Friday, June 12, 2015

Tuesday June 23 will be one day too late for Valentino

You never get a second chance to make a (good) first impression.
wise person long ago

APS image
June 22 is supposed to be Luis Valentino's first day in charge of the administration of the Albuquerque Public Schools, the spending of more than a billion dollars a year, and the success of nearly ninety thousand of this community's sons and daughters who are students in the APS.

It may not be on that day, but it will be on some day very soon thereafter, Supt. Luis Valentino will make apparent (overtly or tacitly), his intentions with respect to the cornerstones of his administration; standards and accountability.

He will identify the standards of conduct and competence to which he and his subordinates will be held accountable.  He will point to the process by which the least powerful can hold the most powerful accountable to those standards even against their will.

Or, he won't say a word, which means same old, same old;
  • inadequate standards and
  • inadequate accountability to those standards.
  • and inadequate data gathering and record keeping;
the trifecta of public corruption and incompetence and, the reasons why the APS is not doing a better job of preparing our children to be positive and productive community members.

The standards of conduct, link, for which Valentino will become the senior-most administrative role model in the entire APS, have this to say about truth telling;
All acts, including half-truths, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading come at the cost of one's good character.
No ifs,
no ands,
no buts.

It has not been the history of the leadership of the APS to talk about standards and accountability.  Their silence; their stonewalling, is intended to leave the impression that the leadership of the APS is actually, honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within their public service. They are not.

If they were actually honestly accountable, there would be somewhere;
1.  clear and unequivocal standards of conduct and competence high enough to protect the public interests in the public schools, and  
2.  due process for complaints filed against school board members and administrators.

For example, consider the APS board of education Code of Ethics, link; the first of which reads;
1. Make the education and well-being of students 
the basis for all decision making.
The ethic itself is clear, unequivocal and high enough to protect the public interests in the public schools.  But, it is not enforceable. By their own free admission,  there is no due process anywhere, where a complaint can be filed over school board members' violation of the ethic.

Any honest search for the truth will reveal that they are really not accountable even to the law.  They have spent, are spending, and will continue to spend operational dollars without limit and without oversight in order to avoid accountability to the law.
Witness the nearly one million dollars, that could, should and would have been spent in classrooms, but was spent instead in defense of Marty Esquivel's ego.  They are not done spending yet; if the case goes to trial, taxpayers will pony up well over a million dollars.
One has to wonder how the ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS has escaped exposure in "the media"; the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, and KOB TV.

The wonder stops at the word "media".

Were they representative of the "press" rather than the "media", they would feel some obligation to inform the democracy of the squandering of their trust and treasure, and likely would.

As the "media", they are accountable to no standards of conduct that require them to do anything except stay afloat financially.

There is no place for instance, where Journal Editor in Chief Kent Walz can be held accountable for his betrayal of the trust placed in him by Journal readers.

There is no place where Walz can be held accountable for his aid and abet in APS' cover up of their cover up of felony criminal misconduct involving senior administrators.

I bring this up because APS Supt. Luis Valentino needs to know that if he does decide to address standards and accountability openly and honestly, he will make waves.  Those waves will swamp a number of boats; boats belonging to powerful people who are accustomed to "media" support and will expect its continuation.

Walz and "media" support will remain solidly behind school board members and senior administrators who have personal interests in never, ever, ever, allowing open and honest public discussion of standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS.

Valentino, if he tries to expose the truth, could find himself standing alone.

Walz photo Mark Bralley

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