Monday, November 11, 2013

To hear Esquivel tell it, it's already "time to move along".

With respect to APS Supt Winston Brooks suspension, everything that needs to be done has been done and, it's time to move along.

That according to School Board President Marty Esquivel.  More importantly, it's time to move along in the interests of the children.

It is good ol' boy justice.  And good ol' boy justice is not done in anyone's interests but their own.

How is it in the best interests of children to provide them with role models who are unwilling to hold themselves honesty accountable the same standards they establish and enforce upon students?

The entire school board, having just voted to give Brooks another $750K golden parachute, is manifestly conflicted in deciding whether and how to punish their champion.  The harder the punishment, the more obvious it is that they shouldn't be extending his golden parachute every year.  Their own self interests dictate mitigating their consequences in Brooks' interests as well.

They conducted the whole disciplinary process by themselves and in secret.  There will be no review of their decision making.  (Even) the public records that they considered in the process, will not be identified or inspected.  They will produce no record to review.

They will call it command decision making and if the decision makers are powerful enough, it is not subject to question or review,by anyone ever.  Not even by those to whom the power and resources fundamentally belong.

Ask them; their decision making is not subject to the review of the people they represent; the people whose power and resources they are spending.

"Hold us accountable at election", Board Member Kathy Korte will say.  "If you don't like what we're doing, don't vote us into office."

The glaring omission in the argument of course, is that the people have no idea whether they like or don't like what these folks do in secret.  In fact, they have a record of betraying our trust in allowing them meet in secret from us.

How do you hold someone accountable for anything they do in secret?

For example, in secret, they supposedly oversee litigation involving district administrators and school board members.  They spend a lot of money defending the good ol' boys and girls and, they spend it in secret.

The onerous litigation is part and parcel of APS' "culture of fear of retaliation" against whistleblowers and other complainants.  They pay their buddies at the Modrall law firm alone, well over a million dollars a year to extricate them from consequences of their lack character and competence.

They pay them so much that their lawyer. Modrall partner Art Melendres, couldn't say, even when asked under oath, within even a quarter million dollars, how many classroom dollars end every year in the coffers of the Modrall. 

Unlimited classroom dollars being squandered without public oversight.

Why does the establishment media not care how many operational dollars have been taken out of classrooms to be spent in court rooms instead?

Why don't they care how much money these people spend trying to extricate themselves from the consequences of their incompetence and corruption?

Politicians and public servants like Esquivel will get away with closing the door on inspection and review of their decision making for as long as their cronies in the media will allow it.   The media won't publish the truth, but they will publish Esquivel's argument; time to move along, in the interests of the children.

...and not examine too carefully what just happened here.

photos Mark Bralley

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