examples of every other interest holder, worth less than the endless anecdotal examples of students (albeit the crème de la crème of teenagers)?

In terms of giving a bunch of good kids a place to vent, the exercise was apparent successful; super successful.

In terms of real impact, the whole exercise was worth diddly.
Anybody who has ever served on an APS advisory council,
thinking they were going to have impact, will tell you the same.

From a public relations standpoint; a huge success.

I wonder, did Winston Brooks discuss with the SuperSAC, the abandonment of character education in their curriculum?

Did he explain to them, in words they could understand, why they are expected to model and promote honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law, and he, the senior-most administrative role model of the standards of conduct he enforces upon students, is not.

Can't wait to see how the Journal spins the SuperSAC.

We are witness to what they're willing to do to spin the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.




photo Mark Bralley

Monday, May 06, 2013

Journal editors double standard on double standards

Journal editors took a stand this morning, link, averring the victim of the strong arm robbery by a politically connected bully, was a better role model than most of the adults around him.  The victim, they wrote, was reasonably upset over the double standards of most adults; the standards they say everyone must meet, and the standards they are actually willing to meet.

The editors, close personal friends with most of the leadership of the APS, are blind and deaf and dumb, when it comes to double standards and the APS.  Students are expected to "model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!"; a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct, while in stark contrast, board members and senior administrators are arguably unaccountable even to the law; the absolutely lowest standards of acceptable conduct among civilized human beings.

The editors have their own double standard; what's good for their cronies in the leadership of the APS, and what's good for everyone else.

Google the pot calling the kettle black; find
a group photograph of the Journal editorial staff.

APS FY14 Preliminary Budget

The APS Finance Committee will meet tomorrow at 5 pm.  APS Chief Financial Officer Don Moya is scheduled, link, to present the preliminary budget to the board.

If you would like to preview the budget yourself; APS has provided for you, a link.

You will find it, of extraordinarily
little use.




photo Mark Bralley

Last day of school for seniors

A rudimentary search of APS' award winning website does not reveal the last day of school for seniors.

It is well in advance of the last day of school for everyone else.

A third of those seniors will not graduate this year, having been driven out, or having dropped out of public school education.  A significant percentage of them lack the skills they will need to begin work or further their education or training.

For lack of real numbers to work with, let's say senior year ends 10 days early.

Overall, it represents 1/2 of 1 percent of the number of days they could be in school; a little over one percent of the number of days they could have been learning in a high school, and nearly 6 percent of the number of days they could have spent in school in their senior year.  It is more than 11 percent of their last semester in school.

In whose interests, does a senior's education end so early?

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Open Meetings - how much notice is enough?

Let's say you are a taxpayer and are interested in how your taxes are being spent.  Let's say you are interested as well, in how your power is being spent.

The spending of resources and the wielding of power takes place in public meetings.  The decisions made in "not in public" meetings, either enjoy an exception to the Open Meetings Act, or are made in violation of it.

If you want to attend, maybe even participate directly in a public meeting, you need know what is going to be decided, and when.  You need to see the agenda.

The problem with building and posting an agenda, is knowing what to put on it.  If an issue is known well in advance, the agenda can be built and published, well in advance.  An issue that occurs with no notice, cannot be placed on a long range agenda.

The newly revised Open Meetings Act recognizes basically two kinds of issues; those which can be foreseen 72 hours in advance, and those which cannot and are considered emergencies; too urgent to put off until the next regularly scheduled meeting.  Too urgent even, to put off until an emergency meeting can be held.

The leadership of the APS would like to take advantage of another option; issues the come up less than 72 but more than 36 hours before the meeting and which are too urgent to put off for 72 hours more until an emergency meeting can be held. 

The board could take a path of their own.  Other governmental decision making bodies provide more notice than the law requires.  A very few,  post their agendas "as built".

The board, if they wanted to, could hold themselves honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law; the lowest standards of conduct among civilized human beings.  They could if the wanted to, hold themselves to the same standards of conduct they establish and enforce upon students; higher standards of conduct than the law.

The elephant in the room; the obvious truth that is being ignored, is that the school board has established standards of conduct for students requiring them to "do more than the law requires and less than the law allows".  They don't want to hold themselves accountable to that same standard.  They will vote, link, to do only what the law requires.  They will disenfranchise interest holders as much as the law allows.

The APS School Board expects students to "model and promote" honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.  Specifically, the APS School Board expects students to model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!; a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

Were APS School Board President Marty Esquivel accountable to the standards of conduct for which he is the senior-most role model, he would be arguing for the maximum notice they can possibly provide; posted as built, 72 hours notice except in an emergency.

He will not, because he doesn't consider himself to be the very senior-most role model of student standards of conduct.

He told me once that the reason he was not accountable as a role model for students, is because he isn't really an "educator".

Else, he is incompetent; he doesn't comprehend what being the senior-most role model of accountability to higher standards of conduct actually means.

Now the conspiracy nut part.

There is an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

The establishment media, the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, and KOB, know that the leadership of the APS abdicated as role models of student standards of conduct.  They know the board voted unanimously to remove the role modeling clause;

In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
from their own standards of conduct.

They know there are two standards of conduct in the APS; one for students and one for adults.  They know that students are expected to hold themselves accountable to higher standards than their adult role models.

They know that character education has been abandoned in the APS.

They know there is no swift and certain accountability for senior administrators or board members, to meaningful standards of conduct and competence. They know about the cover up of felony criminal misconduct by senior APS administrators in their publicly funded, private police force.

The establishment media is relentless in their refusal to investigate and report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Ask yourself, if any one of them actually investigated, and after that investigation were able to report that the leadership of the APS is honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law, would it be newsworthy?  would they report it?

If they could report that the leadership of the APS was even honestly accountable to the law, would it be newsworthy?

If they found the opposite; if they found that the leadership of the APS is not actually accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence, would it be newsworthy?

Either way, an investigation and report upon ethics and accountability in the leadership of the APS is newsworthy.

They; the Journal, KRQE, KOAT and KOB all know.
I know they know because I told them.

They won't investigate because they know they will find credible evidence of an ethics and accountability scandal and they would rather be part of the cover up than the exposé.




photo Mark Bralley

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Is the APS Police Chief planning to lie under oath?

Defendant Marty Esquivel says that APS Police Chief Steve Tellez will testify, under oath,that  he saw me at various times,

standing unusually close to administrators and board members, holding my body in a aggressive manner, appearing to constitute a threat, invading personal space and assuming a "fighting stance".
All of this requiring Tellez', "intervention".  He says, according to Esquivel, I've been doing this kind of stuff for years.

When APS was asked to produce any public record; videotape, photograph, audiotape, or any other actual evidence of my misconduct ever, they did not; they cannot.  All they have is records of me doing nothing at all, that is not protected activity under the First Amendment.

Their record my so called misconduct, is nothing of the sort.

Defendant Esquivel claims Chief Steve Tellez is going to testify, under oath, that I told him I "was going to have to take him out".

If he does, he will be lying.




photos Mark Bralley


Esquivel is obsessed with my "crying"

Very infrequently, when I am discussing issues of great personal and emotional importance, I find tears welling up.  It comes and goes quickly.  To call it "crying" is a little dishonest.  Well, it's a lot dishonest. It is a little embarrassing, which I suppose is why Defendant Marty Esquivel brings it up every chance he gets.

It doesn't mean I'm dangerous, though Esquivel would like people to think it does.  Evidence, in the form of a video record, shows Esquivel telling board members they need police protection from me, after he violated my rights to be heard at a public forum, link.

This was the same meeting where APS Supt Winston Brooks suggested that Board Member Robert Lucero use a piston to take me out, link.

KRQE finds the talk of taking me out with a pistol unnewsworthy.  You can bet that if Esquivel could find a tape of me talking pistol play, his friends at KRQE would find it newsworthy and then some.




photo Mark Bralley

Friday, May 03, 2013

Bully gets off; victim disillusioned by so-called role models

The story ends the way the story always ends, when bullies get caught being bullies; they get another chance.  The bully gets away with the bullying.

A judge has decided;

if the bully can manage to not get caught red-handed committing another strong arm robbery for 90 days, the charges over a strong arm robbery the bully committed in broad daylight in front of deputy sheriff, will be dismissed.
There are those who believe a bully, if you give them another chance, will use that opportunity to reform themselves.  Giving them another chance begins with ignoring what they just did.

Because the "first" offense is forgiven over and over again, we are always looking at the bullies "first" offense; they are never held accountable for what could be a lifetime of bullying.  There are no "chronic" bullies and therefore, no need to address a problem called chronic bullying.

Local State Senator Linda Lopez actually sponsored legislation that would wipe a bully's slate clean every year as a matter of law, link.

We have heard from the victim.  His letter, link is heartbreaking.

He is of course disappointed that his "friend" stole from him, hit him and humiliated him in front of dozens of kids.

He is more disappointed in how quickly the adults around him abandoned their so called principles.

I would bet, there is a large poster hanging somewhere in a common area at Rio Grande High School.  It reads in significant part; character counts!

Does it?  Not really, not if you ask the victim.  Most of this kid's friends and adult role models urged him to lie about the robbery for "the good of his community" and a state wrestling title.  He became the bad guy.

As a Character Counts! trainer, I had occasion to give kids t-shirts that on their front and back read;
Stand up for what you believe in ...
... even if you're standing alone.
A kid doing the right thing should never be standing alone.

A kid doing the right thing should have role models in front leading by their example, and beside and behind lending their support.

That circumstance depends upon character education.

The leadership of the APS has utterly abandoned character education and any district wide effort to develop character in students.  There is no concerted effort to provide character education in the APS.
 
The proximate result is bullies, victims, and too many students and adults standing around watching, with no idea what they need to do. 

The leadership of the APS began their abandonment of character education by removing the role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct.  No longer, are adults expected to hold themselves accountable to the same standards of conduct they establish and enforce upon students.

Character education in the Albuquerque Public Schools needs to be examined.  There needs to be open and honest public discussion of standards and accountability for students and for their adult role models.

Standing foursquare in opposition to that open and honest public discussion; the leadership of the APS who finds themselves in an indefensible position. There is no way to spin taking the role modeling clause out of your own standards of conduct, as anything but moral cowardice and corruption.

What are the standards for students?  What are the standards for adults?  Are they the same?  Should they be?  How are they each held accountable to them?

These are legitimate questions that a Journal reporter should be asking, that a Journal reporter could be asking, but that no Journal reporter will be asking.




photo Mark Bralley

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Phill Casaus says he "fears me"

According to APS School Board President and Defendant Marty Esquivel's Objections, Answers and Responses to my First Set OF Interrogatories ...,

Tellez is a little camera shy.
Behind; APS Chief of Staff
Joseph Escobedo.
APS' Chief of Police Steve Tellez, the commander of their public funded private police force, their Praetorian Guard, will testify that the Director of the APS Foundation Phill Casaus has reported that "he fears me".










Casaus has every reason to fear that I might write a post around his photograph and details of his incompetence and corruption; I've done it before,

and he does every have reason to fear that I will again. 

He has no reason to fear me for any other reason beyond my efforts to expose the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, and his part in the cover up.

Most of what I wrote about him was when he was an editor at the Tribune; now he's making around $90K as the Director of APS' slush fund.


He followed Monica Armenta into that cushy slot when she got promoted to an even cushier slot as Executive Director of Communications.

Party, link, at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, anyone?




photos Mark Bralley