Saturday, July 11, 2015

Time to revisit the 1994 resolution; reaffirm or rescind?

In March 2004, the APS Board of Education passed a unanimous resolution.  The resolution did two things;

  1. it affirmed the need for public schools to participate meaningfully in the development of the character of students, and
  2. it named a particular character education model as the adopted model and the standards associated with that model became the student standards of conduct.
In so far as the leadership of the APS are the senior-most role models of student standards of conduct, those nationally recognized, accepted and respected standards of conduct became at once, the standards of conduct for students' adult role models as well.  That's what role modeling means.

In affirmation of their acceptance of the obligations of role models, the standards of conduct that applied to school board members and senior administrators had a role modeling clause.  It read;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
The board voted unanimously, to remove the role modeling clause from their standards in 2005 or 6.

Since, there have been double standards of conduct;
  1. students expected to model and promote accountability to higher standards of conduct, 
  2. while their role models have been accountable only to the law; the standards of conduct that all higher standards are higher than.  
Senior adult accountability is enormously eroded by litigation and legal weaselry in order to escape real, honest to God accountability even to the law. Operational dollars are spent as a matter of routine to buy admissions of no guilt for corrupt and or incompetent politicians and senior public servants.

They spend without limit and without oversight.
Their "subordinate oversight" is not oversight at all;
it is an oxymoron.

Though it is more than two decades old, absent and until it is rescinded, the 1994 resolution is as binding today as it was the evening it was unanimously resolved.

If the 1994 resolution is no longer in the best interests of students, it needs to be rescinded.

If the 1994 resolution remains in the best interests of students, then it needs to be reaffirmed.

We need two school board members to move for a public reconsideration of the resolution that made character education part of the core curriculum.
  1. one to move to reconsider the 1994 resolution in open meeting(s), and
  2. another to second that motion.

Below please find the resolution - it is not first source; it has been transcribed as accurately as I am able.

Note as well; "character education" and "Character Counts!" are not the same thing.  The resolution establishes and requires districtwide character education efforts.  Character Counts! is one of a number of models for character education.  Endorsing character education is not endorsing any particular model.  I remain enamored of Character Counts! - I am honestly unaware of anything that is very much better.

To endorse and Implement Character Counts! Program in the Albuquerque Public Schools

Whereas, Albuquerque Public Schools reaffirms the need to join with other community groups to actively engage in the development and demonstration of ethical behavior among youth and adults, and

Whereas, the mission of Albuquerque Public Schools is to provide learners of all ages the skills and knowledge needed to become successful and productive members of a dynamic society, and

Whereas, the Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes that students in our schools are more likely now than in the past to experience family disintegration, homicide, drug use, teen age pregnancy, dishonesty, suicide, and strong messages from media and society that undermine home teaching of ethical values, and

Whereas, the Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes that no single community institution can instill ethical behavior in youth and adults if it is acting without the support of other institutions and groups, and

Whereas, the Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes the important role played by teachers and other adults in school settings in modeling good character for young people.


1. That the Albuquerque Public Schools endorses the Aspen Declaration on Character Education as well as the Character Counts! Program as ways to develop character based on six core ethical values; trustworthiness, respect, responsibility , fairness, caring and citizenship;

2. That the Albuquerque Public Schools will enter into community-wide discussions with other institutions and groups to reach agreements about the role of each in promoting ethical behavior among young people, and adults in various aspects of life;

3. That the Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to creating models of ethical behavior among all adults who serve students and schools;

4. That the core curriculum should continue to give explicit attention to character development as an ongoing part of school instruction;

5. That materials, teaching methods, partnerships, and services to support school programs shall be selected, in part, for their capacity to support the development of character among youth and adults;

6. That all schools examine school curriculum and practices to identify and extend opportunities for developing character, especially through the utilization of violence-prevention programs, mediation training, community service programs. fair rules which are fairy enforced, democratic practices in classrooms and organizations, and extracurricular activities which help students learn and model caring and ethical behavior.

DATED this 2nd day of March, 1994

Below please find the Aspen Declaration. It was cited in the resolution.
1. The next generation will be the stewards of our communities, nation and planet in extraordinarily critical times.
2. In such times, the well-being of our society requires an involved, caring citizenry with good moral character.
3. People do not automatically develop good moral character; therefore, conscientious efforts must be made to help young people develop the values and abilities necessary for moral decision making and conduct.
4. Effective character education is based on core ethical values rooted in democratic society, in particular, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, justice and fairness, caring, and civic virtue and citizenship.
5. These core ethical values transcend cultural, religious and socioeconomic differences.
6. Character education is, first and foremost, an obligation of families and faith communities, but schools and youth-service organizations also have a responsibility to help develop the character of young people.
7. These responsibilities are best achieved when these groups work in concert.

8. The character and conduct of our youth reflect the character and conduct of society; therefore, every adult has the responsibility to teach and model the core ethical values and every social institution has the responsibility to promote the development of good character.
If ever there will be something you can do that will make a difference, standing in support of a public reconsideration of the 1994 resolution regarding character education in the Albuquerque Public School, is that thing.

If ever there will be a time to stand up and get involved, this is that time.

If ever there were a place to be and a time to be there,
it is at the school board meeting on Wednesday, July 15,
at 5pm.

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