Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Marty Gives APS A Mid-Term

So APS Superintendent Beth Everitt recently turned in the five-page essay that Professor Marty assigned her on the topic: "Why Should I, Fuedal Prince Over All I Survey, Endorse Your Bond Election?" I'm sure Dr. Everitt and her staff not only did a bang-up on the essay itself, but put it in one of those super nice report covers. Maybe the ones that have the long metal spikes to go through the three holes and a nice professional gray-but-see-through front. I'm betting they spent minimum $2.99 on the report cover. Minimum.

The Journal listed several questions Professor Chavez posed to APS, and short-hand versions of the answers Dr. Everitt and her staff gave to the Prof.'s questions. Those questions/answers included why the proposed Bond doesn't include separate money for charter schools, what the district is doing to build new Westside schools faster, and plans to lower dropout rates.

You can read those questions and the short-hand answers here, but the posing of those questions by Professor Marty gives me the idea of assigning the Feudal Prince himself a test on aspects of his administration.

Here are some questions I would include in my own multi-part test for Prof. Marty:

Short answer

1. How's that downtown arena coming along?
2. Isn't the pressing need to quickly build Westside schools a direct result of your administration doing nothing to control the growth of that area, choosing instead to politically lead a developer land rush for your ever-richer real estate maven supporters? Thanks to Coco for that question.
3. Back to Downtown: How's it going on the plan to reduce the number of downtown bars from the current ratio of 10 to every non-bar business?
4. Name a single popular idea, event or initiative to have occurred in the last 20 years in Albuquerque that you have not taken complete credit for. (Note: If necessary, simply write "none" on your paper for this question).

Five paragraph essays (remember your topic sentence is important!):

5. Discuss the whole ABQPAC thing in detail, using comparison and contrast to illustrate differences between wielding wide-ranging political power over a city using coercion and political contributions and the non-political overseeing of a school district where all children are supposed to be guaranteed equal levels of service. Be sure to use terms like cronyism, money-funneling and sweetheart deals in your response.
6. Outline how a public official might start a weblog that purports to be a means to connect with citizens, but instead merely offers you a soapbox to praise yourself and criticize schools. Be sure to include a description of how shill commenters can help enhance the blogging public official's image by gushing adulation in a Rush Limbaugh caller type manner.

I won't be quite as impatient as Professor Marty was with APS. In setting a deadline for this assignment 'll give the Feudal Prince until the end of the 1st Nine Weeks. I'll also let him recycle and use that $2.99+ fancy report cover Dr. Everitt and staff used. After all, I 'm a tough grader, but fair.

P.S.: After much ado, fire, brimstone and enough grandstanding to build a downtown arena ten times over, Feudal Prince Marty and his "Educational Council" approved funding to 71 after-school programs at city elementary and middle schools. Almost all programs were funded, but one of the few that wasn't was a "Lego Club" which evidently was not deemed "academically rigorous" enough. I'll leave the "Are Lego's Rigorous?" question alone, and focus on another question. Was all the overblown self-righteous indignation worth rooting out and subduing a Lego Club?

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