Monday, January 12, 2015

In 50 words or fewer; APS - what's wrong; how do we fix it?

My responses to the Journal's questionnaire;

1. Do you agree with the APS board’s refusal to make public the results of an attorney’s investigation into former superintendent Winston Brooks, which ultimately led to his resignation and to APS paying him $350,000 to buy out his contract? Why or why not?

I do not. 

The very worst thing any public servant can do is anything they do in unnecessary secret from the people.

There is only one reason to hide the truth; escaping the consequences of the truth becoming known.
They are hiding the truth because the law allows them to.
2. Do you support legislation that would require retention of third-graders who couldn’t read at grade level coupled with intense early literacy intervention? Why?
    Reading is not the only way to learn. It isn’t even the best way.
    Children can in learn other ways; watching, listening and doing.
    They can make progress in every other subject while they learn to read. Maybe it will excite them enough to make them really want to read.
      3. Should APS administrators be allowed to take paid political leave to serve in the Legislature? Should teachers be allowed to take paid political leave to serve?
      If we are going to have a citizen legislature, then any citizen ought to be able to serve, not just the wealthy. We must make absolutely certain that the quality of their long term substitute teacher is up to standards.
      I would elaborate, but my 50 words are running…
      4. What percentage, if any, of a teacher’s evaluation should be based on student test scores and why?
      Teachers should be evaluated by every practical means, the results compiled and considered in toto.
      Standardized test scores if anything, measure only teachers’ ability to standardize individual performances in a group of children with little more in common than their age and the school they attend. Is that…
      5. If elected what would be your top priorities?
      1.Create open and honest two-way communication between the leadership of the APS and the community members they serve.
      2.Move decision making power and resources into schools and classrooms.
      3.Create honest and actual accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence for politicians and public servants in the public schools.
      6. What qualities, key policy positions and previous work experience are you looking for in a new superintendent?
      The new superintendent must be able to create synergies among the people in the district who have the education, expertise and experience to solve problems. Teachers for example, have between them nearly 100,000 years of teaching experience and no seat at the table where the plans are being drawn to…
      7. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy hearing?
      8. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.
      Yes. By way of explanation I will offer this; politicians and public servants are entitled to private lives. They enjoy the same Constitutionally protected human right to privacy as anyone else.  The Journal has no warrant and running for the board doesn’t create one. See lengthier response at
      Age: 64

      Education: Master’s Degree plus 45 hours

      Occupation: retired teacher,

      Family: yes

      Political/government Experience: political pamphleteer and activist

      Major professional accomplishment: public school teacher for 25 years

      Major personal accomplishment: My blog Diogenes’ Six;

      photo Mark Bralley

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