Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lost In the Reshuffle: An APS Story In Progress

P.S. (in advance) 7:53 P.M.: For those wondering...I found out, and yes my principal is leaving. It was a relatively brutal day, one in which the tears started around 7:35 A.M. and were mingled with anger, confusion and more anger for the remainder of the day. At this point in a 14 year APS career nothing shocks me, but the inanity of this situation just leaves me empty. I'm hoping tomorrow doesn't suck quite so bad.

In the next hour or so I will find out if I am indirectly involved in the decision by Albuquerque Public Schools to move a bunch of school principals around.

The press release and the subsequent release-regurgitive newspaper/TV stories include a list of around 20 principals/asst. principals affected, a list that doesn't include my own school and principal. The rumor mill, and K-12 schools are infamous for the high, nefarious quality of its rumor mills, puts my school/principal on the list.

I don't know if I am more nervous or pissed off this morning as I get ready to go to an early, early staff meeting this morning to find out what's really going on. Okay, I've thought about it a second...I'm more pissed off. I don't want to get too much into the specifics of my school and its current principal other than to say she is a fantastic administrator and has helped my school immensely. I'll just rant about how stupid this District decision is in general, at least until I have to go to this meeting.

Superintendent Everitt is quoted in the District's press release as saying:

“We are making decisive moves in school leadership to assure that we have the best people in place for the most challenging positions at our schools. These reassignments will provide the opportunity for fresh ideas and new approaches to educational leadership in the Albuquerque Public Schools,” Everitt added.--APS Press Release, 5.9.007

It's hard to believe any organization struggling for stability and reputation as a whole would destabilize well-performing schools by ripping their administrators away in an attempt to supposedly stabilize under-performing ones. This is especially true when the organization is having a hell of a time finding good administrators to begin with. A few months back I wrote a little piece about how overworked and underpaid school administrators are. It's a supremely thankless job that has principals leaving in droves to return to the classroom, retire, or just get out of the profession.

Now, the District rewards the supposedly "best people" by throwing them into "challenging positions" (i.e., lousiest/hardest jobs)? It's so stupid it's unbelievable. And I don't believe it. This action has the markings of the professional version of a mafia hit. Superintendent Everitt has, as Al Pacino says in "The Godfather" series, "taken care of all family business". I have no idea what that "business" could actually be.

That's pretty much the way TV news portrayed it last night in the 20 second piece I saw on Channel 7. It's just a "reshuffle", the same sort of moves a last-place ballclub makes when the season has gone in the toilet, again. Well, I'm about to find out if in the toilet.

News at Eleven...A.M., actually 7:30 or so.

P.S.: Of course, I can't blog from work (that would be unprofessional), so I can't claim I will have a "scoop" or anything shortly. I'll just be the guy moping around the halls all day, plotting revenge strategy against the Everitt mob, or whistling past the APS graveyard if the news comes out in my schools' favor.


Evan said...

Great, now I'm going to have your blog in a nice, automatically refreshing tab all night, using up my already highly taxed system resources, waiting to see if Mrs. Langan is leaving. Thanks.

Evan said...


history said...

"well, we haven't tried this yet..." The fact is, APS has been doing this to teachers for years and now, ironically, administrators are getting a taste of the bitter fruit too. There is little appreciation for longevity within most schools and no reason for loyalty to the community when rifs and relocations can occur the way they do. When I think of colleagues who've been forced to leave, or moved because of admin pressure, or riffed based on so-called budgetary constraints, I shake my head. We could have an all-star team, instead we limp along like the KC Royals, year after year at the bottom, beholden to whimsy and mid-level management decisions, or worst of all the bottom line. APS is dead...Long live APS. BTW, I will be back on the job like nothing is any different from yesterday, because that's what is best "for the kids".

Anonymous said...

Everitt wouldn't know what a "fresh" idea is if it bit her on her overpaid ass. She knows all the weekend seminar buzzwords, however, doesn't she?

Natalie said...

By my estimations, and I could be wrong considering what a puzzle this was to try to figure out, there are 3 promotions to admin, 10 promotions to either principal or asst. principal (from middle to hs), and 9 lateral moves. There are now at least 8 assistant principal positions open and one principal position.
Also, there's that whole cluster lead principal thing... (is Bernadette Nevarez still the principal of MA Binford now that she's "f/t" as a CLP? I don't know... weird.
And... Nelinda Venegas and Susie Peck are retiring which leaves that situation open and it kind of looks like they are going with Associate Superintendent positions increases. I can't tell because the website has everything all jumbled up. There are so many different titles in the CLP positions that it's hard to tell what's what and who's who. Some say Director of Instruction while others say CLP and if you try to figure out each cluster, you come up with nothin' in Del Norte, Rio Grande, La Cueva, Sandia (Steinhubel retires), ABQ (Linda Sink promoted), Eldorado (Raquel Reedy promoted), Alt schools (Eddie Soto promoted, and Highland (has two different people listed.)
And, so, who will Special Education report to now?
Yeesh. It's a mess.
I'm so sorry to hear that your beloved principal is in fact leaving. What a bummer. Do you know her replacement?
I remember reading about the tallied principals saying that they wouldn't want to stay in administration based on the amount of time and the lack of pay. I was hoping the legislature would remedy that situation but the bill was so chopped up that it didn't really do much.
I hope something positive comes out of this... but for now, it is spinning as yet another bad, monolithic and autocratic decision.
Good luck, scot.