Sunday, August 24, 2014

We are disappointed but not surprised that Journal editors endorse Winter

In the Journal, link; the editorial opinion

APS right to pick Winter

APS Chief Tellez, his boss Brad Winter
They, he, she, argue;

When you are entrusted with putting the largest school district in the state ... back on a steady course it makes sense to go with experience and with what you know.
The editorial opinion is that back on a steady course is what APS needs.  It is not.

"Back on a steady course" is the battle cry of those who endorse the status quo.  Unless the status quo is acceptable; it rarely is and is not in this case, back on a steady course is a bad thing.

Back to inadequate standards, inadequate accountability and inadequate record keeping and production, is a bad thing.

I know for a fact that at least one of the candidates for interim superintendent intended use that authority to clean out the rats nest in preparation for a new administration.  It was not his plan to get the administration of the APS back on its "steady course".

APS' steady course is and has been to use public power and resources to enable school board members and senior APS administrators to escape accountability for their incompetence and corruption.  Regardless of whatever else happen to accomplish.

They, she, he opined;
If anyone knows APS and can embrace the work that needs to be done and leave the drama on the sidelines, it’s Winter, who over more than two decades with the district has worn every hat from teacher to assistant principal to administrator.
Let's give them that one.  Who know better than a man who has worn every hat from teacher to 2nd in command, where all the bodies are buried?

Who knows better than Brad Winter where lies the administrative and executive incompetence, corruption, and the policies and practices that enable them?
The current city councilor and former APS chief operations officer has earned a reputation as a calm, civil problem solver who puts public accountability at the top of his list.

If that were true, Brad Winter would show us his list.  Where on that list is
  • his PowerPoint presentation on student discipline and in particular the presence of chronically disruptive students, and
  • his production of a candid, forthright and honest accounting of spending at 6400 Uptown Blvd, and
  • his production of ethically redacted findings of audits, investigations, examinations, and reviews into senior administrative and executive incompetence and corruption, and
  • his  commencement of an independent examination and review of senior administrative and executive standards and accountability, and
  • his production in particular, the ethically redacted findings of investigations of felony public corruption in the leadership of the police force Winter directly oversaw, and
  • his public promise to respond to legitimate questions about the public interests and his public service, by answering candidly, forthrightly and honestly?
As a matter of fact, where on his list will we find
  • him standing up as the senior-most administrative role model of honest accountability to the same standards of conduct he establishes and enforces upon students?
Where on his list has he placed stepping up as the senior-most administrative role model of student standards of conduct; a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!?

It is not on Winter's list, even in the form of an open and honest public discussion of student and adult standards of conduct and accountability. Nor is it on the Journal editors list of newsworthy facts about Brad Winter.

When the head of an organization falls under circumstances the 2nd in command knew or should have known about, you have to consider guilty knowledge.  If they were aware of problems, why didn't they expose them.  If they weren't aware of the problems, why weren't they?  Did they remain willfully ignorant or were they only mind-numbingly incompetent?

Brad Winter has guilty knowledge of most of the public corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS.  That or he remained willfully ignorant.  That or he was mind-numbingly incompetent in his oversight over APS' publicly funded private police force.

He represents the worst possible choice; the 2nd in command who will now oversee APS' self investigation of numerous complaints of senior administrative and executive misconduct.  Who will then hide the findings of those investigations from public knowledge at least until a new superintendent is hired.  Who will spend unlimited numbers of operational dollars in litigation against the public interests and without objective oversight of any kind in a cost is no object effort to hide the ethically redacted truth.

If there was any real doubt that Journal Managing Editor Kent Walz and whomever else at the Journal are in cahoots in the cover up of an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS this should extinguish it.

Standards, ethics, and accountability in the spending of a fourth of the state budget, are newsworthy.  They are newsworthy when they exist and more newsworthy when they don't.

If the Journal editors can ensure us that the standards of conduct and competence that apply to school board members and senior administrators are high enough to protect the public interests in the public schools, why won't they?

If the Journal editors can ensure us that school board members and senior administrators are honestly accountable to those standards; accountable by due process under systems over which they have no undue influence and powerful enough to hold them accountable even against their will, why won't they?

If the Journal editors, because of circumstances, must report that the leadership is not honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within their public service, why won't they?

Except that the editors are part of the cover up; they are in cahoots.

photo Mark Bralley
Walz photo ched macquigg

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