Saturday, October 31, 2009
As a parent of a teenage girl this type of behavior is one of our worst fears. Parents have a right to know that their children’s teachers are sound in mind and free from a criminal history. I see no reason why criminal background checks should not be carried out more often. Mental health treatment should be something made available to every teacher in this state. Doctors should always report any possibility or probability that a teacher might harm a child in anyway.
With the budget as tight as it is right now I have little hope of these safeguards becoming a reality anytime in the near future. Perhaps it is time to create support groups for teachers so that someone could be stopped before they harm a child in their care. Parents should make a effort to spend time getting to know their children’s teachers. Student lead conferences are most assuredly a step in the wrong direction. As a parent I would never allow my child to spend time alone after school with any of her teachers no matter how much I trust them.
No teacher should be treated with anything but total disgust if they are found guilty of sexual assaulting a child. Harsh treatment should not be reserved for male teachers only. Teachers should understand that once they cross that line that their lives changed forever if they are found out by anyone either among their colleagues or the community. No tolerance should ever be giving to a teacher who harms a child in this manner.
This is just one example of why teachers should receive better training and better pay so as to attract quality individuals to our field so that higher standards of personal behavior can be freely enforced in our state. You cannot pay a poor salary and expect professional level employees. Parents should be outraged that more is not being done to get the incomes to the classroom teacher instead of paying it to educational administrators who never even see their children.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The state secretary of education should be required to perform an annual review of each school superintendent and then each superintendent should be required to perform a review of each principal with the goal to provide clear standards to each school system within the state. Principals would then be required to do annual performance reviews of each teacher in their school system. Overall results of these reviews should be made available to parents.
Superintendents and principals should be given some control over how money from their budgeted funds for supplies and textbooks is spent and be accountable for any failure to supply the needed materials to all of their students.
Classroom teachers should be given an opportunity to help select classroom materials which would support learning and achievement in the school system. Teachers should be actively involved in choosing career development classes and training which would result in more meaningful career development.
A centralized bank of lesson plans and classroom activities should be developed so as to assist new teachers develop these skills. Best practices should be developed statewide and shared so that academic reviews could be carried out to evaluate the central bank for quality and effectiveness.
Mentors should be assigned to every new teacher and a central listing should be developed so that support and material could be shared between teachers. With computer technology it is not unreasonable to think that even small school systems could acquire assistance with mentoring from larger schools systems with more experienced teachers.
Each school’s funding should be determined objectively using a transparent formula with the goal of providing a quality education to every New Mexican student in this state. At the state level support should be supplied so that schools can order material in bulk and then the state would see to it that it is delivered to each institution in a timely manner. A statewide internet system should be developed for standard request from parents such as school transfers and meal assistance forms. It should also have local systems where teachers and parents could use to communicate on grades and behavior.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Better that those jobs be keep by younger individuals who are in need of income to support their families. Double-dipping was a way to prevent job openings for long periods of time during the boom years but with the unemployment rate up to 7.7% in this state this may no longer be a problem. The time has come to let younger individuals have those jobs and let the retired individual collect their retirement funds.
Capital outlay (Pork) has been frozen by the Governor until January in order to prevent it from being spent at a time when people should come before pork spending in this state. Empty buildings will be of no help to unemployed state workers. Students will have no need for new buildings if they don’t have teachers to use them in the first place. Close attention should be paid to where the growth is and how best to manage current educational resources. Student needs must be put before those of educational administration.
With the drop off in housing development new schools may be the last thing needed in some areas. At times like this when revenues are down new shiny items and buildings will just have to be put off for a few more years in order to keep the basic systems running.
Revenue creation will have to become a major initiative in order to keep the state’s economy moving in the right direction over the next few years. Studies should be carried out to determine which job markets will produce the most jobs in this state and then colleges and universities should be strongly encouraged to develop training programs for those future job opportunities.
Small start up businesses should be encouraged so as to bring in more tax revenues for the state. Partnerships should be developed between schools and small businesses so as to employee the most number of New Mexicans and prevent businesses from looking to other states for new employees. New Mexico businesses should be encouraged to develop a mentality of hire New Mexicans first. Continuing Education of entry level employees should be strongly encouraged so as to move those individuals up when opportunities for advancement present themselves.
Middle schools, high schools, two year colleges and universities should partner with local businesses to encourage interest in fields which are producing new job opportunities. Summer internships should be setup to encourage students to try new fields of study. Mentorships with people in fields that promise future growth should be encouraged by both schools and local employers.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
"Something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about, and that is: he (President Obama) doesn't deserve the award...we all are on the same side as the Taliban." -Rush Limbaugh
Nice to know that the Republican Party is siding with the Taliban. This is why the Democratic Party is in control in Washington. God help us all if these people ever gain control of our country again.
These individuals have grown fat over the past few years on oil and gas revenues but now we are faced with a new harsher reality which means tighten our belts and their in order to balance our state budget. This will not be an easy task since they don’t see the need to tighten their own belts anytime in the near future.
Parents should be asking why salaries should not be capped at say $80,000 for state workers and educational administration after all if it is good enough for the state auditor and treasurer why not other state workers. I see some very good people in both the state auditor’s and state treasurer’s positions so how would it harm any other position in this state. If the governor wants to move any of the current exempt workers into permanent position then they should look at serious salaries cuts in order to achieve job security.
We must start pushing for increase taxes in liquor, tobacco, and sodas. We should look at luxury taxes on high end products while protecting small businesses which produce jobs and provide for the basics in our state’s economy. Green jobs should be encouraged in order to bring in more tax revenues that will not go away in the near future.
Diverse small business growth should be strongly encouraged while loop holes for large businesses should be closely look at in order to see if they are producing jobs and tax revenues within the state. We should look at large businesses and how their current salary structure is either helping or harming government programs to support low income individuals and find ways to push large businesses to shoulder their fair share of cost when it comes to their workers benefits. The state at this point in time cannot afford to be providing those benefits for workers of large businesses while they take their profits out of the state.
We should look at ways to bring in new revenues while reducing waste and inefficiencies in our current governmental systems. Education will also have to work at lessen cost to achieve quality education for our children. Administration must be cut in ways that will protect the system for our children. Meetings and travel should be restricted to items that improve the classroom and not just provides a free vacation for top administrators.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
State Senator Eric Griego was one of the more vocal progressive senators when it came to his defense of our public educational system. His passion for this issue should be admired by all parents in this state. He has taught college classes at the local community college and clearly has a better understanding of student needs.
Tax increases are still firmly off the table as the rich get richer at the expense of our children’s future. The growing divide between the haves and the have not is becoming alarming. Our best and brightest students are walking out and never coming back according to resent studies. With the current cuts we may even start to loss people who came from outside of the state in order to protect their own children. No parent will want to live in a state where public education is treated as something that must be disposed of as soon as possible.
Union representatives spoke up to try and prevent further damage to public education but with the conservatives in firm control not much was allowed to be said. Parents need to show up in mass and speak out against further budget cuts to education before it is completely too late for our state and its children.
Monday, October 19, 2009
If Senator Jennings is so hot to cut waste in state government he could start with a top heavy educational administration or are those his close friends who helped him to gain all of that weight he so happily carries around in the senate.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Yesterday I took the RailRunner up to Santa Fe to watch the opening of the state legislator’s special session. The train was an 1½ late but the session did not start until closer to 4:00 pm and was over by 5:00 pm so no harm came from being late for the start. The legislators showed up at 9:00 am and were in meetings until the last minute working on how to deal with the budget.
I chose to attend the state senate side because they are the ones best know for being the more conservative body. Senator Tim Jennings was wasting time cutting jokes on the floor along with the republicans. They were making fun of how to cut the budget and not taking the matter before them very serious. State Senator Cisco McSorley at one point wanted to charge the senate committee on committees for use of the senate finance committee meeting room to hold public hearings on the bills place before the senate yesterday. He was giving Jennings as good as he got. He was pointing out that there was a need to raise income so as not to harm vital programs such as Medicaid and education in this state.
Today at 1:00 pm the committee on committees took up in a open hearing the bills that would increase taxes on items such as liquor, cigarettes, soft drinks and a proposal to repeal 2003 income tax cuts. Jennings put out one to give total control of the educational cuts to an administration that does not know how to keep classroom education safe because all they care about is their own $100,000 and up paychecks. We know where he stands on these issues. It is a shame that the voting public will have to wait to get their chance to deal with that for a few years until he runs for reelection. Clearly there are a few older state senators who need to retire and allow the progressive senators to take control as this would be better for our children in this state.
The educational unions were all there and their members filled the gallery in order to show their support of state senators who are friendly to public education. Some were even chanting the name of their state senator. Senator Michael Sanchez took the time to explain the processes as he ran through the opening of the senate so viewers would have a better understanding of what they were watching. With a body that deliberates it is not uncommon to face delays in order to have the proper paper work in hand and to have time to have read and studied it in order to move forward in a intelligent manner.
Much debate was had over what the governor had sent down as basic rules of what would be covered in the special session since clearly the governor did not want to see children, teachers, or education in general harmed. Late word was that the governor was beginning to give in to some of the republicans and senators like Jennings’ and Smith’s demands for cuts to basic education. Everyone in the room knew that the governor is known for moving toward the center of issues and first taking a hard stand so it is no surprise to anyone that he would give ground on this issue as well. The fear is how much harm is he will to do to our children and teachers just to make a deal with the republicans and budget hawk democrats.
I ran into a number of elected officials early in the day. Senators Keller and Eichenberg both were working hard to protect education where they could. Diane Denish said, “I will not vote for anything that would harm our children”. She has always been a strong defender of early education in this state. It may very well fall to her in the near future to fix the harm done to education this year by the Republican Party and their very close friends Senator Jennings and Senator Smith.
Outside before the session started were a few groups that showed up to display their strong feelings on issues. The gay and lesbian group formed a ring around the roundhouse to make their feeling about marriage clear. The Teacher Unions held a press conference to explain that voters, parents and educators strongly do not support cuts and will demand answers if education is further harmed this year when it is in bad need of basic reform because of the lack of will power of educational administration to control administration cost.
I also had a pleasant surprise because I ran into Judge Tim Garcia who was collecting signatures for his reelection to the appeals court. Out of all the candidates for the three seats this is the judge that I think has the best temperament to be an appeals court judge. Like State Supreme Court Justice Daniels, Appeals Court Judge Garcia just has what it takes to be a great judge for our state.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Growing up back East I got to take mass transit all of the time and along with all of the above individuals you also saw the working middle class because they did not have the parking in the city that our city has at present. Back East the cities are more built up rather than out so parking is more of an issue. Urban sprawl is more common for cities out west where we have the room to build out. When I first moved here we did not even have a bus system that you could use to get back and forth to work on everyday of the week. We have Mayor Marty Chavez to thank for the common sense approach he has taken when it comes to mass transit in this city.
One does have to wonder just how our New Mayor Berry will handle the growth in this city. Will he look at this issue and continue to grow public transit or will he be unfriendly to both local businesses and the environment by cutting mass transit in the near future in order to use that money for other activities such as enforcing his attacks on illegal aliens and even more uncontrolled urban sprawl to the west of our city. Water issues will become a major issue in the next few years and one wonders if our new mayor will even admit that there is and will continue to be a problem with uncontrolled unplanned sprawl.
Latest evening I attended the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County monthly meeting and one of the things brought up by an independent voter was that the new mayor may just be paying off political debits to the Republican Party by appointing Darren White as the person in charge of police and fire in this city. I have heard from some of his own and his neighbors that he might just not be as nice of a person as anyone would think. Time will tell just how much he is willing to harm our fair city and its public transits system along with its illegal alien population.
By the way a special thanks to a dear friend that gave me a ride to the meeting last evening. And one last comment please get out and start signing petitions for our candidates. Someone said it reminded them of yearbook signing at this point in the election process so go sign a few blue yearbooks.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
“We're talking about a surgical strike at the excess bureaucracy in the public schools. Do we need multiple principals and administrators at our schools? Can we trim salaries of the administrators and leave teacher pay untouched?”
"Again, legislators can stop peddling the argument that they are helpless and all they can do is across-the-board cuts and let individual districts implement them. It doesn't wash."
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I would like to suggest that you need to rethink student lead parent-teacher conferences. There needs to be communication between parents and teachers. Parents and teachers should be working together to come up with strategies that will allow the students to achieve success in their classrooms. I am one of the lucky parents that have a student who got all A’s this term but I feel for the parents whose students did not do as well as mine. I would still have liked to been able to ask her science teacher if maybe next term we should think about moving her to an honors class.
Parents should be speaking directly with their student’s teachers and not to someone who was picked in a random fashion who does not even know their child.
The question is who’s bright idea was this and why were the parents not included in the development of this poorly though out plan?
Brian Colón candidate for Lieutenant governor raises more than $275,000 in just five weeks. His reaction was “I am humbled by the broad support our campaign received from New Mexicans in each corner of our state,” Colón said. “Folks have lined up enthusiastically behind our campaign because they share my commitment to providing high-quality education, creating new green jobs, and implementing transparency and ethics reform in government.”
The Disaster that Awaits the City of Albuquerque
Ethics is a term that we need to see more of in the coming days as our city falls under a dark cloud of republican leadership. Mayor Elect Berry has sent a clear message that unless you look like this blogger with blonde hair and fair skin that you will be a target for the city police force. He has clearly embraced the far right wing of his party and will be a shining example of the damage a republican can cause in our fair city. I think that over the coming months democrats will look back at Mayor Chavez’s 12 years of honorable service and wish he was still in office during these difficult economic times.
The news from the county commissioners was also not good yesterday as Alan Armijo aided the Republican Party by forcing through the appointment of a republican to replace Berry in the state senate. Clearly Mr. Armijo needs to understand that this was not a welcome move when it comes to the Democrats in this city or for that matter the state. He may find it very difficult to get votes in the future from his own party. This type of behavior will not be soon forgotten. On the other hand Maggie Hart Stebbins has shown once again why she should receive the total support of any democrat in this city with her fair and balanced view of how to select a replacement by our County Commissioners.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
They would like to see little to no government restrictions on how those companies are run because it might reduce profits for the very wealthy in this country. Educated individuals know they have more choices and exercise their right to make informed decision when it comes to elections which results in fewer profits for the very wealthy in this country.
As a civilized society I would hope that we would want healthcare and education to be considered basic services which everyone not just the wealthiest in our population should enjoy. These two services help any country to become more stable and therefore allow it to thrive over time and not just for the few but for all. Education has been a proven way to keep individuals out of the criminal system in this country. Healthy individuals clearly have more earning power then those who lack healthcare services.
We have seen the failures caused by both in banking and healthcare services due to private ownership. We have been the ones forced to bail out these major industries due to lack of restriction on how they do business in this country and still the restrictions are weak at best. We understand that without restrictions the powerful CEOs of Wall Street will simply repeat the past failures in other areas in an even bigger and more painful way for the taxpayers of this country.
We can either standby and watch this country destabilized as the wealthy acquire all of the assets in this country or we can force a level playing field by ensuring that our population gets a quality education and that they have healthcare no matter what their income level. It is up to the voters to fight for these rights.
Both state and federal representatives need to hear from the voters to understand that the American dream is something that we hold dear as a core value in this country. The Republican Party will drive this country to ruin if we sit on our hands and allow it to happen.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Republicans and their friends are only concerned with dismantling public education in this state and are using a tight budget to achieve their goals. They know that intelligent voters will vote for democrats and not republicans so the Republican Party is working hard to destroy any hope to give our children a good education and with it a good future.
The time is now to stand up and fight for our public education system unless we want to be 50th in the country when it comes to the standard of our educational system. Businesses and families will move from this state if they cannot provide their children and their workers with a quality education. Republican short term goals don’t take into account the future of this state.
Private education will only be for the very rich while poor and middle income children will simply go uneducated or undereducated in this state if the Republicans get their way with the state budget this year. Why is it that rich people don’t pay their fair share of taxes while services are cut to the middle class and the poor children of this state?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
For the next four years we will be faced with a daily reminder of what the whole state will face if we fail to get out the vote on Election Day. The Republican Party will be more than happy to take control of New Mexico if we allow it through inactivity.
The results of that inactivity will be a city which targets Hispanic mothers who are here in this country illegally and divide families because of it. Who will take care of those children born in America once their parents are deported? We will be faced with a 10% reduction in city services at a time when more people are in need of city services because republicans don’t believe in government. We will be faced with fewer restrictions on local businesses so they can follow the path of Wall Street and I am sure that new businesses will be encouraged to develop in republican controlled areas of the city. Police will be encouraged to focus on property crime as the murder rate climbs because illegal immigrants will not report crimes for fear of themselves being deported. Union jobs for the city will pay less because republicans have never been in favor of worker's rights to a fair wage and their treatment by management will be poor at best.
Yes we can and we did this to ourselves by not getting the voting public out to vote in a city election and we can look forward to far worse if we allow this to happen again in 2010.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
9:45 pm Berry 41.00%, Chavez 35.52% and Romero 23.25% 105 Out Precincts Counted
9:42 pm Berry 40.88%, Chavez 35.63% and Romero 23.26%.
9:33 pm Berry 40.96%, Chavez 35.56% and Romero 23.26%.
9:22 pm Berry 40.70%, Chavez 35.47% and Romero 23.61%.
9:17 pm Berry 40.19%, Chavez 35.42% and Romero 24.16%.
9:09 pm Berry 40.19%, Chavez 35.40% and Romero 24.19%.
9:00 pm Berry 39.83%, Chavez 35.50% and Romero 24.45%.
8:55 pm Berry 39.51%, Chavez 35.47% and Romero 24.80%.
8:51 pm Berry 39.20%, Chavez 35.48% and Romero 25.10%
8:40 pm Berry 39.24%, Chavez 35.55% and Romero 25.00%
8:31 pm Berry 40.01%, Chavez 35.62% and Romero 24.18%
8:27 pm Berry 39.85%, Chavez 35.68% and Romero 24.27%
8:21 pm Berry 40.27%, Chavez 35.73% and Romero 23.82%.
LOOK UP YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION City of Albuquerque Municipal Election Oct 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Tomorrow is the mayor’s election and we are looking at the Republican Party’s attempt to get even by taking that long held seat away from the democrats. Their angrier has been on a slow boil even since last November and they are beginning to smell blood in the water with the split in our party. The questions is, are the democrats motivated enough to keep this long held seat? Tomorrow will tell if the turnout is low then we could loss this seat but if the turnout is large then we could even see a runoff between two very good democratic candidates.
Candidates are working hard in the Northeast part of the city to being in those last few undecided voters so that they can get to or prevent the opposition from achieving the magic number to get them either over 40% or getting enough to put them in a runoff election.
Today Mayor Chavez released an endorsement from no other then President Bill Clinton in the hopes that voters who like him will be swayed into supporting the present mayor. He has already gotten the support of Howard Dean who is a leader in the progressive movement. The mayor over the last few years has made a lot of friends in high power seats and now he is using those contacts to help him win so maybe this election does matter to him.
Richard Romero has also starting pulling out endorsements in the hopes that local and state progressive leaders will have an effect on how people vote. Romero is hoping that the early vote will get him into a runoff and that his ground troops have managed to achieve the magic number to that end. He went with past Obama workers and used the president’s strategy knowing that it worked last year in this city.
Notice how the Republican Party has been quiet about supporting R.J. Berry in a city that has more democrats than republicans. The last thing the Republican Party wants to do is motivate democrats to come out in force on elections day and they know if the democrats sense a threat from the other party that it would increase turnout for tomorrow’s election. They are hoping that democrats will not understand that they are in hot water until it is too late and they are cooked. The only problem they have seen so far with that strategy is the poll put out by the local news paper that warned voters there may be a problem.
Tomorrow is Election Day and hopefully democrats will turnout in large numbers or we may just see what happened to our country over the past years happen right here in our own city after all R.J. Berry has run as a very right leaning republican.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Homeless men sitting on park benches harassing individuals who are taking their walks to get exercise during their lunch hour are just inviting crimes. Women want to feel safe at lunch whether it is shopping on central or walking in the local parks. These women should not have to be dealing with people who don’t have a place to live or food to eat and fill their days with looking for their next victim.
The city should be working on getting these people to homeless shelters, getting them off drugs and finding them jobs. Our jails would be a lot emptier if these homeless men were treated and were forced to face their social, mental and economical problems.
My mother use to always say idle hands were the work of the devil. I don’t know if it is true but I do know that it invites crimes that could easily be prevented by getting these men off our streets and out of our city parks. Pawnshop patrols are not where the police should be working to reduce crimes because that is after the fact. Want to talk about a lack of common sense the crimes are not happening in the pawnshops.
Email from my friend with some interesting facts:
“Check this out. I can’t believe the unmitigated gall of these hypocrites! Especially the ones that say that they are against “socialized” medicine – when they have it. Throw this link out on your blog.
By the way, you also might want to point out on your blog that we already have “socialized” medicine and it covers at LEAST 1 out of 4 people in our country – Social Security, Veterans, and Active Military - 82 million people (minimum). This includes 57 million social security recipients, 24.5 million veterans, and all active military – all programs that are paid for by the taxpayer, in other words “Socialized Medicine”. There is a good chance that a lot of these old farts that have been coming out for things like the Million Moron March are receiving some form of socialized medicine already – so they should shut their mouths. They are also hypocrites.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
On the one hand you have Mayor Chavez who has served 12 years and moved this city forward on green energy, mass transit, and culture when other past mayors had failed. He clearly cares about his city and is willing to fight to keep his job on the eleventh floor. He has had problems with reaching out to democrats in the last few years and he does need to pay more attention to the east side of the river when it comes to economic development.
One the other hand is Richard Romero who has the support of local progressives. He would work well with both state and local leaders. He would try to help the east side of this city to develop when it comes to local economies. He supports green energy and mass transits. He is a good candidate but does he lack vision for the future and where will those job cuts come into play when he reduces city government and how will they affect our economy?
I must admit to teasing Mayor Chavez and having fun at it because he has not been present with the party over the last few years but still his personal behavior does concern me when it comes to working with people. Richard Romero is a good man but the fact that he was an educational administrator makes me wonder which side he would fall on when it come to local educational issues.
I have been putting off voting just to try and get more information on both candidates. At this point in time the only real thing I am sure of is that R.J. Berry would be a huge mistake that this city cannot afford. His stands on issues are an insult to the intelligent of any voter in this city.