Sunday, December 14, 2014

Esquivel's Op-Ed

Under normal circumstances, I would have read the Journal Op-Ed, link, by School Board Member Marty Esquivel and reported;

School Board Member Marty Esquivel wrote an excellent Op-Ed for the Journal this morning. He made some very important points;
  • APS school board elections are always met with apathy. ... on average only 3 percent of our electorate votes in the board elections. That number is abysmal.
  • The mere mention of a faceless APS bureaucracy can invoke disdain – no matter where you are on the political spectrum.
  • I’ve seen phenomenally great educators within APS.
  • We need to better appreciate our teachers. Yet, we should not hesitate to raise legitimate concerns about a small percentage that aren’t cutting it. We need to figure out a better way to improve their performance or more decisively take action to remove them. Too often, we shuffle them off to a different school without addressing the problem.
  • Testing has always been a fact of life in our schools. The most poignant issue is how schools can fairly and accurately measure students’ achievement to make sure there is sufficient progress.
  • But I also wonder about a stunning lack of concern for students who go to college only to end up failing because of insufficient academic skills.
  • More attention needs to be paid to whether we are doing enough to prepare our graduating students for college or the life ahead of them.
  • In the end, we need to respect differences without accusations, acrimony and hyperbole (on both ends) that often rears its ugly head.
  • In the end, civility and progress will draw more people to vote in school board elections. It will certainly make us better for trying.
Ched MacQuigg, running for
Esquivel's seat and  for  honest
accountability for politicians
and public servants in the APS,
to meaningful standards of
conduct and competence in
their public service.
But of course, these are not normal circumstances, and I have to wonder why this is the first time Esquivel has penned an Op-Ed encouraging voter turnout in a school board election.

Esquivel and the board are terrified that someone talking about their ethics, standards and accountability might get elected.  They reason; whomever their choice is to replace Esquivel, s/he will fare better in an increased turnout.

And I will offer a prediction.  Whomever it is they support, s/he will not talk openly and honestly, candidly and forthrightly about their intentions to address ethics, standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS.

If you go to APS' award winning website, link, you fill find a School Board Candidate Questionnaire, penned by someone in the school board office (I suppose; it is not attributed).  There is not a single question about ethics, standards, accountability and role modeling.

photos Mark Bralley

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