Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Retreating Into The Pre-Dawn Routine

The exhibition season of teacher meetings and registration is over, and now it's opening day for schooling. Given that it's: A. totally dark outside; B. I'm 9/10ths asleep; C. I'm still hanging on to my commitment to take public transport extensively this year (thus, forced to leave about an half hour earlier every morning) I'm not so sure much in the way of insightful blog prose is gonna happen in these morning posts. Okay, I'm sure...nothing insightful is even remotely going on here, especially this morning.

I did happen to run across the Andrea Schoellkopf story in this morning's paper entitled Prosecutors Get Word that Tapia Failed Drug Test, no wait wrong story, entitled Vendors Pay Tab For APS Brass and it's good to see Monica Armenta already earning her money explaining why APS does the things it does. As to the heart of the matter, whether APS big-wigs should have retreats in Ruidoso funded by corporate sponsors who happen to regularly receive APS contracts...I'm too asleep to have a real opinion about it.

I will say this, the mere mention of the word "retreat" makes my skin crawl. A corporate sponsor would have to pay me tons of money to go hang out with a bunch of co-workers at some hotel conference room talking about our supposed "Vision Statement". Not to mention our "Mission Statement" (and yes, your humble blogger was once at a "retreat" of sorts at which the nuances of whether an inelegantly constructed complex/compound sentence featuring phrases like "continuous improvement" and "service delivery" constituted a "Mission Statement" or a "Vision Statement").

So with my sleepy eyes focused on the horror of the word "retreat" I kinda skipped over the whole concept of having a problem with Pepsi paying the Tab (get it, Tab? obscure soft-drink reference? okay, I must be waking up and that might not be a good thing).

I did notice Armenta's quote (and I must tell you that I am much looking forward to quoting/referring/opining re: Ms. Armenta in the coming months) in response to Schoellkopf's setup sentence of "Armenta criticized criticism of the conference", namely:

"At some point, the public's got to decide whether principals and administrators are really valued as much (as other professions)," she said. "Our pool is getting smaller and smaller, and these people are some of the most educated in the community ... It's a double message constantly."

Which sounds just like my Mom back in the day when she would look around our trashed out trailer home in the North Texas prairie and ask rhetorically: "Why can't we have nice things?" I never could answer my mom on this point, and don't really have one in response to Ms. Armenta's this early, early, early morning.

Lastly, I do notice that blogger, gadfly and all-around critic-about-town Charles MacQuigg gets quoted in this story, and wonder if this might mean Mr. MacQuigg might be on his way to a position of formal punditry here, a sort of anti-Monica Armenta entity if you will. I say we get both of them together on various media stages around town....that would make for some interesting TV on KNME's "The Line" for instance. Deviously interesting, perhaps.

Alright, morning has broken, like the first morning of the school year, it's showtime folks.


Anonymous said...

Love the quote from Ms Armenta.

APS sure has a funny way of valuing it’s own professionals. Can anyone say Principal Shuffle? Of course the teachers in the trenches are paying for that monumental error in judgment in pure frustration with in experienced Principals.

Anonymous said...

A McQuigg /Armenta debate? What a brilliant idea. If they debated the issues before every board meeting, I guarantee attendance would go up. I mean this could be even better than Allison sending drunken emails to board members!

Ched MacQuigg said...

I hope that when you wake up; you will take a more formal position on this, only the latest blatant violation of any meaningful standard of conduct by the leadership of the APS.

Maybe even pick a side.

Not every topic is best treated by trying to make a joke out of it.

These folks have abdicated as the most senior role models for well over a hundred thousand students and staff. Five of the seven personally participated in removing the following statement from their own code of conduct; in no case shall the standard for adults be lower than the standard for students.

Do you or do you not want students to grow up to embrace honor and courage and character?

And how do you expect that to happen except by someone showing them what it looks like?

You may treat this as a email; or publish it as a comment at your own discretion.

ched macquigg