Home > albuquerque > Give it up Dr. Everett…

Give it up Dr. Everett…

Update 2010 – I’ve noticed quite a bit of traffic to this post recently, which is surprising considering how old the post is.  I wanted to include an update that I have since met the parent in question and understand her position to an extent as someone watching out for their child (which given the amount of time and my mellowing out with old age, I’m allowed to do). However, my feelings about the three APS administrators isn’t unchanged (as far as it goes for someone without a kid in the school system). They should have known better, they knew what was going on and according to the anecdotal evidence, hoped that it would slide by without notice.

The State of New Mexico came back with their report about “Grade-Gate,” the unethical grade change to the son of a former APS Board Member and a current county commissioner (and professor). This has been nothing short of a PR disaster for APS Superintendent Elizabeth Everitt, Rio Grande cluster leader Elsy Fierro and Associate Superintendent Nelinda Venegas. Now the state pipes up to tell the three above listed people “ya fucked up, ya unethical chumps”

My take on this: My taxes go to pay the salaries of the three unethical “professionals” listed above. This is unacceptable. I want Everitt, Fierro and Venegas to resign. Either that or I want the APS Board, the city of Albuquerque, or the state of New Mexico to begin whatever it takes to fire them.

I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but it’s time to give control of APS to Mayor Chavez. He can’t be any worse than they are.

For those of you who don’t know…

…the quick story is the kid was failing English (missing class right and left will do that to you I guess) and his powerful parents appealed to the teacher to change his F to a D and allow him to graduate.

The teacher said no.

The parent appealed to the principal.

The principal said no.

The parents appealed to the cluster “boss”.

She and her bosses said “sure, we’ll change it!”

I don’t need to mention that the higher ups and the parents were friends, do I? I didn’t think so.

So the press got wind of this. In short, a shitstorm started. People were understandably upset at the favorable treatment this kid got because his parents were powerful and friends with the upper-crust staff at APS. He got away with basically blowing off his last semester of high school and didn’t have to suffer the consequences.

Then his mommy has the gaul to write an op-ed for the Journal saying that “we should all be happy that my little boy got away with cheating the system and graduating anyway.” Well, maybe she didn’t say it quite like that.

Some teachers at the high school raised other students failing grades to passing as a form of protest. After all, this kid got special treatment, why shouldn’t others?

And now, the Public Education Department came down on the side of the teacher and principal and said the grade should not have been changed. In addition, they also are “requesting” that the cluster boss appear before an ethics board.

In classic fashion, the blame game has begun. Superintendent Everitt blamed Fierro and Fierro blamed the principal. You have to be kidding. The principal and the teacher are the ones who followed their ethical compass and didn’t cave to the kids politically powerful parents. They are to be lauded for sticking to their guns.


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Categories: albuquerque
  1. 22 June 2007 at 10:03 am

    Damn straight.
    The more info comes out, the more it looks like classic blame-game-cya-cover-up.
    The brutally of truth needs to be wielded.
    I don’t really want Chavez to take over the schools. Hell, he’s not even willing to entertain talking about “policing” the schools… and his heavy hand will only proceed to further alienate.
    The school board has to take some swipes, too. Marty Esquivel has been instrumental in pushing for transparency and accountability. He’s finally starting to get somewhere… and finally has some support.
    This is not going to end or just go away. Nor should it.
    I’ve got my “I spy” on it.

  2. Barbara
    22 June 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Martin Chavez is totally unqualified to oversee APS. The answer is not more politicians in our children’s educations, but less. These qualified professionals were wrong, but at least they do have paper credentials. Martin Chavez has none. Ms Fierro now says she didn’t know who the student’s parents were. A former APS board member and a county official? That is hard to believe. I also find it hard to believe that this wasn’t thoroughly investigated before any decision was made to change a grade. These records are on the APS computers and can be accessed by the administrators and the superintendent. They could have let him participate in the graduation ceremony but held up his transcript until he retook the class in summer school. It takes a lot to fail a class in APS. It takes a lot of determination not to attend 17 classes and not to turn in work. Teachers know this. Administrators know this. Parents know this. These administrators and his parents have done a disservice to the student involved. Of course, if he stays in state, his parents can influence his grades all through college and get him a job for which he doesn’t have to be qualified and from which he can’t be fired.

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