Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In Which Scot Knocks The Last Vestiges of APS From His Vacationing Brain

Catching up on a few things after three days spent largely sleeping late and having de-processing dreams/nightmares about education. You know the one where you show up unprepared for class, the one where it's a new class in a subject you know nothing about, the one where you show up for class in your underwear, then finally see "Borat" and see that scene where he and the other guy are in the elevator naked and it triggers a lost memory of the nightmare about teaching in your underwear. You know, those dreams/nightmares, the ones that signal the brain is formally switching to "off" teaching mode for eleven weeks, and can focus its neuroses elsewhere.

So, in terms of "catching up", I want to pompously signify to loyal Burque Babble readers (all three of them) that:

  • I pledge to stop blogging about education all the time, especially since I had the official start to summer "underwear" dream
  • I pledge to stop pointing out that I am on vacation for the next eleven weeks. My wife hates it, and I'm guessing my loyal readership of three isn't too keen on witnessing the blog equivalent of an insane "happy dance" with me scream chanting "I'm ON VACATION!!! I'm ON VACATION!!!" over and over.
  • I also pledge to blog from all the places I'm visiting this summer (New Jersey, Los Angeles, Guatemala, the Colorado Trail...okay, that's gonna be a tough one, and Las Vegas, Nevada).
  • I pledge, again, not to rub it in that I'm on vacation visiting these places, while you, loyal Babbleista, are running from your cubicle to the "break room" to get more instant hot chocolate mix to add to your company-mandated Folger's coffee to make a "mocha".
  • I pledge all this starting with the next post because I want to further expurgate the remaining K-12 education from my system with the mindset that: what the dreams/nightmares don't get to, a blogging colonic will.
  • I pledge that my "blogging colonic" will be short and not too messy.
In the last few days, I've seen three news items pertinent to the APS moving a bunch of principals around the district. Two of them are Journal "guest columns" (a column by APS Associate Superintendent Nelinda Venegas here and a reply to Venegas by Journal writer Stephen Mills here), the other a story by the Trib's Susie Gran about the actions by a few schools to protest the moves. I might have missed others (please tell me), but in order to bloviate about the above infobits, please, loyal Babbleista, spend a few minutes reading these three pieces now. I'll wait.

I'm still waiting.

Okay, good you finished. As for the Venegas column, three questions:
  1. Who the Hell is Nelinda Venegas?
  2. Exactly how many "Associate Superintendents" does APS have?
  3. Who the Hell is she kidding?
The formation of question #3 is based in part on the column by the Journal's Mills. I've complained about the lack of coverage regarding "Principal switcheroo-gate" versus Rio Grande HS "Grade-gate" (and yes, at some point, we should start using the term "mission accomplished" for a screwed up conspiracy instead of the suffix "gate"), but Mills starts to get to the real reasons for principals moves. Namely, APS administration would have us believe that taking good principals and moving them to underperforming schools was the rationale, when in fact it was a combination of retirements, shuffling of not-so-good principals, individual vendettas and other factors.

A look at the individual cases illustrates this, and Susie Gran's piece at the Trib starts to do this, but stops far too short. She relates the story of school communities protesting the removal of their beloved principals, then gets the following from APS spokesperson Rigo Chavez:

The largest shuffle of administrators in a decade was done to improve student academic performance, district officials said.

"There are no plans to reconsider the principal moves," said Rigo Chavez, district spokesman.

"They've all accepted their new assignments."

What a steaming pile of nonsense. And, I'm no reporter or anything, but when you get such a transparently obvious steaming pile of nonsense it'd be a good idea to follow the stink of that nonsense. How do these moves "improve student academic performance"? If these principals are so great, what about the negative impact of them leaving their current schools? And so on, and so on...

But I don't see this story going any deeper than it has, unfortunately. That is unless Superintendent Everitt turns Brad Alison on us and buys a leather jacket and a motorcycle, starts downing sleeping pills and vodka and writes Marty Esquivel nasty emails at three in the morning. Because Alison set the low-bar of Superintendent expectations 'round these parts, and Everitt can always point to Alison and say: "you think I'm bad, well have I downed sleeping pills and vodka and written crazy emails to Board members yet?"

Oh well. It's time to eliminate any thinking of K-12 education, to shuffle off this insane coil and sleep, perchance to vacation. Maybe when I get back from my ELEVEN WEEK VACATION HA! HA! HA! (okay, I'll stop doing that) all this will be over, and some sanity may have returned to my workplace.

Well, a guy can dream, can't he?


Natalie said...

You crack me up. And you suck. (I can still hear you laughing!) But... after spending all of those months teaching... 'tis good to have a long rest period. Enjoy your vacation.
My question is: If Venegas was in charge of clusters and special ed, who is now in charge of special ed? It's not listed anywhere.
And that question of open asst. principals hasn't been answered, either.
It was rumored that our principal was being moved. I'm hearing through the parent grapevine that many people were hearing that the listed principal moves was just the beginning and that many moves will occur before the start of the year. Of course, urban legends get started pretty easily in this town.
By the way... did they make a movie about your dreams? Something like... Risky Business? ;) Or are you Tom Cruise?
(I can still hear you laughing.)
Enjoy your time off.

Ched MacQuigg said...

Marty Esquivel has stood on the record and demanded a cleansing accountability audit of the leadership of the APS.

He is standing virtually alone.

He needs someone to stand on the record and fight against the culture of incompetence and corruption that is the leadership of the APS.

I would hope that you would be moved to pick a side.

The board meeting is tomorrow afternoon - during the workday of most stakeholders. and for a reason.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Scot!!! Ha ha. Just giving you a horror flashback. So with all this shuffeling, did Nikki Dennis get shuffeled.