Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Superintendent search to begin in earnest

With Board Members Barbara Peterson and Peggy Muller-Aragón on board, the APS School Board will begin the exercise of hiring Brad Winter's replacement.

They will hire a superintendent according to one or the other of two sets of interests.  They will hire in the best interests of students or in the best interests of "the district" including their own.

Though those interests should coincide; sometimes they don't;

hiring a supt in the best interests of students would not be in the best interests of for example, any of the incompetent and corrupt in the administration of the APS.
When politicians and public servant's public obligations and personal interests conflict, is the time when oversight over their decision making is most crucial.

Yet, the board's real decision making will be done in secret from stake and interest holders.  The board and a handful of others will adjourn into "executive session".  They will close the doors and there will be nothing but their trustworthiness to protect the public interests during their decision making.

OK, so how trustworthy are they?  Does it say something that they will not record their meetings in secret?  Does it say something that they don't want some judge sometime, to have a record to review?

The worst thing any politician or public servant can do,
is anything they do in unnecessary secret
from those whose power and resources they are spending.

Their justifiably secret decision making needs to be described with reasonable specificity.  There is no ethical justification whatsoever for their relentless refusal to record their meetings in secret. 

Among the questions that superintendent candidates should expect to be asked in interviews, are a few questions they really don't want to ask in public, but can't ethically justify secrecy.  They are  awkward questions because the public perception and the truth are so disparate.  Take for example role modeling.  An obvious question is;
Are you ready, willing and able to be a role model?  Are you ready, willing and able to show students what it looks like to hold oneself honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence?
The answer for public consumption should be;
Oh heck ya!
The truth is;
There is not a single person in the entire leadership of the APS who is actually accountable to the same standards of conduct as students.  Nor will be, the next superintendent; the senior-most administrative role model of honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence.
At one point, APS School Board Policy included a role modeling clause.  It read;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult
be lower than the standards for students.
It no longer does.  They removed it; by unanimous resolution.

The Policy Committee will meet this week.
Not on their agenda;
Open and honest public discussion of the restoration of the Role Modeling Clause to their code of conduct.

We don't need no stinkin'
role modeling clause! , link
It will never be on the agenda,
for as long as David Peercy
chairs the Policy Committee
and, for as long as he cannot
summon the character and
the courage to allow open
and honest public discussion
of ethics, standards and
accountability in the APS.

It will never be on the agenda
for as long as Peercy enjoys the aid and abet of the Journal in the cover up of an ethics, standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

photo Mark Bralley

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