Wednesday, July 08, 2015

APS Board steps up - big time

APS Superintendent Luis Valentino's plan to remove the Pillars of Character Counts!; link, from the new APS Student Handbook came to a screeching halt this afternoon.

The board made it clear that the pillars would remain in the Handbook until there have been open and honest discussions with stake and interest holders and their reconsideration of what ought or ought not be student standards of conduct.

Escobedo is a former student, here
pointing out himself and other students
 on a class field trip to Washington D.C.
In charge of enabling those discussions; former APS Chief of Staff, current Chief Equity and Engagement Officer Joseph Escobedo, link.

This situation is full of defining moments; it appears there will be another; for Mr. Escobedo.  Godspeed on Joseph Escobedo and his efforts to enable stake and interest holders to participate meaningfully in the decision making process.

Escobedo will enjoy the support of the Chair of the board's Equity and Engagement Committee, Barbara Petersen.  She spoke too, to the need for stake and interest holders to be part of the process in redefining what it is we will expect from students.  And by logical, ethical, and moral extension, what it is that we expect from ourselves because we are their role models.

Most of the rest of the board spoke up in favor of leaving the current language until better language is written.  No one spoke against the decision to accept all of Valentino's changes save that one.

All of the establishment's media; the Journal, KRQE, KOAT and KOB TV were notified days ago that the board was about to lower student standards of conduct.
Because they chose to not be there to record the board doing something disgraceful, they were not there to record the board doing something nearly heroic.

KRQE has the tape, but they weren't there for the handbook revision; they were there to record a different discussion. Not holding my breath for coverage; KRQE lawyer Marty Esquivel will advise them to not cover the ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS.

Unclear what they will choose to report or, into what they will further investigate.

The standards of conduct for the nearly 90,000 of this community's sons and daughters in APS schools remain, at least for the time being;
  1. be trustworthy,
  2. responsible,
  3. respectful
  4. fair,
  5. caring, and
  6. be a good citizen
The standards for school board members and
senior administrators are still to be ironed out.
One would think they would be the same as the
ones they establish and enforce upon students.

But they aren't.

It's not so much the responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and good citizenship that that some of them object to, it's the pillar of trustworthiness.

They object to answering legitimate questions about the public interests and about their public service; candidly, forthrightly and honestly.  They don't like the idea of doing more than the law requires and less than the law allows.

The Pillar of Trustworthiness is the pillar they ignore when they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on litigation and legal weaselry rather than produce ethically redacted findings of investigations into felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.

Well alright; spending money on non-viable defenses of board member's egos and the hiding of public records also violates a few other pillars;
  • responsible stewardship over our resources, and
  • respect for the trust that has been placed in them that they will make their decisions in the best interests of students, and
  • fairness; what's fair about using operational dollars to underwrite legal weaselry to deny justice and to enable corrupt and incompetent school board members and senior administrators to sign off on admissions of no guilt, and
  • caring about the fallout on the good and decent politicians and public servants whose public service is being crippled by the lack of accountability and consequences for those who are not, or will not, do their jobs.
  • being a good citizen and following the rules.

photos Mark Bralley

1 comment:

ched macquigg said...

I am choosing to not publish a comment left on this post. To the commenter; I am willing to publish allegations, even anonymously, but you will have to be more specific. What you have alleged, if that's all there is to it, isn't necessarily a problem.