Monday, January 05, 2015

APS Superintendent search; community input

The APS School Board is offering stake and interest holders "input" in hiring the next superintendent. Or are they?  It depends on the meaning of the word "input".

The APS School Board knows already, what, maybe even who, they are looking for in their new superintendent. How could they not?

What they are offering stake and interest holders is
an opportunity to change their mind.

They are offering in limiting circumstances,
nothing more than an opportunity to change their mind
by telling them about something they don't already know and can agree with.

Decision making according to any higher standards requires that the needle move in proportion to opposing input.

What if during this entire process their needle never moves one bit?

They, powerful people, do what they were going to do anyway, always.  It is among the accoutrements of power.

Their loosely worded promise is as meaningless as it is utterly unenforceable.

Their own Code of Ethics is unenforceable.

The school board will do exactly what they were going to do all along.  When they do, they are going to do it in meetings in secret*.

*They will adjourn from any real oversight into closed meetings.  The meetings will not recorded by their own deliberate decision.

While some things must be discussed in secret from public knowledge, a great deal of things are being discussed in secret that should not be discussed in secret.

The very worst thing any public servant can do ever
is anything they do in unnecessary secret from
the people whose power they are wielding and
whose resources they are spending.

They will be discussed in secret not in the best interests of students according to their first School Board Ethic, but in their own; to avoid the consequences of having them discussed in public.

They will come out of the meetings in secret;  and
thank all the marginalized stake and interest holders
for their invaluable input.

Then they will announce that they have hired whomever
they intended to hire all along;
someone who will help them cover up the cover up
of the ethics, standards and accountability scandal
in the leadership of the APS.

Where will all the marginalized groups file their complaint?
... with the same people who are ignoring them?
In the next election maybe.

The question of input is simple;

When your interests are being decided,
do you have a seat at the table?
Any answer except yes, means no.

If you don't have (at least a representative seat) your Constitutionally protected human right to sit or be represented at that table is being ignored by the government; the school board and their superintendent.

Will there be Round Table discussions of important issues?

The School Board Code of Ethics requires them;
to establish two-way communication
They have not.  They have outlawed it.

A seat at the table for everybody, or seats only for the most powerful?

Open and honest two-way communication.
There is no equivalent gesture.  Nothing else will do.

A seat at the table; yours for the taking
I would encourage your rebellion.

Take APS' survey, link.

Role model please, APS' student standards of conduct which require respect and responsibility.

But at every opportunity; insist that the new superintendent be expected to open two-way communication between the leadership of the APS and the communities and community members they serve.

Insist. Again and again and again.

Marginalized stake and interest holders have a right to the undivided attention of the school board and or senior administration for at least one hour each month.

One hour a month may not sound like much, but
it's an hour more than they have now.

If one hour is not enough, they can use their one hour
to petition for two.

The simple truth is, there is no coalition of marginalized stake and interest holders who will ever be powerful enough to compel the board to do anything more than "listen".  A good faith response is not part of the deal.

A good faith response has never been part of the deal, it is not now part of the deal and it never will be part of the deal, unless and until a motion is passed and enforced reading;
to create and wholeheartedly support Executive and Administrative Round Table Communication between the leadership of the APS and the communities and community members they serve.
Where as;
the fourth ethic in the School Board's Code of Ethics requires the establishment of open and honest two-way communication between the leadership of the APS and the community; and
Where as
there is now none such
Be It Resolved;
  • District and Community Relations Committee meetings will include both Executive and Administrative Round Table discussions with representative stake and interest holders.
  • Round Table discussions will be impartially and professionally facilitated.
  • Senior executive and administrative leaders will engage and participate in good faith in open and honest public discussions of the public interests and of their public service.

photo Mark Bralley

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