Friday, December 15, 2017

Journal editors mistaken in belief in APS "graduation" rates

The Journal editors would like you to believe that while things aren't very much better, they are at least a little better, link.

APS’ graduation rates have gone up. They would like you to think it is because they are finally doing a better job of educating nearly 90,000 of this community’s sons and daughters.

In fact, the graduation rate went up in no small part, due to at least two mathematical manipulations. The first was to change the grad rate calculation to include students who graduated a year late. The grad rate went up, but not because students were learning any more effectively.

The second manipulation was to exclude from the calculation, students who had previously failed 9th grade. Again, the graduation rate climbed, but not because anything good was happening.

Graduation rates are a poor measure of educational effectiveness; if for no other reason than they are so easily manipulated.

A better measure is one of the actual performances of graduates. Take for example, ACT and SAT scores. They are an apparently accurate measure of the performance of the group of students who normally take them. ACT and SAT scores of APS students are static. APS graduates are not performing any better on objective testing than they used to; they aren’t getting better.

“Graduating” more students with meaningless graduation certificates is not improvement.

Monday, December 11, 2017

"Lucrative gigs" and the leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools

The Journal reported this morning that Luis Valentino has landed on his feet; for a few months at least, link.  In the report, it was mentioned tangentially, that a secret settlement had been reached with a player in Valentino's local scandal.  I posted a comment on his settlement;

"Terms are confidential for six months."

The leadership of the APS is in hope that in six months’ time, people will have forgotten what happened here.

What happened here is; school board members and senior administrators have spent untold hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars on yet another cost-is-no-object legal defense for APS insiders.

According to whoever wrote the headline, Valentino has landed a "lucrative gig in Portland". It is a shame (literally) that the Journal will not investigate and report upon the very “lucrative gigs” right here in River City; being a lawyer defending APS insiders; spending without limit or oversight from a large bore pipeline to the operational fund.

The APS school board has access to the operational fund. The operational fund is supposed to be spent educating nearly 90K of this city's sons and daughters. Operational dollars could, should and would be spent on education were they not being squandered instead on litigation and legal weaselry.

The board underwrites the cost-is-no-object defenses in secret from stake and interest holders. They steadfastly refuse to record their meetings in secret. They spend without oversight (subordinate oversight is not oversight; it is an oxymoron) and without (practical) limit.

“Terms are confidential for six months."

Then they keep the settlement secret from the taxpayers who thought their tax dollars were being spent on teachers and the others who actually work with children.

The Journal could have the record right now if they wanted it. APS tried to keep my settlement terms secret from the people who paid for the "most expensive lawsuit of its type" in the history of the United States.  We prevailed, link, and the Journal had no choice but to publish the details (albeit in a manner that steered accountability and the leadership of the APS in different directions).

Nor will the Journal investigate and report in six months’ time, how the leadership of the APS is squandering trust and treasure in order to buy admissions of "no guilt" in unjustifiably expense legal settlements in their effort to escape any real consequences for their public corruption and incompetence.

It runs far deeper than complacency about the scandal and the cover up in APS; they are complicit. Kent Walz and the Journal are part and parcel of a cover up of an ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership.

Else, they would prove otherwise. They would investigate and report upon stewardship and the leadership of the APS. Are the public trust and treasure being squandered or are they being well spent?

Either truth is newsworthy.

No truth is a cover up.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

APS illegally wiretapping employees - "disturbing if true"

according the editors at the Journal, link.

That the Journal editors are "disturbed" is of zero import.

The bottom line is that they have no intention of investigating and reporting on the ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS, just the most resent manifestation of which is, this illegal wiretapping of an employee.

I posted a comment on the editorial.  It reads;

“disturbing if it’s true”
Dear editors,
Prepare to be disturbed.

Robert Caswell Investigations is part and parcel to a cover up of an ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS.

Caswell investigates (in particular) allegations and evidence of criminal misconduct against school board members and senior administrators. If they find evidence of criminal misconduct, even felony criminal misconduct, they turn the evidence and testimony over to the leadership of the APS who then hides it from stake and interest holders.

For example, in Feb, 2007, the Journal reported upon felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators and the leadership of their publicly funded, private police force, link.

Caswell investigated and then turned the evidence over to APS to hide. This despite, what I understand to be, their legal obligation to turn any such evidence over to law enforcement.

There is NO record that any evidence was ever surrendered to the District Attorney for consideration for prosecution.

APS covered it up and then retaliated against anyone who tried to expose it.

The Journal knows about it and has made a deliberate decision to enable the cover up.

The Journal knows about the double standards of conduct in the APS; students are expected to model and promote honest accountability to a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethics, while school board members and senior administrators (by means of cost-is-no-object litigation and legal weaselry) are demonstrably unaccountable even to the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable among civilized human beings.

The Journal knows about the ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS and relentlessly refuses to inform stake and interest holders, even to inform them that the worry is unfounded.