Sunday, December 15, 2019

Public corruption in the APS; the media cover up


The public corruption;

the leadership of the APS is spending the Operational Fund without restraint, to subsidize cost-is-no-object legal defenses for school board members and senior administrators.
The operational fund dollars are taxpayer dollars that should, could and would be spent in classrooms were it and the public trust not being squandered on litigation and legal weaselry.

The spending decisions are made in meetings in secret, of which no recordings are permitted, and without oversight*. *Subordinate oversight is not oversight; it is an oxymoron.

It is all part of an ethics, standards, accountability and role modeling scandal in the leadership of the APS.

A scandal the Journal is covering up.

Were the leadership of the APS honestly accountable to the law, much less to higher standards of conduct than the law, the Journal would report it. Why would they not?

In the face of so many school board, bond issue, mill levy elections and superintendent searches, they would be remiss to not report that to stake and interest holders, to taxpayers and to voters.

Were the leadership of the APS honestly accountable to any standards of conduct at all, they could point to those standards and then point to the due processes by which they can be held accountable to them.

Ayn Rand argued that refusing to face an issue suggests that the worst is true.

The worst is true.

And that is why neither the leadership of the APS nor of the Journal will engage in an open and honest defense of their conduct or the relentless refusal to investigate and report upon it.

Paula Maes a former APS school board heavy hitter, whose family made a ton of money off APS litigation and legal weaselry, is also the President and CEO of the New Mexico Broadcasters Association.

The local affiliates, KRQE, KOAT, KOB TV coincidentally find themselves aligned with the Journal; unable or unwilling to face the issue of public corruption in the leadership of the APS.

The media cannot be relied upon to tell the truth; the whole truth and nothing but the ethically redacted truth. It is as sad as it is shameful.

Monday, December 09, 2019

APS teaching experience a big secret; why?

On Tuesday November 12, 2019, an effort in earnest was begun to find the answers to two questions;

  1. How many teachers does APS employ? And
  2. How many years of teaching experience have they accumulated between them all?
As of this morning, the data has not been made available still; 19 working days later.

The request has been bouncing around the leadership of the APS.
For some reason, no one will simply answer the questions.
No one will identify anyone who will.

The request ended up on the desk of APS Custodian of Public Records. The request was denied on the basis that a request for information is not a request for records and is therefore lies in some other bailiwick.

The request for information could have been forwarded to an APS Communications Specialist who could at least help move the request along. It was not.

It wasn’t necessary because, the Custodian and Communications Specialist are one and the same person.  Yet nearly a month after asking, the data remains secret. Why?

The information bolsters a compelling argument for empowering educators in the decision making process.

It is hard to argue that people who have accumulated among them, literally tens of thousands of years of teaching experience, much of it in APS schools, have no place at the table where decisions are made.

It would be at least a little bit harder to argue that, educators, having between them 67,554 years of teaching experience, have no seat at the table where decisions are made; the one sounding less like an opinion than the other.

Perhaps there is a disturbing experience drain among APS teachers that needs to be covered up.

Who knows?

More importantly perhaps, why don't they know?




Friday, December 06, 2019

Why must the superintendent search continue in indefensible secret?


The APS School Board is planning a number of meetings during which they will separate the wheat from the chaff among candidates for the next superintendency.

Far too many of them will be held in secret from stake and interest holders.

The Open Meetings Act provides for the need for some part of some negotiations to be held in secret.

There are at least two ways that the leadership of the APS can comply with the law.

One way would be to role model the standard of conduct to which they hold students accountable; trustworthiness. The standard compels candor, forthrightness and honesty. It requires doing “more than the law requires and less than the law allows”.

The leadership of the APS interprets open government differently. If they have a public record that they would rather not produce, if they have a meeting that they would rather not open to public scrutiny, they will produce or open only those that they have been compelled to do by a court of competent jurisdiction.

School board members have basically two responsibilities; writing school board policy and hiring the right superintendent to enforce them.

When voters hold school board members accountable at election, is based on the policies they created and the superintendents they hired.

If the most important part of selection process takes place in secret from voters, how are they to hold school board members accountable for their performance in those meetings?

This coincidentally, is just what they have in mind.

If the very worst thing a politician or public servant can do, is anything they do in unjustifiable secret from the people whose power they wield and whose resources they spend, they must have a powerful need to continue to try to get away with it.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

APS Superintendent Search; Phase Two


There will be two phases in the APS board’s search for their next superintendent that involve “public input”.

The first phase ends with the last of several public fora around the district, the purpose of which is to gather community input on hiring criteria in order to create a “superintendent profile". The profile will then be used to select the new superintendent.

Rather than to suggest that the data gathered is meaningless; that it will not move the needle one iota in the board’s selection of the next superintendent, it will be left up to those whose should be able to defend the utility of the data, and to point its actual effect on decision making.

By way of illustration, consider the number of expensive bus tours around the district that the leadership of the APS has taken and their abject inability upon their return, to point to a single thing they learned on the ride, that they should not have already known.

The final opportunities for stake and interest holders to participate in person in the selection of their next superintendent will be in March or April of next year. The board promises; that (after a number of meetings in secret during which the finalists will be actually selected) there will be several community forums during which people will meet and listen to the individual APS superintendent candidates.

They further promise; “You will be able to submit questions …”
Do not suppose that you will be able to ask any candidate a specific question.

If, for example, you want to ask;

Are you willing and able to stand up as a role model of honest accountability to the same standards of conduct that you will enforce upon students?
your question will not survive the filtering process. It will not be asked in an open and honest public meeting.

The board further promises; you will able “to provide your input on the candidates. Written input from audiences will be provided to members of the Board of Education for its consideration".

If you think that the board’s “consideration” of a legitimate question will include a candid, forthright and honest response, you would be wrong.

If, for example, your written input includes the question;
Why will you not be held honestly accountable to the same standards of conduct that you establish and then enforce upon students?
they will not respond.

Try as you may, the selection process for the next superintendent will not contain an open and honest public discussion of ethics, standards, accountability and role modeling in the leadership of the APS.

It is the elephant in the room.

It is the third rail APS’ effort to mislead stake and interest holders.
If they touch it, they’ll vanish in a puff of smoke.

Monday, December 02, 2019

APS Superintendent Search; the need for secret candidates


The leadership of the APS is trying to add more secrecy to their search for a new superintendent. They want to keep secret, the names of people who want to be considered in their selection of APS’ new superintendent. They argue; a better field of candidates will emerge if they are allowed to apply without telling the people around them what they are doing.

It is fair to ask, better for whom exactly?

Consider for a moment, the field of candidates who will apply, but only if they can do so in secret from people who trust them.

Their only defining characteristic; the only thing that makes them different from otherwise willing candidates, is their manifest willingness to betray the trust of stake and interest holders in order to advance their own interests.

The fundamental question of course; why would the leadership of the APS be looking for a superintendent with a proven record of their willingness to betray the trust of stake and interest holders; except to help them cover up their own betrayal of trust of stake and interest holders?

The leadership of the APS does not want the truth to be known about executive and administrative ethics, standards and accountability. Are they looking for a superintendent willing to keep secrets?
They refuse to discuss in an open and honest public meeting;

  • double standards of conduct in the APS resulting from the board’s unanimous abdication of their obligations as the senior-most role models in the district, of honest accountability to the same standards of conduct that they establish and then have enforced upon students, 

  • their wanton spending of the operational fund on cost-is-no-object legal defenses for school board members and senior administrators, in order to buy for them in unjustifiably expensive settlements, admissions of “no guilt”, regardless of guilt. The effect of which is, they arguably unaccountable even to the law.

    And finally one is compelled to ask about this editorial, if the editors are really so honestly outraged about the APS school board’s effort to keep more secrets, why are they so unwilling to investigate and report upon why the board’s very existence depends on increasingly more secrecy?

    Can they really not connect the dots?

    Or are there other interests at play?

    Sunday, December 01, 2019

    Character counts in politics and public service

    Lest the object lesson go unnoticed;

    the law as it applies to (powerful) politicians and public servants is inadequate to protect the people’s power and resources from abuse.
    The term “higher standards” means higher standards than the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

    People of character, by definition, expect more from themselves than the law requires and less than the law allows. They accept honest accountability to higher standards of conduct.

    Most people believe that politicians and public servants are actually accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law. The rest believe that they should be.

    The simple truth is; powerful people with unlimited tax dollars to spend are not accountable to higher standards of conduct. They are arguably unaccountable even to the law. If they can use tax dollars to buy admissions of “no guilt” regardless of their guilt, are they really accountable to the law?

    The problem with enforcing higher standards of conduct than the law is that they cannot be enforced in courts of law. That’s why the county sheriff has not produced public records according to the spirit of the law.

    Is a county sheriff spending tax dollars on litigation and legal weaselry actually accountable to the law? Is he doing something “illegal”?

    Similarly, the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education cannot be held accountable to higher standards of conduct. They cannot be held accountable for their character.

    The superintendent they are about to hire? S/he will be also; unaccountable to higher standards of conduct than the law. S/he will not be held accountable for their character.

    So who the bad guys here; the politicians and public servants who exploit weak laws to their advantage, legislators who won’t write laws with teeth, or the people who place no import on character when voting for people in whose hands they will place their power, their resources, and their trust that neither will be abused?

    Friday, November 29, 2019

    “Synergists” need not apply for APS Superintendent

    For the purpose of this essay, a “synergist” is a person who is capable of, and willing to, create and maintain synergy among APS employees. Synergy defined as; the creation of a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

    Synergy and the model of the leadership of the APS are irreconcilable.

    The power structure is pyramidal. At the top, a handful of “experts” who have control over power and resources entrusted to the leadership of the APS. As decision making power and resources trickle down toward the base they are absorbed.

    At the base of the pyramid and holding the whole thing up, thousands of school based personnel; including teachers and teaching assistants having among them nearly 100,000 years of teaching experience, most of it in Albuquerque public schools, and with no real decision making power and no resources to underwrite the decisions they are allowed to make.

    There can be no such thing as synergy without first there being the delegation of power and resources toward the “parts”.

    The APS has at least once before, tried to empower school based personnel and community members. School communities formed committees called School Restructuring Councils. They failed when participates realized they were decision “advisors” not “makers”. Whatever effort is made to delegate power always comes with a proviso; if the council and the principal disagree, it is the administrator whose fist pounds the table last.

    APS policy with respect to shared decision making has always included what many teachers refer to as a “weasel” clause. Currently it can be found in the APS Student Handbook and reads;

    Nothing in the following is intended to prevent a staff member, teacher, principal or other administrator from using his/her best judgment with respect to a particular situation.
    What it means in practice;
    Nothing … is intended to prevent … an administrator from using his/her best judgement in a particular situation.
    That becomes a problematic when for example; a staff member or teacher feels that a student’s misconduct is criminal and should be referred to a legitimate law enforcement agency. The administrator’s “best judgement” will be that it is better for all concerned if no record is made or kept of criminal misconduct.

    Administrators have neither to explain nor defend their “best judgement”; it is what it is.

    It should come as a surprise to no one; powerful people in control vast resources are not inclined to share either. In particular, they are disinclined if there is potential that the sharing cannot be rescinded at will.

    More than anything else,
    • the APS needs a superintendent who can create synergy and

    • the current leadership of the APS needs to make sure that never happens.



    Thursday, November 28, 2019

    APS Board of Education; when push comes to shove

    The pressure is on; the situation is critical; urgent; 
    the time has come for action, even if it is difficult.  Wiktionary (derived)

    The Albuquerque Public Schools is about to end as a matter of policy; district-wide efforts to help students develop and maintain character.  They are about to formalize their abandonment of students to their own devices when it comes to character.

    Push has come to shove.

    The APS school board promised, albeit it a quarter of a century ago, that the core curriculum would “give explicit attention to character development… “ And further “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 …”

    United States Senator Pete Domenici, a founding father of Character Counts!, had just delivered a $30K grant to the APS. APS and Albuquerque’s commitment to Character Counts! drew national attention. Albuquerque and Roswell touted nationally recognized flagship programs.

    Since, they have reneged; their promise abandoned.

    District-wide, the core curriculum does not give explicit attention to character development. In fact, it gives none. Materials and teaching methods are not being selected according to their capacity to support the development of character.

    The Pillars of Character Counts! as standards of conduct, have been forsaken by APS leadership.

    The Pillars can now be found in two places; central in a decal that adorns the fenders of APS police cars, and tangentially in school board policy. According to the APS Student Handbook, students are expected to “model and promote” honest accountability to the Pillars of Character Counts!

    The APS school board is about to remove from school board policy and the student handbook, that last evidence of their abdication of their function, duties and obligations as senior role models.

    Previously, school board standards of conduct enjoyed a role modeling clause . When the clause became inconvenient , they voted unanimously, deliberately, with malice aforethought, to erase from their standards of conduct, that clause and with it, any noteworthy, observable mention of their commitment and obligations to service as role models.

    The APS Board of Education is covering up double standards of conduct in the Albuquerque public schools. They will not consider open and honest public discussion of their own ethics, standards and accountability as the senior most role models in the entire school district.

    There is a cornerstone of role modeling; that is visibility. If the leadership of the APS cannot bear to be candid, forthright and honest about the ethics and standards to which they are willing to be held accountable, what can be said about their ethics, standards and accountability?

    The resolution made by the board in 1994 is still binding. It has been neither rescinded nor amended. Promises don’t expire. The standards of conduct that the board establishes and enforces upon students require facing the person who’s trust you are about to betray.

    Stake and interest holders who believe that students in Albuquerque public schools should be encouraged to embrace accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law cannot simply allow this disgrace to take place without opposition.

    An open and honest public discussion of the 1994 resolution is crucial. A candid, forthright and honest expression of the willingness of the leadership of the APS to serve as the senior-most role models in the district is fundamental to their service as role models.

    The leadership of the APS cannot defend their deliberate decision to remove their role modeling clause. They cannot defend their position on executive and administrative ethics, standards and accountability.

    They cannot defend their refusal to reconsider the 1994 resolution; to amend, rescind or recommit themselves to it.  They cannot defend their stubborn resistance to discuss the the resolution in front of stake and interest holders.

    On some night in January or February , the APS school board is going to vote to remove any mention of the Pillars of Character Counts! from the APS Student Handbook.

    The next day will be a day too late to do anything to stop them.

    This issue cannot be discussed without discussing the Journal’s part in the cover up; the aid and abet given to the leadership of the APS by Kent Walz’ Journal.

    The only defense of an indefensible position is to hide it; to evade the question.

    The Journal is hiding the scandal.  Search their site for an investigation, any investigation ever, any report ever, on ethics, standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS.  The absence of truth-telling on so important an issue is not accidental.  It is deliberate, with malice aforethought.

    The leadership of the APS and the Journal are favored in the meeting next February.  Their interests will be served by inconsequential attendance.  That; the proximate result of a widespread lack of knowledge of the meeting and its consequence.

    Therefore; there is a need for those who believe in the need for candor, forthrightness and honesty from the APS board of education and, who feel a commitment to stand up in support of what they believe in to insist upon;
    • an open and honest public discussion of the 1994 resolution.  
    • candor forthrightness and honesty with regard to the replacement in administrative and executive standards of conduct, of the role modeling clause.
    That insistence must fall upon the Journal as well as the board. Insist that the Journal give that meeting and the issues at stake, the attention that they deserve.  Insist at every possible opportunity.

    Else; nobody will show up to protest the erasure of the last of the evidence against them. Nobody will know it even happened in a meeting the Journal will never report upon.

    Someone else first wondered;
    If not you then who? If not now, then when?

    The time to stand up and be counted is now.
    The right time to do the right thing is right now. unk

    Tuesday, November 26, 2019

    Nowhere in this report is APS' entire "wish list"

    I responded to a Journal article on APS' legislative wish list.  This post represents an expanded version.



    The failure to provide even a link to the list in its entirety, is symptomatic of the lack of candor and forthrightness that pervades the APS/Journal and stakeholder relationship.

    The leadership of the APS tries regularly; to get the legislature to legitimize APS’ publicly funded private police force.

    They need to become a legitimate police department in order to get out from under the MOU with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.

    The Memorandum of Understanding prohibits the leadership of the APS and their police force from investigating felonies. They are required to surrender evidence and investigations to either APD or the BCSO. (Perhaps others, I don’t know; it’s irrelevant)

    The restriction, on the commissioning of APS police officers by the BCSO, became necessary when, in the mid-2000s, the APS police investigated their own felony public corruption and then hid all the testimony and evidence from legitimate law enforcement agencies including the District Attorney.

    Their cover up continues to this day. It is underwritten in meetings in secret where the operational fund and the public trust are squandered on lawyers, litigation and legal weaselry in their so far successful effort to keep the relevant public records secret from public knowledge.

    The records you’re looking for are; any that demonstrate that the leadership of the APS ever turned over to any legitimate law enforcement agency, the entirety of evidence and testimony of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.

    A problem the Journal knows about; has known about all along; and relentlessly refuses to expose.

    Monday, November 25, 2019

    APS Students Greatest Obstacle to Success


    Scores on standardized tests are one thing; they are not the only thing.

    Public schools producing “graduates” not so much as they are producing “community members”. In the bluntest terms, public schools are turning out good community members and not-so-good community members.

    Obviously, there are students who graduate from the APS as trustworthy, responsible, respectful, caring and fair good citizens. The point is, the “leadership” of the APS can claim no credit.

    By the leadership of the APS’s absolutely deliberate decision, there is not, and there will not be ever, any district wide effort to address character development in the more than 80,000 of this community’s sons and daughters in APS schools.

    To educate in the mind and not in the morals is to create a menace to society.
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Students who are committing armed robberies in APS schools today, will be committing armed robberies in Albuquerque tomorrow.

    The greatest obstacle facing APS students today, in their path toward becoming contributing community members, in their effort to become adults who embrace courage and character and honor, is the abject absence of even a single senior role model who will show students what those look like.

    The leadership of the APS steadfastly refuses to engage in an open and honest public discussion of their obligations as role models. 
    The refusal to face an issue is to confirm that the worst is true 
    Ayn Rand derived
    “Do as I say, not as I do”
    every kid's parent

    Every generation expects the following generation to be the first generation to hold themselves accountable to higher standards of conduct than their adult role models.

    The greatest obstacle facing APS students today is the abdication en masse of APS’ senior-most role models.

    The second greatest obstacle facing APS students, is the Journal's steadfast refusal to blow the whistle on the role modeling scandal rotting the leadership of the APS

    Saturday, November 23, 2019

    Is the APS Board of Education Trustworthy?


    There are two standards of conduct in the Albuquerque Public Schools. School board members and senior administrators are (not really) accountable to the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

    Student standards are far higher.

    School board policy requires student to “model and promote” honest accountability to a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

    According to APS student standards of conduct; in order to be worthy of trust (a characteristic that students are taught, is important) they must be “honest”. And, not just every once in a while.

    Student standards read;

    Honesty in communications is expressing the truth as best we know it and not conveying it in a way likely to mislead or deceive. There are three dimensions:

    Truthfulness. Truthfulness is presenting the facts to the best of our knowledge. Intent is the crucial distinction between truthfulness and truth itself. Being wrong is not the same thing as lying, although honest mistakes can still damage trust insofar as they may show sloppy judgment.

    Sincerity. Sincerity is genuineness, being without trickery or duplicity. It precludes 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.

    Candor. In relationships involving legitimate expectations of trust, honesty may also require candor, forthrightness and frankness, imposing the obligation to volunteer information that another person needs to know.

    School Board President David Peercy and the board reject student standards as their own. They have abdicated their duties and commitments as the senior-most role models in the district.

    Not only do Peercy and the board refuse to replace the role modeling clause* in their own standards of conduct, they refuse to discuss their refusal in an open and honest public meeting.
    *In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult
    be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
    APS students are expected to be worthy of trust.

    Their seniormost role models? … not so much.

    Friday, November 22, 2019

    Dr. David Peercy’s boggle


    David Peercy is the President of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education.

    He is doing everything in his power to prevent an open and honest public discussion of ethics, standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS. He has been for as long as he has been on the board.

    In part, his expressed resistance is based on his belief that he is already accountable to standards of conduct that are higher than the standards of conduct he and the board have established for students.

    He is yet to address the issue that the school board’s own Code of Ethics, by their free admission, is utterly unenforceable.

    Peercy writes;

    Being a role model indeed means that employees, including board members, are in fact held to a higher standard of conduct than those persons (eg students) who would benefit from the role model. That is the requirement for all APS employees.
    He cites; GB2 Staff Standards of conduct. https://www.aps.edu/about-us/policies-and-procedural-directives/policies/g.-personnel/gb2-staff-standards-of-conduct
    Let’s take a look.

    According to GB2, (here quoted in significant part), Peercy claims he
    “… shall maintain the highest standard of conduct and act in a mature and responsible manner at all times”.
    “… shall maintain appropriate professional behavior …”
    “… shall serve as positive role models for students and set good examples in conduct, manners, dress and grooming”.
    According to the standards of conduct to which the school board holds students accountable, students
    shall be trustworthy
    • Honest in communications; expressing the truth as best they know it
    • Sincere; precluding all acts, including half-truths, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs of leave impressions that are untrue or misleading
    • Candid, forthright and honest
    • Keep their promises and avoid bad faith excuses
    That is only scratching the surface of one of the six Pillars.

    On their face, the student standards of conduct are obviously higher that adult standards of conduct per school board policy.

    Sadly, there isn’t one whit of difference between the highest standards of conduct and the lowest, if neither can be enforced.

    Open letter to the APS Board of Education


    Dear School Board Member,

    David Peercy is want to claim that he and you are honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct than students. Despite repeated requests, he is unwilling or unable to point to specific language substantiating his claim.

    The following is one of six standards of conduct that school board policy requires students to “model and promote”. As a central theme in Character Counts!, accountability must be read into modeling and promoting. School board policy requires students to “hold themselves honestly accountable to” a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

    This Pillar comes from a booklet called “Making Ethical Decisions” published by the Josephson Institute; the home of Character Counts!. There should be multiple copies in the school board office or the office of the supt. Your lawyers probably have copies.

    The booklet represents the closest thing the district has to “student standards of conduct”. The Student Handbook is written at college level difficulty cannot be reasonably considered student standards of conduct. If there is a better document to cite, by all means do.

    I have taken the liberty of highlighting pertinent information worthy as context in your decision whether to revisit the 1994 resolution and, the board’s removal of a role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct.

    In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

    There are double standards of conduct in the APS. The spending of the operational fund on cost-is-no-object legal defenses renders school board members and senior administrators arguably unaccountable even to the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

    The refusal to host an open and honest public discussion on so important an issue as role modeling and ethics, standards and accountability is inexplicable in the context of the standards of conduct that you establish and have enforced upon students.

    Grateful for your time and attention

    ched macquigg





    TRUSTWORTHINESS

    When others trust us, they give us greater leeway because they feel we don’t need monitoring to assure that we’ll meet our obligations. They believe in us and hold us in higher esteem. That’s satisfying. At the same time, we must constantly live up to the expectations of others and refrain from even small lies or self-serving behavior that can quickly destroy our relationships.

    Simply refraining from deception is not enough. Trustworthiness is the most complicated of the six core ethical values and concerns a variety of qualities like honesty, integrity, reliability and loyalty.

    Honesty

    There is no more fundamental ethical value than honesty. We associate honesty with people of honor, and we admire and rely on those who are honest. But honesty is a broader concept than many may realize. It involves both communications and conduct.

    Honesty in communications is expressing the truth as best we know it and not conveying it in a way likely to mislead or deceive. There are three dimensions:

    Truthfulness. Truthfulness is presenting the facts to the best of our knowledge. Intent is the crucial distinction between truthfulness and truth itself. Being wrong is not the same thing as lying, although honest mistakes can still damage trust insofar as they may show sloppy judgment.

    Sincerity. Sincerity is genuineness, being without trickery or duplicity. It precludes 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.

    Candor. In relationships involving legitimate expectations of trust, honesty may also require candor, forthrightness and frankness, imposing the obligation to volunteer information that another person needs to know.

    Honesty in conduct is playing by the rules, without stealing, cheating, fraud, subterfuge and other trickery. Cheating is a particularly foul form of dishonesty because one not only seeks to deceive but to take advantage of those who are not cheating. It’s a two-fer: a violation of both trust and fairness.

    Not all lies are unethical, even though all lies are dishonest. Huh? That’s right, honesty is not an inviolate principle. Occasionally, dishonesty is ethically justifiable, as when the police lie in undercover operations or when one lies to criminals or terrorists to save lives. But don’t kid yourself: occasions for ethically sanctioned lying are rare and require serving a very high purpose indeed, such as saving a life — not hitting a management-pleasing sales target or winning a game or avoiding a confrontation.

    Integrity

    The word integrity comes from the same Latin root as "integer," or whole number. Like a whole number, a person of integrity is undivided and complete. This means that the ethical person acts according to her beliefs, not according to expediency. She is also consistent. There is no difference in the way she makes decisions from situation to situation, her principles don’t vary at work or at home, in public or alone.

    Because she must know who she is and what she values, the person of integrity takes time for self-reflection, so that the events, crises and seeming necessities of the day do not determine the course of her moral life. She stays in control. She may be courteous, even charming, but she is never duplicitous. She never demeans herself with obsequious behavior toward those she thinks might do her some good. She is trusted because you know who she is: what you see is what you get.

    People without integrity are called "hypocrites" or "two-faced."

    Reliability (Promise-Keeping)

    When we make promises or other commitments that create a legitimate basis for another person to rely upon us, we undertake special moral duties. We accept the responsibility of making all reasonable efforts to fulfill our commitments. Because promise-keeping is such an important aspect of trustworthiness, it is important to:

    Avoid bad-faith excuses. Interpret your promises fairly and honestly. Don’t try to rationalize noncompliance.

    Avoid unwise commitments. Before making a promise consider carefully whether you are willing and likely to keep it. Think about unknown or future events that could make it difficult, undesirable or impossible. Sometimes, all we can promise is to do our best.

    Avoid unclear commitments. Be sure that, when you make a promise, the other person understands what you are committing to do.

    Loyalty

    Some relationships — husband-wife, employer-employee, citizen-country — create an expectation of allegiance, fidelity and devotion. Loyalty is a responsibility to promote the interests of certain people, organizations or affiliations. This duty goes beyond the normal obligation we all share to care for others.

    Limitations to loyalty. Loyalty is a tricky thing. Friends, employers, co-workers and others may demand that we rank their interests above ethical considerations. But no one has the right to ask another to sacrifice ethical principles in the name of a special relationship. Indeed, one forfeits a claim of loyalty when he or she asks so high a price for maintaining the relationship.

    Prioritizing loyalties. So many individuals and groups make loyalty claims on us that we must rank our loyalty obligations in some rational fashion. For example, it’s perfectly reasonable, and ethical, to look out for the interests of our children, parents and spouses even if we have to subordinate our obligations to other children, neighbors or co-workers in doing so.

    Safeguarding confidential information. Loyalty requires us to keep some information confidential. When keeping a secret breaks the law or threatens others, however, we may have a responsibility to "blow the whistle."

    Avoiding conflicting interests. Employees and public servants have a duty to make all professional decisions on merit, unimpeded by conflicting personal interests. They owe ultimate loyalty to the public.

    Thursday, November 21, 2019

    The Journal can’t report the truth; here’s why

    There is an ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS.

    If the Journal starts reporting on the crisis now, they will have to report that is has been going on for decades. Readers will wonder; then why are we just reading about it now?

    The Journal doesn’t have a good answer for that one.

    At one point, Journal heavy hitter Kent Walz and APS school board enforcer Marty Esquivel conspired to give the now disgraced former APS Supt Winston Brooks a coveted hero’s award for transparency. link

    The Journal doesn’t have a good answer at all.

    Ergo, the Journal will continue to keep readers in the dark.

    The State of Leadership of the APS


    In the Journal this morning, link, a report that the leadership of the APS is trying to get a law passed that will keep the names of candidates for APS Superintendent secret from stake and interest holders.

    They argue that it will create a larger candidate pool.

    Those additional candidates will have additional one characteristic in common; they don’t have the character and courage to tell their employer the truth about their intentions.

    The APS board of education wants to add more candidates who are comfortable joining them in hiding the truth from stake and interest holders.

    Under the law, the board has a range of options regarding candor, forthrightness and honesty with stake holders. The range runs from “all of the truth that the law will allow” to “only the truth that the law absolutely requires” after all the litigation and legal weaselry that the law will allow.

    The board has adopted standards of conduct for students. They don’t want to talk about them anymore because they are “higher” standards of conduct than those to which the board will hold itself accountable.

    That the board spends millions of dollars from the operational fund on cost-is-no-object legal defenses for school board members and senior administrators renders them arguably unaccountable even to the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

    According to the standards of conduct that the board established and the superintendent enforces upon students; one develops and maintains their own good character by consistently requiring from them self “more than the law requires and less than the law allows.”

    The Albuquerque Public Schools is at a fork in the road.

    “Any and every thing that the law will allow” or something else.

    The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education once passed a resolution. In that resolution they adopted higher standards of conduct for students; a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethics. In that resolution, they promised to provide adult role models for students to emulate.

    At the time, the board’s own standards of conduct held 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.

    In response to efforts to enforce that clause, they voted unanimously to strike it.

    They abdicated en masse, abandoning their duty as the senior most role models in the district in order to escape accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.

    The 1994 resolution is still binding. It has been neither amended nor rescinded. Solemn promises do not have a shelf life.

    Do we want the 80,000 of this community’s sons and daughters in APS schools to grow into adults who believe that it is alright to do anything they can get away with ”legally”?

    Do we want students to grow into adults who embrace character and courage and honor?

    We will teach them by our example.

    "Don't worry that children never listen to you;
    worry that they are always watching you."  Robert Fulghum

    “The proper time to influence the character of a child
    is about a hundred years before he is born.”  Ralph Inge

    The example of the board and their lawyers is neither courageous nor honorable. It does not demonstrate good character. It does not show students what it looks like to do “more than the law requires and less than the law allows”.

    School Board President David Peercy and the board refuse to put the resolution on the table for reconsideration; amendment, rescission, or re-commitment. The do not want to discuss in public, their abandonment of honest to God accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.

    And they are getting away with it.

    They are getting away with it because there are not enough people showing up at the supt search community meetings and standing up for honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within public service in the APS.

    And they are getting away with it of course,
    because the Journal is keeping it all a big secret.

    Wednesday, November 20, 2019

    The Journal refuses to cover APS School Board challenge.

    An effort was made to interest the Journal in;
    the APS school board’s refusal to hold an open and honest public meeting about revisiting both an old school board resolution and their decision to remove from their own standards of conduct a role modeling clause which had read;

    In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards for students.

    I have been contacted by Journal reporter Shelby Perea who wrote;
    “Hello,
    I am not planning on writing about this.
    Thank you”

    To which I responded;
    Ms Perea,
    thank you for responding.
    Shall I report this decision as your own or you following orders? If so, whose orders?

    And later
    I really don't want to be a pest, but you understand deadlines. I am about to report that the Journal has refused to cover this story. Upon whose desk should the buck stop? In the absence of an alternative, that would be yours.
    And later still
    May I have then, the name of the person to whom you report, in order that I might follow up?  If you will not identify your boss, will you at least forward this email to him or her?


    I have yet to receive a response.

    APS Board Character and Courage Scorecard

    The Albuquerque Public School Board of Education has been asked to put on the table for open and honest public discussion;

    1. reconsideration of the 1994 resolution that created higher standards of conduct for students and promised them the adult role models they would need in reaching them.
    2. reconsideration of the board's removal from their own standards of conduct a role modeling clause reading; in no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards for students.

    When it comes to stepping up as role model, any answer except yes means no.


    Dist. 1    Yolanda Montoya-Cordova       yet to respond or no?


    Dist. 2     Peggy Muller-Arag√≥n              yet to respond  or no?



    Dist. 3     Lorenzo L. Garcia                    yet to respond  or no?



    Dist. 4     Barbara Petersen                      yet to respond  or no?



    Dist. 5     Candelaria Patterson                yet to respond  or no?



    Dist. 6     Elizabeth Armijo                      yet to respond  or no?


    Dist. 7     Dr. David E. Peercy                  NO


    Response from School Board President David Peercy


    Mr MacQuigg,

    As we have discussed at length in the past, the existing personnel policies/procedural directives on ethical conduct already do require all employees to be a role model for students.

    And, there is considerable additional information and examples of what being a role model means in terms of actions. Being a role model indeed means that employees, including board members, are in fact held to a higher standard of conduct than those persons (eg students) who would benefit from the role model. That is the requirement for all APS employees.

    I reference you to the policies and procedural directives in the APS website under the Personnel category. https://www.aps.edu/about-us/policies-and-procedural-directives/policies/g.-personnel/gb2-staff-standards-of-conduct

    Sincerely,
    Dr David E Peercy
    President, APS Board of Education

    I take issue with Peercy’s contention; that he is accountable … to a higher standard of conduct than those persons (eg students) who would benefit from the role model.

    Peercy has made this claim before. As before, he does not name any particular standards of conduct. His reference to APS standards of conduct reflects that. Nor does he appreciate apparently, the difference between being "required" to be a role model and being "accountable" as a role model.

    Following is the reference he cites with problems in parentheses.

    “District personnel shall maintain the highest standard of conduct (saying “highest” standard of conduct is not articulating an actual standard) and act in a mature and responsible manner at all times. District personnel shall not engage in activities which violate federal, state or local statues (the law represents the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings not “higher standards” of conduct) and regulations or which, in any way, diminish the integrity, efficiency or discipline of the district. Employees shall be required to comply with administratively established standards of conduct.

    Albuquerque Public Schools staff shall maintain appropriate professional behavior while working with students and refrain from harassment, malicious or prejudicial treatment, or abridgement of student rights.

    Employees of the Albuquerque Public Schools shall serve as positive role models (a positive role model is by no means, a model of honest to God accountability to the same ethical standards of conduct that the board created and has enforced upon students) for students and set good examples in conduct, manners, dress and grooming. Employees shall be suitably attired and groomed during working hours and while attending district-sponsored events.”

    Peercy’s response does not justify his refusal to allow the board to revisit the 1994 resolution in order to rescind, amend or re-endorse it. Nor does it explain why if he really believes he and the board are already accountable as role models, that they would refuse to discuss replacing in their own standards of conduct, their role modeling clause; in no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

    Peercy needs to stop claiming accountability to even higher standards than student standards; there are none.

    There are no higher standard of conduct than APS student standards of conduct (per the Student Handbook) which require students to model and promote honest accountability to the Pillars of Character Counts!; a nationally, recognized and respected code of “ethical conduct”. There is no process by which Peercy or any other board member or senior administrator can be held accountable to ethical standards of conduct.

    Under Peercy’s rule, the board has spent literally millions of dollars on cost-is-no-object legal defenses for school board members and senior administrators. They are arguably unaccountable even to the law.

    I call on Peercy’s response entirely inadequate for the senior most of the senior most role models in the APS.

    Gauntlet thrown down before APS School Board


    I believe, because I have delivered an email to an appropriate email address for the board and asked that it be distributed to every school board member, and because I have the utmost faith in my contact for the board, that I have thrown a gauntlet down before each and every member of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education.(update - received notice this morning that the email had been forwarded)

    Good morning Ms. Yager, 

    I am wondering if you would be kind enough to forward this note to each individual school board member. I would be most grateful.

    Dear School Board Member,
    I write to you this morning fact check your individual positions on a particular issue.
    I am reporting, http://ched-macquigg.blogspot.com/2009/04/coward-david-percy.html and others,

    that David Peercy is blocking an open and honest public discussion of both the 1994 Resolution school board resolution (which created higher standards of conduct for students and promised that those students would have adult role models) and of reinstating the role modeling clause to your own standards of conduct.

    I am prepared to report that there is apparently not one single board member who is willing to stand up to Peercy and express their open willingness to discuss these issues in an open and honest public meeting, and in particular a meeting with a public forum.

    If you have a contradictory position I would like very much to report it. I am happy to faithfully report any response either way.

    Are you willing to discuss these issues openly and honestly?

    As the fundamental issue is role modeling; an overt response seems necessary. Student standards of conduct (according to school board policy via the Student Handbook) require candor, forthrightness and honesty in response to a legitimate question.

    My editorial position is that any answer except yes, means no.

    I am most grateful for your time and attention.

    On my honor, I will dutifully report any response from any school board member.

    With respect to their own honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within their public service, and
    With respect to “ethics, standards and accountability” in general in the leadership of the APS;
    if the leadership of the APS; the school board, the superintendent and all their lawyers, had anything at all to be proud of, they would flaunt it.

    That they will not because they cannot is outrageous.

    So where is the outrage?

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    APS Superintendent Search Community Meeting number one

    After opening remarks, participants were asked a number of questions about what they thought was important in the next superintendent.  Careful notes were taken and the characteristics were listed on flip charts.  The same for problems facing the next superintendent.

    Participants were given sticky dots to stick next to the problems that they thought were most important.

    Dots were counted and a handful of problems emerged as crowd favorites.  Likely they will vary from meeting to meeting.  There will be 11 more meetings including one each for employees and business and government officials.

    That the board will then connect the dots and hire a superintendent accordingly seems unlikely.

    Frankly, they have bigger fish to fry.

    They need a superintendent who will help them keep the lid on the ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS.

    They need a superintendent who can slip in without having to comment on his or her service as a role model and their honest to God accountability to the same standards of conduct as they will enforce upon students.

    It tried to gather some support for role modeling and honest to God accountability to meaningful standards of conduct, but the only dots I gathered were my own.

    I managed at least to get them written down and that much harder to complete this whole process without the issue coming up.

    School Board President David Peercy was there.  The meeting was being held in his school board district.   Every time I noticed him, he was on his phone.  School Board Members Barbara Peterson and Elizabeth Armijo attended as well.

    I pointed out to the crowd and on the record, that Peercy is alone responsible for keeping the role modeling clause and the 1994 School Board Resolution on Character Counts! off the table and out of open and honest public discussion, for as long as he has been on the board.

    Can't guarantee that he was paying any attention.
    Like I said, he was getting a lot done on his phone.

    How can you be a role model if the words themselves stick in your throat?

    The Oxford Dictionary defines a role model as “a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.” The notion of “inconspicuous role modeling” is oxymoronic. By definition role models must stand out.

    There is not a single member of the leadership of the APS standing out as a role model for students. There is not one who will speak the words “role model” in the context of their obligations as the senior most role models in the entire school district.

    They have in fact abdicated; abandoned their obligations as role models. The school board voted unanimously to remove the role modeling requirements from their own standards of conduct which used to read;

    “in no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult
    be lower than the standards for students”.
    The school board has begun a public survey in order to find out what characteristics are important to stake and interest holders. You can participate online at https://www.aps.edu/, link

    The board offers you a list of two dozen characteristics that they think are most important in superintendent candidates. “Click” on the five you think are most important.

    You cannot click on “Willing to serve as a role model for students, of honest accountability to the same standards of conduct that s/he will enforce upon students”.

    School board policy as enforced by the superintendent, requires students to model and promote honest accountability to a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct; higher standards of conduct.

    So unimportant it is, in the minds of the leadership of the APS, that in the time it took to think of two dozen “important” characteristics of great superintendents, role modeling never occurred to them.

    Or, it did, and they have other, more sinister reasons for leaving it off.

    They do not want to talk about role modeling.

    More importantly, they don’t want to talk about the standards of conduct to which they are supposed to model actual, honest to God accountability.

    You will have to “write in” your opinion on their silly little survey.

    Please do. Seriously, do.

    Else, your silence gives your consent.

    Saturday, November 16, 2019

    APS School Board Reneging on Solemn Promises


    Following please find a resolution, read promises, made by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education in 1994.

    Though their resolution is a quarter of a century old, it is still binding.
    Promises don’t have a shelf life.

    The resolution has been neither amended nor rescinded. A motion to have the board reconsider the resolution in an open an honest public meeting has been tabled; forever.

    A decade after resolving to be held honestly accountable as role models, one of several promises in the resolution, the board voted unanimously to strike the role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct. It had read;

    In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult
    be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

    A motion to replace the role modeling clause in the school board standards of conduct has been tabled without public discussion and forever by School Board President David Peercy. link

    Their resolution reads;
    Resolution

    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, 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


    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED;

    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 art 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

    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 fairly 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

    The resolution amounts to six solemn promises.

    They won't even talk about them in a public meeting.

    They cannot or will not be candid, forthright and honest with stake and interest holders, even though they tell students that their character depends on their candor, forthrightness and honesty.

    The next superintendent of the APS must be willing to serve as a role model of honest accountability to the same standards of conduct s/he will enforce upon students.

    Even if the board won’t.

    Especially if the board won’t.

    APS classrooms and schools are out of control

    Or are they?

    Chronically disruptive students are interfering with the education of other students.

    Or are they?
    It should be disturbing that there is no data to examine. More disturbing still; that that data is not being collected in the first place. Audit findings indicated that school principals routinely under report criminal activity on their campuses in the interests of maintaining a public image.

    Ayn Rand argued that to fear to face an issue is to believe that the worst is true.

    The out of control in APS schools and classrooms represents an executive and administrative failure. The board has failed to create policies that address the out of control. The administration has failed to enforce consistently, the policies that the board has written.

    Or, everything is just fine.

    The Journal could assign a report to investigate and report upon discipline in APS classrooms and schools. They have not. Ever.

    If it could be argued; classrooms and schools are not out of control; chronically disruptive students are not interfering in the education of other students, then that would be good news.

    The Journal cannot be accused of under reporting the good news about APS.
    The Journal can be accused of under reporting the bad news; the news that reflects poorly on the most powerful people in the APS.

    They can be accused of under reporting on discipline in the APS and of under reporting the underlying ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS that is causing it.

    They are so accused.

    Friday, November 15, 2019

    APS students standing alone


    In the mid-1990s, then US Senator Pete Domenici delivered a $30K federal grant to the leadership of the APS. The money was to be used to begin training in earnest to help students establish and maintain their good character.

    The APS school board had passed a resolution in support of the effort. Their resolution is still binding albeit it; ignored.

    When some students finished training, they were given a t-shirt. On its front and back, the shirt read;

    Stand up for what you believe in,
    Even if you are standing alone.

    At the time, we were encouraging them to "believe" that their good character was important and that it rides on their honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.

    Then the board changed its mind. They voted unanimously to remove a role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct. It had read;

    In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult
    be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

    A child standing up for what they believe in should not be standing alone.

    There should be an adult behind them offering encouragement and an adult beside them sharing the effort and an adult in front of them, leading by their example.

    The board voted, knowingly, deliberately, unanimously, to leave students standing alone.

    Every generation expects the next generation to be the first generation to hold itself honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct.  ...based on assurances that it is important and not on personal examples.

    If we want children to grow into adults who embrace character and courage and honor, someone is going to have to show them what those look like. Someone has to encourage them, support them and lead them.

    The APS board of education is about to hire another in a long line of superintendents willing to leave students standing alone in their effort to build and maintain their good character.

    Stand up, speak up. Demand a superintendent who can show students what honest to God accountability to higher standards of conduct looks like.

    Take APS’ online survey. link Demand a role model. You will have to write in your demand; they offer no box to check.

    Show up at their superintendent search community meetings link.

    Your silence gives consent. Plato

    Thursday, November 14, 2019

    The leadership of the APS is not transparent.


    It follows then that, they are accountable for neither their conduct nor their competence within their public service.

    The leadership of the APS claims to be transparent.

    If contradicted, they will point to their “award winning” website and their communications dept.

    The truth about transparency is that it isn’t about the information politicians and public servants are willing to share. It isn’t about the number of public records that they willing to produce.

    Transparency has everything to do with the records they produce, and are records that they would really rather hide.

    For example; the leadership of the APS, their lawyers, and the private investigators the lawyers hired in order that evidence of criminal misconduct can they gather can remain hidden from public knowledge, are in possession of public records that prove that there was felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators.

    And that that criminal activity was covered up by the leadership of the APS, their publicly funded private police force, their lawyers and an unlimited budget to underwrite cost-is-no-object “legal” defenses; all the litigation and legal weaselry they needed to avoid accountability.

    Needless to say, those are among public records that the board would really rather hide.

    And have hidden. And have spent perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars beating back public records requests for their production.

    One more example; an easily tested allegation.

    Imagine you are a parent wanting to buy a house in a neighborhood feeding “safe” schools. You don’t want to send your child to a school where there are a lot of bullies, a lot of larceny, a lot of chronically disruptive students, a lot of fist fights and other violence.

    The data on those signs of trouble represent information that the leadership of the APS wants to hide.

    Now the transparency test.  Have they resisted their interest in hiding the data?  Have they published it anyway?

    Go to APS’ award winning website; try to find that data at any APS school. Even at APS’ least safe school; no matter how dangerous that school might be. Try to find any data that reflects badly on the leadership of the APS. It’s not there. (I haven’t read their entire website word for word. I will bow of course, to controverting fact.)

    Try to get that information from APS’ $121K a year Executive Director of Communications.

    If you have a lot of time and money to burn, try to get it from their lawyers.

    The leadership of the APS is not transparent.

    Ergo, there cannot be transparent accountability and,
    consequently; there is no real honest to God accountability at all.

    There is not accountability to any higher standards of conduct and arguably, there is not even accountability to the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

    Wednesday, November 13, 2019

    Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Search Survey


    The APS Board of Education is looking for a new superintendent.

    They would like the community to believe they are participating meaningfully in that process. Accordingly, stake and interest holders can participate in an online survey, link

    The Board has identified two dozen “most important characteristics for the next Superintendent.” Should one not find on that list, characteristics that they believe are more important than the choices the board has offered, they may write in only one of those.

    Conspicuous in its absence from important characteristics; “is a good role model.”

    The omission is not accidental.

    More than a decade ago, the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education abandoned their responsibilities as role models. They voted unanimously to remove from their own code of conduct, language memorializing their obligations. They struck language reading; in no case shall standards of conduct for an adult be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

    Since then, there have been double standards of conduct in the APS; higher standards for students than for their senior most role models. Board members and senior administrators, spending untold millions of dollars on cost-is-no-object legal defenses rendering them arguably unaccountable even to the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

    The board is planning ten community meetings. link

    It is their intention that “role modeling” not come up in those meetings. It is their intention that “honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence” not come up in those meetings.

    It is the responsibility then, of everyone who believes that role modeling and accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence are important characteristics of the next superintendent, to make sure that those characteristics are discussed, candidly, forthrightly and honestly, in those meetings.

    At the very least, take the online survey and write them in.

    Thursday, November 07, 2019

    APS Superintendent Search Forum Nov 18

    (So reads the title of a report in this morning's Journal and to which there is no link.)

    The APS School Board is beginning its search for a new superintendent. The first public forum is planned for Monday, Nov 18, 6-7:30 pm, Sandia High School.

    According to Journal reporter Shelby Perea, this will be an opportunity for “weigh in” on Supt. Raquel Reedy’s replacement.

    Apparently Perea has never been to an APS superintendent search forum. Participants don’t get to “weigh in” in any meaningful way in APS fora.

    For example, anyone who thinks they are going to stand up and ask direct questions will be sorely disappointed. Participants will be invited to submit questions in writing which will then be “filtered” to eliminate any “awkward” questions.

    One will not be permitted to ask, for example;
    will the next superintendent be expected to serve in the capacity of senior most administrative role model in the district? Will s/he be expected to hold themselves honestly accountable to the same standards of conduct that s/he enforces upon students? Will students finally see a senior administrator model and promote honest to God accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law?

    They are reasonable questions to ask of any superintendent candidate.

    They have not been asked in the last three superintendent search forums.

    They will not be asked in the next, or the next, or the next.

    Wednesday, November 06, 2019

    APS Mill Levy and Bond Issue election results disappointing.

    On one hand, the leadership of the APS is not entirely incapable building and maintaining buildings. By in large, the nearly third of a billion dollars will be “spent in the interests of students.”

    On the other hand, the APS School Board Code of Ethics will remain utterly unenforceable.

    The board’s accountability to the NM School Boards Association Code of Ethics will remain a figment of APS School Board President David Peercy’s imagination. His imagination includes honest to God accountability to “the highest standards” of conduct; standards he is yet to specifically identify.

    APS’ publicly funded private police force will continue to investigate the criminal misconduct of school board members and administrators and then turn their report and evidence over to the school board, senior administration and to their lawyers.

    Stake and interest holders will continue to be told that they are not allowed to ask questions at public forums at school board meetings.

    There will continue to be 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 ethical conduct. Their senior most role models are arguably unaccountable even to the law.

    The role modeling clause will not be restored to the school board’s standards of conduct. In fact, its restoration will never be discussed in a public meeting. There will be no candor, no forthrightness and, no honesty.

    Complainants will continue to be denied due process in complaints filed against board members and administrators.

    The leadership of the APS will continue to meet in secret, in meetings they refuse to record, and over which there is no oversight, to spend other tax dollars on cost-is-no-object legal defenses for each other.

    The leadership of the APS will continue to squander the public trust and treasure on all the litigation and legal weaselry they can buy to escape accountability to the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

    But what the hell,
    at least most of it is being spent in the interests of students.



    Tuesday, November 05, 2019

    "A look at the Journal's 2019 election coverage"

    This morning, the Albuquerque Journal covered its coverage of today's election, link.  They left out the part where they once again left out the part about corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS.

    The Journal's coverage of APS school board member, bond issue and mill levy elections has set a new record.

    There will have been now, seven school board elections and likely at least as many bond issue and mill levy elections since the Journal reported felony criminal misconduct involving the leadership of the APS and their publicly funded private police force.

    The Journal has never reported that the whole thing was covered up by APS lawyers. No one ever went to jail; no one was ever prosecuted; no evidence of APS’ own self-investigation was ever turned over to the DA for her consideration.

    "To fear to face an issue is to believe that the worst is true." Ayn Rand

    Through more than a dozen elections around the APS, the Journal has managed to “not report” on ethics, standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS.

    Not even to report that APS board members and senior administrators are actually, honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within their public service.

    That the Journal relentlessly refuses to inform voters about the truth about standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS through more than a dozen elections is inexcusable.

    More importantly, it is inexplicable, except that the Journal is part of a conspiracy to cover up a scandal in the leadership of the APS.

    Monday, November 04, 2019

    Teachers are leaving. Why?


    The reason people are not entering teaching is because they understand why people are leaving teaching.

    The reason does not even begin to be addressed by; "...along with lack of respect for teachers..."

    Saying that is one of the reasons teachers leave teaching is like saying heat is part of the reason for fire.

    There should be a rule; you don't get to write about what teaching is like, unless you do a little teaching.

    It is a remarkably easy for a good and qualified person to become a substitute teacher.

    "Teach" in a regular classroom with a bunch of run of the mill kids who don't particularly want to be there.

    A few of them want to learn and are as cooperative as they can possibly be. Most are capable of inadvertent misbehavior but respond to correction. A few do not respond to correction. A few of them do not respond to correction all day long.

    The failure to prevent in particular, "chronically disruptive", students from interfering with the education of other students is an executive and administrative failure.

    The school board will not write policies that prevent disruption of educationally efficient environments. The administration will not enforce such policies as they have.
     
    If you really want to call a spade a spade; neither will politicians take a stand in favor of under control classrooms and schools.

    Therefore, we will not talk about (or investigate and report upon) out of control classrooms and schools, and about why people are really leaving teaching.

    Sunday, November 03, 2019

    New NM Ed Sec Desiginate headed in the same direction

    In the Journal this morning, an op-ed by NM's new education secretary designate Ryan Stewart, link.  To which I responded in comment and here.

    It is the model that no longer works. It has not worked for a long, long time.

    It turns out that you can no longer take two or three dozen kids who have nothing more in common than their age and zip code, and educate them in unison.

    You cannot standardize the most individual traits of human beings; their capacity to and interest in, learning. Normal healthy children do not learn in unison. They cannot be made to learn in unison.

    Untold amounts of time and energy are being consumed in classrooms by teachers trying to keep everyone learning the same thing at the same time at the same speed. Wasted is a better word.

    Even if you could get kids to learn in unison; why would you want to? The relentless effort to kids to think together is pointless. For what are they practicing? Whenever else in their life will they be expected to think in unison with total strangers?

    How can standardizing learning provide students with opportunities to pursue personal interests; one of the single greatest motivators in learning? There is no such thing as a disengaged learner. Engaging the learner is the first and most important priority. There is nothing about learning in unison that is in the least bit motivating to young learners.

    Public education needs a new mission; to create independent lifelong learners at the earliest opportunity.

    That interest is opposed by those who make money or enjoy power under the current system. It is also opposed by those who fear a really well and widely educated populace.

    If "cemetery seating"; five rows of six desks, upon which lie the same book, opened to the same page and more often than not, with a bored student sitting in it, staring at blankly at the book and teacher is such a great idea, why is nobody defending it?

    Saturday, November 02, 2019

    APS graduates lack good character


    Not all of them of course. But all of them compared to where they could be if the leadership of the APS were willing to "lead" in the development of student good character; qualities that make them distinct from other people; the kind of person they are.

    By deliberate decision, the “leadership” of the APS and the district have abandoned any effort to help to develop good character in students in APS schools.

    If we want APS graduates to enter their communities embracing good character and courage and honor, someone is going to have to show them what those look like.

    There is not one single school board member or senior administrator willing to show students what those look like.

    Students need role models in order to develop character because
    “Example has more followers than reason.” Bovee

    APS students, without direction or support, and according to school board policy, are “expected” to “model and promote” honest accountability to a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct; to higher standards of conduct than the law.

    When the leadership of the APS was challenged to step up to real accountability as the senior most role models in the district, they voted instead to remove the language from their own standards of conduct that was being used to compel them to set that example whether or not they wanted to; whether or not they were able to summon the personal character and courage to.

    They voted unanimously to strike their role modeling clause. It had read;

    In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult be
    lower than the standards of conduct for students.

    Students are being deprived of adult role models of accountability to the same standards of conduct to which they are expected to hold themselves accountable, or forfeit their good character.

    Double standards of conduct now reign in the APS.

    Worse, school board members and senior administrators are arguably unaccountable even to the law; the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.

    Character education has been dropped from the curriculum because there is no one in the “leadership” of the APS, no one, not one, willing to stand up before students and say; this is what honest to God accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence looks like.

    “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

    The APS board is under the effect of another unanimous resolution they made. Though it was made in 1994, it has only aged. It has not been amended or rescinded. Unless the board is prepared to argue that “their word” has a shelf life, the resolution is still binding.

    In their resolution they reaffirmed the need to;

    • actively engage in the development and demonstration of ethical behavior among youth, adults, and
    • provide learners the skills and knowledge needed to become successful and productive members of a dynamic society , and
    • recognize 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 the important role played by teachers and other adults in school settings in modeling good character for young people

    They further resolved;

    • To endorse 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;
    • That the Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to creating models of ethical behavior among all adults who serve students and schools (emphasis added)

    • the core curriculum should continue to give explicit attention to character development as an ongoing art of school instruction
    • materials, teaching methods shall be selected, in part, for their capacity to support the development of character
    • all schools examine school curriculum and practices to identify and extend opportunities for developing character, and help students learn and model caring and ethical behavior.

    And now, as far as students and a handful of educators are concerned, it’s every man for himself.

    When APS was still about developing good character in kids, and students were still being offered formal instruction, some student graduates were given t-shirts that on their front and back read;
    Stand up for what you believe in,
    even if you are standing alone.
    Students standing up for what they believe in, trying to develop and maintain their good character shouldn’t be standing alone.

    There should be an adult behind them offering encouragement,
    an adult beside them sharing the burden, and
    an adult in front of them, leading by their personal example.

    Starting with school board members and senior administrators.


    Friday, November 01, 2019

    APS’ next superintendent

    When the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education goes looking for a new superintendent, they have in mind a superintendent who knows so much more than everybody else, that they and their vision can fix that which is wrong with the APS.

    They search for a chimera; “a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve.”

    There is no one of us who is smarter than all of us; or more experienced, or better trained or educated.

    It varies, but at any given time there amounts to tens of thousands of years of current and ongoing teaching experience represented by APS teachers.

    There is no candidate who can come close to knowing what they know. It is an illusion; an impossibility.

    APS needs a superintendent who is able to create a synergy; an interaction and cooperation among those who work in schools and classrooms that will produce a combined effect that is greater than the sum of their individual efforts.

    There is no more important quality in the next superintendent.

    Equally important; APS needs a superintendent who is willing to deal with the executive and administrative ethics, standards and accountability crisis head on.

    There either are or are not; high enough standards of conduct and competence that apply to school board members and senior administrators.

    There either is or is not, honest to God accountability to those standards. There are or there are not, due processes for holding school board members and senior administrators accountable for conduct and competence within their public service.

    The next superintendent must talk candidly, forthrightly and honestly with stake and interest holders about ethics, standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS.

    Either APS’ next superintendent will continue the cover up of the issue of the ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership, or s/he will not.

    Will the board hire a superintendent who will listen to educators and address senior accountability issues?

    A quick check of the Magic 8-Ball; shake, shake, shake...

    "Outlook not so good”

    Wednesday, October 30, 2019

    That which is wrong with the leadership of the APS


    … is a historical failure to hold powerful people accountable for their corruption and or incompetence. In this context, the persistent permission of incompetence is corrupt.

    From its very beginning, the leadership of the APS has been a good ol’ boys club. An audit by the Council of the Great City Schools found; administrative evaluations are subjective and unrelated to promotion or step placement.

    John Dalberg-Acton argued; “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

    With all due respect Lord Acton, it is not power that corrupts. It is the opportunity to abuse power without consequence that corrupts, absolutely.

    There a few consequences, if any, for APS school board members and senior administrators. They hide behind denial of due process for complaints filed against them. Internally, conflicts of interest dominate complaint processes.

    Externally, they hide behind an eloquence of lawyers, litigation and legal weaselry. The District, read; taxpayers, are paying increased insurance premiums to its insurer as the direct result of the amount of money they are funneling from the operational fund to the coffers of local law firms.

    They are underwriting cost-is-no-object legal defenses.
    They are buying “admissions of no guilt” despite their actual guilt.

    Their record cannot stand investigation.

    Fortunately for them, the Journal will not investigate them.

    The opportunity for powerful people to abuse power without consequence stems in no small part from their community. Powerful people at the Journal will protect powerful people in the leadership of the APS. That’s what powerful people do for each other.

    This is not to say that the Journal approves per se of these specific abuses of power by the leadership of the APS;

    1. the failure to establish high enough standards of conduct and competence,

    2. the failure to hold themselves honestly accountable to those, or even to the law, and

    3. their fundamental failure to protect from their abuse, the power and resources that the people have entrusted to their stewardship. The first responsible use of power being; to ensure that their power cannot be abused without consequence.

    The Journal is not defending the abuses of power by the leadership of the APS. You don’t see editorials defending the lack of due process for complaints filed against board members and senior administrators.

    Rather, the Journal is acting in defense of the arrangement; the good ol’ boy system; powerful people having each other’s back in the fight to avoid exposure of systems that allow powerful people to continue abuse power without consequence.