Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Statistics point to leadership failure in APS

In a committee meeting the other night, statistics, link, were presented that strongly suggest that the culture of fear of retaliation* against whistleblowers and other complainants is still a problem in the APS.  *Finding by Council of the Great City Schools auditors circa 2007.

There still is retaliation against whistleblowers and other complainants.

The leadership of the APS makes a big deal, link, about wanting people to report misconduct.  They have over the years, severely curtailed the kind of complaints they will accept. Now, they

... encourage state employees to report fraud, waste, and abuse of state resources. 
Suspected theft or misuse of the Department's property
Overcharging for products and services purchased at a lower rate
Billing for services never rendered
Double-billing or charging more than once for the same service
Intentional misuse of funds for other purposes
Conflicts of interest
Falsification of official documents (timesheets, leave reports, etc.)
The Hotline is not for general complaints, suggestions, or personnel issues. It is primarily a report intake operation focused on concerns at the state level. Issues involving local funds, programs, employees, etc. should be addressed with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Employee Assistance, Human Resources, school police your union, your department manager or other established channels before being reported to the Hotline.
I will take some credit for compelling them to narrow their focus.  I filed a number of complaints against the senior most administrators in the APS, by means of their whistleblower hotline; Ethical Advocate.  Their self-adjudication of, and subsequent dismissal of the complaints proved the lack of due process for complaints; sample link.

Rather than continue to suffer that, they simply stopped taking complaints about their ethical misconduct.

Rather like when they decide that they would rather not be held actually and honestly accountable as role models of students standards of conduct, they simple removed the role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for adults
be lower than the standards of conduct for students. 
Their parting assurance;
"Employees wishing to report complaints are protected from retaliation."
That is simply not true.  The consistently high number of complaints of retaliation for exposing administrative and executive corruption or incompetence is evidence that retaliation against complainants continues and justifies the ongoing fear of retaliation.

If employees were polled and asked if they feel protected from retaliation if they report the incompetence or corruption of a superordinate, an overwhelming majority will tell you, no.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the poll.  The leadership of the APS does not collect data that might later prove to be embarrassing, shaming or indicting.  As a matter of routine; as a matter of course.

The profound lack of statistics of any kind at all, is as damning every bit as damning as damning statistics.

Where for example, are the statistics on student misconduct in schools, and in particular on chronically disruptive students?

Are things getting worse?  Are they getting better?
Who knows?  Why does no one know?
I'm guessing if things were getting better,
they would be collecting the data.

I'm guessing if employees really felt protected,
they would be collecting that data too.

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