Friday, December 13, 2013

Martinez And The Teachers And Berry And The Cops; Problems Escalate On Both Fronts 

About that 10 percent raise the Guv is now proposing for new school teachers. Our read? Martinez may be suffering some from the chaotic public debate over teacher evaluation tests. The raise seems aimed at shoring up public support that could be waning.

The $30,000 a year starting pay for teachers has not been raised since we passed a Constitutional Amendment increasing teacher pay back in 2003.

The administration has not been showing any olive branches on the education front, but as we say  polling could be picking up discontent. That will get the olive branches waving--faster than the starting flag at the Indy 500....

Maybe another reason Martinez is waving a bone under the noses of potential teachers is the number we are losing. This education blog argues it is due in part because of the new teacher evaluation system.

Also on the education front....do you think we can do better than this?

. . . Many students in the Española School District do not have textbooks. The lack of books became the focus of a Española School Board meeting. . . .The discussion started during Superintendent Danny Trujillo’s report, when Board President Ralph Medina asked, “Where are we on the math books? Or any instructional material in the classroom?” “We’re still missing a few books,” Trujillo said. He said all the books the schools have ordered have come, but in some cases, there were not enough books for the class sizes. To fill this gap, schools were having to copy pages from textbooks. . . .

The kids have gone from copying one another's homework to having to copy entire books...

Meanwhile, the Legislative Finance Committee reports: 

New Mexico lawmakers in the last 10 years have increased spending on public schools by three-quarters of a billion dollars, or more than 42 percent. Even during the deep recession, public education was made a priority....

Maybe we might want to audit where all the book money goes?


Events involving the ABQ police department continue to pound away at Mayor Berry in the early days of his second term. We recently blogged that his legacy is going to be defined in large part on how the many lawsuits against the department are settled and how he resolves the historic issues facing APD. Retired police Sergeant Dan Klein is back on the Berry/APD beat today:

Joe, KRQE-TV reported Thursday night that $900,000 has been paid out by APD in another shooting settlement.

The ABQ Journal reports the Police Academy director was or is the target of an internal affairs investigation but won't say why.

Word has it the current APD Academy has lost almost half of their cadets in just one month, down to 15 cadets and they still have 5 months to go.

And we may or may not have a contract for the APOA. Regardless, it will be too late to stop any officers who planned to retire at the end of the month....

Thanks, Dan. So Amid this havoc the Mayor awards his chief administrative officer a $33,000 a year pay raise--a 22% increase?

Maybe Mayor Berry, who prides himself on his private sector experience, has been in government so long he forgets how the private sector works--that employees are rewarded for success not failure.

This ongoing crisis at the police department--the subject of a federal civil rights investigation--is hurting our city's reputation and its economy.

We need strong leadership from City Hall. That means a new, confidence-restoring police chief who is not associated with the current contaminated culture, an aggressive posture in bringing our police force up to the needed number of officers and competent civilian oversight of APD from the mayor, the CAO and the police oversight panel.

We simply are not getting the results we are paying for. How many years do we have to wait?


Is Colonel Robert Cunningham--whose far right-wing rant against ABQ state Rep. Mimi Stewart we blogged on Thursday--a big put on? An ABQ Alligators has been doing some checking:

Google searches and sites show this whole Col. Robert F Cunningham thing to be weird. First of all, he apparently died in Puyallup, Washington on February 2, 2011. He has (had?) a daughter living in Albuquerque. He and/or his name is linked to all kinds of Tea Party/Patriot action, and really strange out-there stuff. One would be led to think that this person has some really serious mental issues. One site about Egypt and Thoth has a picture icon of him as a twentysomething black male! The whole "Col Robert F Cunningham" thing, whomever he may have been/is in real life, seems like a put-on.

You mean a put up job on the Internet? Shocking...truly shocking...

Thanks for joining us this week

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