BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: The next group this evening is the citizens advisory group for communication.

The presenters are, let's see, Kim Hillard, Galen Smith, David Walker, Charlie Countee. These are the representatives of CACC. Let me just double check. Is this also the group where Representative Janice Arnold-Jones is involved or engaged? UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Right. She's there. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Okay. Ms. Jones, would you like to step forward and come to the table? Thank you. So welcome and good evening. This is also a discussion item. We're glad you're here. We're pleased you're here. I just want to say a couple of things that are obvious to us as a board and obvious to the administrators because they've sort of heard us rant a little bit about this. This is not a one-way relationship. This is a two-way relationship. That is why we called this committee of the whole board, district and community relations, because we believe that a relationship goes both ways. So thank you. And who would like to start? MR. HILLARD: I will. My name is Kim Hillard. I've had five children graduate from APS, three at Highland, two at El Dorado. I'm here to introduce the presenters. Ralph Ellison once said, "Education is all a matter of building bridges," and that's what we are about, to build bridges. We represent a bipartisan group of citizens advocating for a citizens advisory council for communications. Let me introduce the two gentlemen that are presenting it. Mr. David Walker, sitting over here. He has resided in Colorado, Wyoming and Alaska before settling in Albuquerque. He practiced law for 31 years. During that time he served a term as a United States District Court magistrate judge. He's now an activist who assists organizations that advance the interests of the public. Mr. Galen Smith. He, with the exception of four months, has lived his entire life in New Mexico. He was a '67 graduate of Alamogordo High School, a '73 graduate of New Mexico State. He has resided in New Mexico, like I said, for many years and been an Albuquerque resident for 35 years. His entire education has been within New Mexico public schools. He's been an entrepreneur, created computer systems applications, and his lifelong love of learning has translated into an avid interest in the future of education for young people in scientific areas which are needed to benefit both the youth and our society. Having said that, then, I would like to turn it over to Mr. Smith. MR. SMITH: Thank you, Ken. Madam President, Mr. Chairman, members of the board, it's my privilege today to speak on behalf of quite a cross-section of -- probably a completely inclusive cross-section of people in Albuquerque. Some of us have children, as Mr. Hillard and Janice Arnold-Jones, people who have had children in APS. I have not.

But in my 35 years in Albuquerque at the rate of about $1,600 per year in property tax, I paid in about $56,000 into what is primarily the Albuquerque public school system. And that's just the past, not the future. My concern is how effective is that money being spent and are we achieving the goals that we set for our public school system. Now, you may not know it, you may be aware of it, APS has kind of a public image as a dark monolith, something out of Darth Vader or 1984, impenetrable, nonresponsive, and that's what we're concerned with. We are not at this point the citizens advisory council on Communication. We're here to advocate for the formation of such a council because the present communications system that APS has with the public is not very effective. Despite all of Monica Armenta's efforts as the ministry of communication, that's a fairly narrow pipeline for information and it just carries what the board thinks that the public ought to know and there is relatively little going in the other direction. True, we can write letters and they may or may not be answered. To whom should we send them? So we think that the problem of communication is a lot the fact that there is not an organized method within APS that expects a broad spectrum of communication with the public. We'd like to see that change. So the advisory council on communication isn't, we expect, to be a venue for communication but a development project in cooperation with Albuquerque Public Schools' administration and board to work with members of the public to develop within APS the connection modes that allow public concerns to be expressed and answered. To that end, we expect this citizens advisory council to be a project under development so that it has to start with twoway, face-to-face communication. And to that end, we asked in the petition for certain aspects of involvement and certain commitments on the part of APS to give the citizens' side of it access to the information that's been gained and is part of the institutional memory of APS with regard to advisory committees so that we can draw on that information to see what mistakes were made in the past, things that we hadn't thought of, in order to set up something that is effective and is seen in a positive light by both sides. We envision that we would need the participation of a person in APS who has experience with these councils to guide us, to have training sessions in how to work with APS, how to work with one another in order to define and achieve specific goals in setting up an effective communication system that will change how the public perceives APS and increase the transparency that the public is owed from this institution of government. We would also expect and desire that we could have access to facilities to set up meetings and to have those meetings recorded. The -- there's nothing like losing your place. I don't know that I've said anything -- that I need to say anything else except to emphasize that the idea here is to open a new chapter in cooperation between the public and the governmental institution that APS represents. It's one of the largest institutions of government in the state with one of the largest budgets. We'd like to be as effective as possible in developing cooperation between the public, the board and the administration of Albuquerque Public Schools. Thank you.

MR. WALKER: Thank you, Galen. Pardon me. My name is David Walker and I just want to try to tie this together a little for you if I can. Madam President, Mr. Chairman, members of the board, I think it's important to realize when looking at our petition that what we are talking about is process oriented. It's not substantive. We don't intend to be a complaint desk. That's not something that we see as our function. Our function is to help develop a mechanism that will allow members of the public to come and express whatever they want to the system and know who to speak to within the system and to get an answer for their concerns, whatever they may be. And we anticipate that those concerns will be resolved at the lowest possible level, so it's not something that we see as reporting to the board at every meeting or representing people with their complaints. That's not what this is about at all. This is about a process of developing a way to help -- developing a way to help the citizens, the people here and also to help the district because – I don't want to belabor it, and I will not -- as all of you are aware there is a dim view of APS, and, yes, there may be times it's not deserved in the public. This is a way to involve the public and get them responses so that they will at least believe that they have had their turn through the system and that they've been able to express concerns if they have them. I want to emphasize that this is about public concerns. I also know and have some appreciation -- I have some appreciation of the amount of time that you spend in board meetings and committee meetings, and I want you to realize when you look at the petition, which I hope you have in front of you, when you see this, I want you to understand that we haven't asked for one second of the board's time in this matter. We're not suggesting that we meet regularly with you or any other things. The meetings that we have concerning you, you're certainly welcome, but, again, it's the process that we're talking about, trying to institute this process. And so since we're not asking for your time and we're not coming to the board meetings, it's -- what are we asking? Well, we're asking first for you to assign a senior administrator who has firsthand experience with councils, previous councils, who will act as a liaison between our group and the members and leadership of APS. That person will be invaluable to us in structuring the communication ladder where things are presented together. We would like to put on – have the district put on a workshop conducted by the administrator and his staff so that we can be very successful in our efforts. We need help in performing a productive citizens advisory council. And then everything that we do we intend to be very transparent. We ask that all of our records of previous council meetings -- all the district records of previous council meetings be recorded, be a matter of record and be published on the district's website in the way that the board meetings are.

We would like -- we ask for a room where we can meet occasionally and perhaps even for meetings outside the workday and perhaps the workweek. Depending upon what happens, how things come up, we may wish to meet in the evening or on a weekend, but those are all things we can talk about with the administrator. And we want you to provide independent, professional facilitators to run and record the meetings, including your assistance in making audio and video recordings of the meetings for posting on the website, all of this with the idea to give the picture of openness to the public so that we can accomplish those things. And I thank you very much for your attention this evening. Appreciate it very much. And I would ask that you -- I know this is a discussion, but I would ask that that the board move to -- move on our request to create this advisory council. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Thank you. If I may, there is one concern that I think I heard at the very beginning. I'd like to see if we can solve that right now. MR. WALKER: Sure. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: The first concern had to do with property taxes and the amount of resources put into property taxes and an accounting for that money. My understanding is that the property taxes that go into APS' budget are actually for our capital master plan, capital outlay. May I check in, Superintendent, with Dr. Winter and get a response? SUPERINTENDENT: Absolutely. Dr. Winter, could you come up? DR. WINTER: Mr. Chair, the capital money -- that's correct. All of the property taxes go for bond election HP-33 and SB-9 elections and they are voted on by the public and they are part of the property allocation. That is not only APS. It's the county and other – UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Is it one of the lowest in the city? In terms of capital, money that comes from our taxpayers, we are taxed at the very lowest level in the city? BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: : There's also bonds that get floated and voted on by the public. DR. WINTER: Yes, they are voted on by the public. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: And the capital plan, as far as I can tell -- I'm not trying to fish out information because I know you know this much better than us, but my understanding is that that particular capital plan is transparent public information. DR. WINTER: Mr. Chair, members of the committee, I think we have the best nonpolitical capital plan there is in the state. It's not based on politics. It's based on the need in the school. Every school -- we have folks go out every five

or six years. They go out to the schools and they grade the schools and give them a score, and the money that we look at that we think we can allocate in those bond and house bill elections are put together and the money goes to the schools that have the lowest scores first. So that's how it's allocated. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Thank you. I just wanted to see if we could sort one issue out right now while we're here so that we get a clear picture of what you're asking and getting your response right away. I'm going to go ahead and go back to the discussion format. So Dr. Peercy and then Board Member Korte. DR. PEERCY: Just to follow up on the capital gains, we do have a capital advisory committee who advises us and provides us recommendations and who reviews our capital budget and does all that. So we already have a group that does that relative to the capital money. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: And the process to be a part of that capital advisory committee? I'm just curious. I don't know that myself. DR. WINTER: The capital advisory committee is a committee that advises the board, and they meet every two months. And Bob Murphy was the chair of that committee, and anybody that's interested in being on that committee can get ahold of Bob. And they advise the committee on all -- they review. They're transparent. They meet every two months and they do a good job of keeping us on track on the bond elections. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: : If you don't have his number, we can get that for you so you'll have access to that. So that I think will address one. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Is that on our website? BOARD MEMBER: You know, I don't know. Leslie is here. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Is that on our website? UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: That doesn't sound familiar. It can certainly be added if someone provides the information. DR. WINTER: Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, this committee is made up of business folks. It's made up of neighborhood folks, and so we have about ten or 12 people (inaudible). BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Okay. Let's go ahead. Board President Maes. BOARD PRESIDENT MAES: I think a lot of the things you're suggesting, I think, if you look a little deeper, are already in place. We have a service center that is manned completely for the community to answer any question, any concern, and it is headed by a former principal who's very well aware of APS and his name is Toby Herrera. You can

call this service center, ask him any question you want about APS. They will get the answer that you need, put you in touch with the office of the administrator of schools. We have 142 schools in this district which each have a parent group of some sort, and 142 schools, you could also go to each of their PTA's if you want information on a particular school. We have a PEEPS group which make their presentation tonight. We have a number of different parent groups who communicate with us on a regular basis. When it comes to our budget process, we --this last -- this last cycle and starting our new cycle, we have hearings across the city on input from the community which are very poorly attended – very highly publicized, but very poorly attended -- on our budget, but I think you'll find those on our website. And if you'd like to become more involved in our budget process, I suggest you do that, as well. This last fall, we had over -- how many committee meetings, Brenda? UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: We had eight this last -- this past fall. BOARD PRESIDENT MAES: We had eight committee meetings in the district for input on the goals of this board and the goals of this district that were -- some of them were heavily attended. Some of them were not. We had meetings for the redistricting of our district. We had meetings all over our district. Again, some of them attended well. Some of them not. These meetings -- we meet an average of three or four times a week, this committee, and they're open to the public as you can all see. So I think we're very transparent in what we do. And I do take a little offense to what you're saying to us tonight because I think at one time -- and I've served on this board now for 12 years, and 12 years ago, we were not thought very transparent. I don't think there is a more transparent district in this state, and I think if you took a little more time, maybe, to look at our website and come and talk to us individually -- I've never spoken to any of you, and I think we're a very transparent district. Since the superintendent has come on board, it's become more transparent. There isn't one secret, other than my weight, that the district does not know about. So I think this is --and this board has -- and the new board members have even brought more transparency to our district than before, and I think we are a model district for this state and other school boards in the state. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: So Board Member Korte. BOARD MEMBER KORTE: First I'm going to tell you, just like PEEPS or just like Families United for Education, just like any other group out there that wants to use our APS facilities for a meeting, you can certainly do that. You can certainly do that. I hate to put somebody in the audience on the spot, but, Mr. Nicholson, I'd like to put you on the spot. Mr. Nicholson, can you please tell the group your views of what happens when an advisory group without any clear goals -- what can happen in this district? And I'm referring to SHAC.

MR. NICHOLSON: First, I've been only peripherally involved in those meetings. I've been in a couple. Over time it developed into a, let me say, less than friendly group. A number of positions --and certainly there are a lot of emotional views, religious views, educational views and so on involved in talking about the details of the student health advisory committee, particularly on the so-called comprehensive sexual education. There's a lot of discussion back and forth. Those who have followed that e-mail chain -- unfortunately, I've watched it get not just emotional but very confrontational. It struck me that candidly -- and I'll say this as kind of an outsider -- both views were extreme, and there wasn't really any tendency to try to listen to each other. There wasn't really effective communications. So the lesson I would take away from that in terms of the current discussion and improving communications in a cooperative manner is just simply a good idea. There are all sorts of statements, some of which are blatantly false, not based on fact, pure emotion, whatever, and I think an ability to have some calm, cool, cooperative interchange and communication is probably very beneficial. I think that committee, that subcommittee in particular, has so strayed from what they thought their role was, I think they've forgotten what their role was. BOARD MEMBER KORTE: Thank you, Mr. Nicholson. I hate to put you on the spot, but I wanted to bring Mr. Nicholson up because that was an advisory committee that's run amuck. It's run amuck, and basically what happens in the end is I believe that you're wasting APS' resources by constantly calling on APS officials for information, etc., etc., with no clear goals in mind when what I see in this district -- and I'm going to agree with Ms. Maes --that communication, anything short than knocking on every person's door in this city to try and engage them, I don't know what else APS can do. I mean, we've got websites. We've got e-mail distribution lists. We've got a paper. MR. SMITH: Do you think that's working? BOARD MEMBER KORTE: You know what? It does work eventually, but I'm telling you that besides doing every effort that we're making here, still it's hard to get people involved. So obviously you want to be involved, and there's nothing stopping you from forming your own group and discussing things. What I'm not going to really advocate for is bringing more APS time and resources from officials in our district who are trying -- we are trying to close an achievement gap. We're trying to improve parent/community relations, but, on the other hand, you've got so many tentacles out there that it diverts our district administrators -- the people who get paid to do this job, it diverts the resources into trying to please a gazillion different groups, and that's my concern. The other thing I'd like to ask you is please give me an example of a lack of transparency because I've got to second Ms. Maes. If you go on that website, you can find almost anything Everything, and if something is missing, you call student support services and we'll find the answer for you. I mean, I can't tell you on a daily basis how responsive administrators are. When parents e-mail me, when teachers call me, I can't tell you how responsive folks are when I bring these problems that -- and they do happen. Problems happen in our schools. They are not perfect.

You talk about a dim view of APS. I would agree with you. There is a dim view of APS. But let me tell you, when you surround yourself with negativity, you spew negativity, and I refuse to do that. I'm sorry to say, I know that one of your leaders is Ched MacQuigg. I read his blog every now and then. It is the most negative thing I have ever read. So I don't read it, actually. To be honest with you, I don't read it. So I'm suspect of your intentions because I know Ched MacQuigg plays a big Role in this, and he's the most negative person I've ever met in my life. Okay. So I'm going to be very blunt with you. You can like me or don't like me for it. I disagree. I think APS is doing the very, very best we can with parents and community members. I need more volunteers in our schools for ABQ Reads. On the west side I only have one school that's got any business people volunteering in ABQ Reads. That is a community based group trying to get into our schools and help, but we don't have people signing up for it, adults signing up for it. If you want to help us in that kind of venue, I would love that kind of help. I'm going back to neighborhood associations that screamed about redistricting, telling us you are disenfranchising us. And I'm saying, oh, disenfranchising 2,000 people that showed up to vote in a west side district board seat that I hold now? 2,000 out of 63,000 people voted. That's the problem. It's apathy, apathy across the board, and there's nothing that we haven't tried or we aren't doing to try and reach out to the public that we serve. I do it every day. I spend too many hours doing it. And so I do take offense at some of the things you're saying. There is a dim view of APS, but I reject it. I reject it because I have four kids in these schools and I'm going to be positive about what the schools are doing, what we can do better, because I know we can do better in this district. But I've also worked with people in this district who I know want the same thing. The hard thing is 140 schools 90,000 students and getting 90,000 parents involved, that's the difficult challenge. And there is no easy answer or else we'd already be doing it. If some district out there had an answer for answering every question, for being available to every single person, then we'd all be doing it. So I appreciate -- I think there's nothing stopping you from forming your group and asking for the use of our facilities, nothing at all. PEEPS is doing it and Parents United for Education is doing it, a group of parents, a group of active citizens. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: 142 PTA's do it every month. BOARD MEMBER KORTE: Yeah. I mean, we have -- our schools are open for public use. If you fill out the facilities use forms, there's nothing stopping you from being involved in our schools. There's nothing stopping you at all. I mean, if you want to be in the schools themselves, background checks, get in the schools. We'll take you. We need The help. We need the help, but it has to be a positive environment in my opinion.

BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Let me suggest that we first go to the board for discussion and then we'll ask for a response to give you a chance to speak back. I'd like to try to back us off a couple of notches. Let's try to really hear what each other is saying and see where there's common ground. My father used to have an expression something along the lines of (in Spanish). Let me start with -- let me start with (in Spanish). Every mind is a world unto itself. So I understand you may have perceptions and you may not see it the way we do. Every monkey has sort of their jungle gym, if you will. You know, we are seven members. We're your elected officials and we're here to serve you. We're here to serve the public and we're most importantly here to serve the parents and the children who go to these schools; some of whom we don't serve very well, but let's see if we can back it off a couple of notches and see what reactions we have and see where we can find common ground. I took notes while you were speaking and I'm going to try to go through a couple of things because I'm going to try to address this, as well. Board Member Maestas. BOARD MEMBER MAESTAS: Well, you know, first of all, I do appreciate you being here today, and I think, you know, just like the other groups, PEEPS, Parents United, you know, there is -- you know, there is a cry for involvement, and, you know, there is a place for everyone. And, you know, I'm going to ask you the same question I asked PEEPS: How can you interface with some of the other groups? Because, you know, we've heard the stories from parents, we've heard the stories from communities, and basically all say the same thing, we want to be involved, we want to be a part, we want answers and we want to be able to communicate. And, you know, Parents United came to us, you know, a few months ago with a policy that we need to look at. Maybe that's what we need to do, is to look at what are the lines of communication and involvement. I'll tell you, I was in this district when we did have the parent advisory council, the citizens advisory council, and it was held every month. I went for years to that council and there were some very effective meetings and there were some that were not. There was lots of participation and then there was not. And then sometimes (inaudible) but it was a place where you could get information. And I think we do have some of those activities within the system now. I don't think it was a bad system. I think it did provide a place for you to come and get answers. What I'm saying is that, you know, we have all of these groups and we need to take a look at how do we involve everyone and how do we communicate to everyone so that you can get the answers that you need. So I'm not shutting anyone down. I'm just saying, you know, let's look at it. Let's look at are we doing an effective job, do we need a better forum? How do we involve all of the groups that are out there, because, you know, just a few months, a couple of weeks ago we heard from parents on all of the issues within the school that they have concerns about, so how do we address all of those effectively. So, you know, I thank you for being here and working with us and some of the other groups to

make this happen so that everyone feels like there is transparency and there is communication and we do get answers to some of the questions that you do have. BOARD MEMBER ROBBINS: Mr. Chair. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Yes, go ahead, Mr. Robbins. BOARD MEMBER ROBBINS: I just wanted to say a couple of things to Mr. Walker and others, which is that, you know, if you have ideas that -- and I understand what Ms. Korte was saying with regard to the workload of the administrators that the administrators are currently facing, but if you have suggestions for things that, like she was saying, go on the web or other things that we can do, I would be welcome to present those to the board and have discussions on them. You know, I think if there are things that we're not as transparent about as you would like, you know, please communicate with us. I think the other board members are all for that also. I am definitely for that, to listen to what your ideas are. I think the concerns that Ms. Korte addressed on behalf of the administrators, it's very valid because, you know, the average administrator at APS probably spends between 50 and 60 hours a week as it is, and the senior administrators -- I mean, I want to respect their home life, their family life. And, you know, I understand they're public servants but there -- there has to be a balance that they even are allowed to have. And so I would encourage you to communicate with the board members individually. And I understand that in the past there have been poor communications, but I want to encourage the communication like you do. And if there's information that's not forthcoming, let us know because a lot of times when we find out that there's a communication problem it's when someone shows up at a board member and that's the first time we've heard of it and that shouldn't be. Thank you. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Thank you, Board Member Robbins. Let's see, Board Member Esquivel, did you want to weigh in on this? BOARD MEMBER ESQUIVEL: I'm sorry, I came in late on this, but there was an allegation that we lack transparency. I just wanted to state, over the last five years that I've been on this board, when we hired Mr. Brooks we had a completely open search for superintendent. Prior to that -- that's pretty unusual, to look for a chief executive officer in a completely open search. We also moved to open our audit committee meetings three years ago. Prior to that time they were completely closed. We moved to open those as a policy. On top of that, there was just a state law passed last year that required audit committees to have people from the outside participate. We were doing that before it was a state law. Winston Brooks also received the same Bill Dixon award that you did, Ms. Jones –

MS. ARNOLD-JONES: Arnold-Jones. BOARD MEMBER ESQUIVEL: Ms. Arnold-Jones, Candidate Arnold-Jones -- the same Bill Dixon award that you did from the Foundation for Open Government which you know does not come easy. So I don't know if you're aware of that fact or not, but clearly that says something, as well. And our website with regard to information that you can access on our capital outlay, on our budget and everything else, in my opinion, in doing 15 years of work as an open government attorney in this state, is second to none. So it's one thing to say or allege we lack transparency, but I think the record speaks for itself and I don't want that minimized given my five years of service on this board. Thank you. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Okay. I'd like to go ahead and go over some of the things that I noted as we were listening to your presentation. There were a couple of words you used, and I want to caution you --and I try to caution myself all the time and sometimes I'm better at it than others and sometimes that's just a human thing -- but words like impenetrable and unresponsive, that's a little tricky. I think that for some folks in the community it does look like that, and that has been their experience. I'll give you one example: Having a receptionist at a school ignore someone who is a parent for over 30 minutes and the parent deciding not to stick around because there was a language problem. That person couldn't speak Spanish. And that parent wanted actually to get a response to be able to meet with the teacher and the counselor to go over that child's progress because she was concerned. Valid example in my opinion. You may have examples like that. You may have other examples. We're not perfect, but I just want us to caution ourselves in the language that we use. You know, as the director of communication, Ms. Armenta, I know, is one of those tireless senior staff. I've seen a tremendous, tremendous amount of work from that department from reorganizing our website. I think that's great. If you have suggestions on how we can do it better, please let us know. The challenge to putting meetings on websites and getting things recorded is always tricky because it's labor intensive. But if there's a way we can problem solve it, why not? Why not? Let's look at it. You know, often what gets put out through the communications department reflects board sentiment, but we don't have an active role to play with regards to the communications department. They're the experts. And our job is really in three areas, set policy, hire and fire the superintendent and budget, and that's basically it. And we may have a chance to interact with schools, but often schools can -- we've been warned about these things when we show up at a school. It can set all kinds of things in motion. You know, I am a grandparent. I have grandchildren in the public schools, and I've raised an eyebrow or two based on my feedback because I care about my grandchildren. And I've told folks, I'm not interested in undue influence here, and they say to me, we don't care if you're the king of England.

We're not going to treat your grandchild any different. But I try to make sure that I at least let them know what my concerns are. So, please, as parents, as concerned citizens, we want you to come in and say what you're thinking and help us get it right if we're off the mark. Historic memory. God, I love that statement. And I guess I'm easy. Well, I guess I am easy. Most people would say I'm easy. We live in an age of historical memory and I think we have to really work at having a good historical memory about what we're about, and so if that increases our ability to be transparent, I'm definitely for it. It's tricky. I remember the days of the old citizens advisory councils and I actually was a PTA vice president, and the big, big concern for the principal in those years -- and this was many, many years ago -- was he wanted carpet in his office and he was hoping that he had a couple of leaders that we could help him do that. Well, concerns get warped and I can understand why somebody might want that. I'm just trying to point out that there's all kinds of opportunities for miscommunication and different ways of seeing the world as I tried to say with my dichos. I like process. I'm one of the board members that likes process. Not all of us do and not all of the administrators like process, but there are some that do. But I think process is good if we work at it. And I have to take exception, Board Member Korte, with your impressions of the SHAC. I just don't see it that way. I've been the liaison to the SHAC and I have not made a bunch of meetings recently, but I want to say every time I've been there people have worked towards developing a good communication process. I know that people can easily get hooked in a very difficult set of discussions like discussions around reproductive health and, you know, what's happening in terms of obesity and other kinds of things. But, please, let me tell you that, in my opinion, we're going to have to learn to have the harder conversations. And it's not always easy, and as an elected official, you know -- I'll take a page from your book if that's all right -- I don't necessarily -- well, I guess I do. I like it when people like me. I don't feel comfortable when people don't like me. But I am going to tell you we have to figure out what does the science tell us. You know, what are the foundational sort of reasons why we're getting together. If we're not meeting our goals, then we have to take a look at that goal, and if we have to hire facilitation to come in and do that, then all the more good for us. And I don't want to start a tit for tat with you, Board Member Korte, because you can out-argue me, I'm sure. You can probably outwrestle me, too, because I'm older than you are. But you know, what are we trying to do here? We're trying to increase the opportunities for citizens to be engaged. That's why we have public forum at this particular community meeting, so you can always come and say what you think. Now, people have come here before and said what they thought and it's turned into personal attacks, and that just isn't really productive and it's never necessarily useful. I won't improve if you find a contradiction in the way I behave versus what I say and attack me for it. Most likely I'm going to react.

So let me suggest that there are probably better ways. There's the old saying you can win more flies with honey. Well, I don't like being thought of us a fly, but I like honey, and so if you tell me what I'm doing well I'll hear what you have to say. I'm just sharing some tidbits of an old man's experience, you know, what I know seems to work. We can have discussions. We've been trying to have a discussion with PDT -- I'll get my political statement in for a moment here -- and we have a group of folks who mean well but they have -- well, I won't say that. I'd like to but I won't say it. We haven't had an ability to be able to have an interaction with folks that we'd like to have. This board is a nonpartisan group. At least that's how we try to sit together. We try to sit together that way and we try to act together that way, and, honestly, we have to get partisanship out of the public school sort of discussions that we're having. Let's find out, as you all have said, as the group before you said, what's in our best interests here? Our best interest is in the children and in the families. So here's where I could use some help. The achievement gap is a major issue for us. It's been a major issue for a number of years. Can you help us think about that? Can you help us build a coalition among parents who would be willing to get involved, businesses and others, as Mrs. Korte has so eloquently said, to help us address that issue? Because I have big concerns not just for us as a district, for us as a nation. The achievement gap is beginning to impact us in a way that it's going to hurt us in our role in the global society. Here's a very practical piece of assistance I would like. I'd actually like to see us find ways to get parents engaged with their children. I'm proposing as part of our union negotiations that the administration has is that we actually open up an opportunity that's cost neutral; in other words, it's not going to be driven by whether we have the money or not, but to allow parents a chance to go to their children's classroom every quarter. And the point of that is, if parents are engaged with their children's classroom, chances are they're going to know what's going on and we'll be able to make sure that parents will actually help us help their children. I think this is a good policy for all big institutions. So I'd like to see this. If we're lucky and we can find agreement with our negotiations, I'd like to see us get through this. But I'd like to be able to call on the city and the county and the state as big employers to be able to have a policy that supports parents, that doesn't just treat them like the old image of the welfare moms. You know, parents work hard and parents need assistance and it's harder to be a parent now --probably it's always been hard. Certainly it was hard when I was a parent of small children. They didn't come with a manual or instructions, and many decisions I'd just give it my best guess. And I know I messed up, but I know that we've got to value parents and treasure them as much or more than we treasure our children. So those are my rants. Those are my responses to what you had to say, and I thank you for being here because it helped get my little synapses in my brain going and I could actually come alive a little bit. Okay. And I apologize. Dr. Peercy, how about wrapping it up for us and then we'll give the group a chance to speak back.

DR. PEERCY: Sure. One of the things that we are doing is we're reworking all of our K policies. Those policies are the ones that address community, community involvement, and one of the things that I would like to have, one of the areas I this citizens advisory committee area, and one of the things that I've been very uncomfortable with is kind of a lack of, let's say, direction for those kind of committees. In other words, those committees are formed basically by us to support us, and the point of that would be to add real procedures, to have real roles and responsibilities, to have real deliverables, to have real interaction and reporting back to the board from those citizen advisory groups, and we don't have that right now. And so one of the things that I would like to do as part of the reworking of that policy is to set forth a better process for how we do that. We just -- we have, like we've mentioned, many, many groups that seem to be interacting and forming and that's fine. They're welcome to form. That's great.

But we need to have a real process for things that we're going to be able to interact with and then we're going to get results back and we want them to support us. In other words, it's great to have conflicts and concerns and that brought, but I want to have groups that are going to go out and help us. Now, if we're not getting the message out that we're doing a lot of good things, then we need some groups to help us do that. And I guarantee you right now we're doing a lot of good things. The message that we're not addressing root causes or that we're status quo, that's total nonsense, and we need to get the message out that we're doing a lot of other things besides that. And so I want these groups to help us do that.

So part of the idea of the advisory committee, as far as I'm concerned, is to have that interaction as to how we can get some of those things done. We have one with the capital group. How can we really make sure we are understanding how the capital works and that we can communicate what we're doing with the rather marvelous master plan that we have.

Maybe not all people understand that. How do we get that message out? Well, we've got the group but we need to get that message out. So, independent of personal feelings, I think that the positive aspect of what we're trying to do is to set up a better structure for how we might be better able to do that with any kind of advisory group that we think we might need, and

that doesn't set an advisory group up for a long time forever. We may well have it for a particular piece of time for some particular thing we want. We may have a standing group that sits there for a long period of time.

So one of the things I'd like to say is, you know, appreciate the interest and I always appreciate the fact that people are willing to try to work with us and try to communicate with us. That's an important thing. But I would say that it is our responsibility to do that. It's our responsibility to set groups up that we think we need to have to interact with us, and it does take our time and we are responsible for it. You can say, well, it wouldn't take any of our time. That's incorrect because you groups that are formed particularly for us and for that purpose, we are responsible for that, and so it's important for us to be involved. It's important for us to know what's going on. It's important for us to get reports and deliverables back so that we can actually understand what progress we're making with regard to any of these areas that we're talking about.

So part of that is going to be to look at, again, setting up the policies to make sure that happens, and so we will revisit these advisory groups that we have. I'm sure the board will be able to have lots more opinions about those kind of groups, what groups would be useful for us, what things we ought to have, what are in fact -- and those procedures are not going to be uniform. I mean, there may be certain things for certain groups, other things for other groups, but we're going to want to have real things come back to us and feedback to you guys so that we can get something done. You know, we're spending an awful lot of time spinning our wheels and not getting things promoted and not getting things really progressed, and it takes an awful lot of our staff time. We're working right now on a common core of state standards and implementation, and I tell you right now, that is not status quo. That is across the nation and we're leading that effort. And if that message isn't getting out to people then we need to get that message out.

So there are a lot of things that we're doing that I think are very much in the forefront of education, and if people don't understand that, well, then we need to make sure we get that out. And if your group or some other group can help us do that, that's great. That's a great advantage to us because it takes a lot of people a lot of effort to make sure that we get that out. And that's not saying we're perfect. So, if there are things we need to work on, let's work on them. So appreciate again your group and appreciate the PEEPS group because, again, you know, those are positive things. We're trying to work on things that we need to get done, and we've got a lot of people who are going to help us do that. And the more people who can help do that and understand what our objectives are and what we're trying to do and to help us make that even better, the more likely we're going to be able to influence the legislature, the more likely we're going to be able to influence parents to actually come and work with their students which is my main

focus; that is, if I get my parents to work with their students, their individual ones, I don't think we'd have very many educational problems.

So if our advisory aspects can look to some of those aspects, I'd be real, real happy. So, you know, there are a lot of things there. BOARD MEMBER: Thank you, Dr. Peercy. Now, Mr. Walker, would you like to sum up from your perspective -- I think it was Mr. Smith who asked, but let me just double check. I think we started with Mr. Walker, so if you could give us a summary. And if there's anything you'd like to say, otherwise –

MR. WALKER: There is. Mine will be very, very brief, though, and I hope that you will listen to Mr. Smith -BOARD MEMBER: Of course. MR. WALKER: -- because he's the person who's been taking notes. I'd say in my experience I feel like I've been an abject failure in this meeting because I don't think you get it. I don't believe that you understand what this group is about and what it wants to do which is set up an effective communication mechanism between the public and the school district, and that would be the job – once accomplished, that's the job we want to accomplish, so that it would make people feel that they didn't have to come to a board meeting and speak to you for their two minutes, that we could go instead somewhere within the administration and it would depend entirely upon what their problem was or what their concern was, and this group would point them to the right door to go to to discuss this. And there would be two-way communication, then, between that member of the public and the member of the administration who was talking to them about their issue. And really there is, I think, nothing more or less that we have asked than that. It is process. It is to set up this mechanism. I don't believe you have it. The public certainly doesn't believe you have it, and that this would benefit them and you and the district. I'm not going to say you. I don't mean the board. I mean the district. That it would benefit the district. And I -- I don't know how to have made that point more clearly than I did, but I believe that I failed in making it. That's what this is about. BOARD MEMBER: Thank you. Mr. Smith, if you could do me a favor and aim for the two-minute range, that would help us just because we have several items and some of us want to go buy lottery tickets.

MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Councilman Dr. Peercy for his comments because he appears to want exactly what we do, and we hope to be able to provide the key to that effective communication both ways and to

make things happen in the community that change the perception of APS, functionally change. What I don't understand from Council Member Korte is that – BOARD MEMBER KORTE: Board Member Korte. We're not a council. Board member. Not council, board member. MR. SMITH: Board member, yes. You seem to be willing to grant piecemeal everything we want except maybe – MR. SMITH: -- form a group we call the citizens advisory council on communication and we ask to use the facilities and we gather information and come and say this is how the communication is working. If we do that on our own, is that in itself something to which you are opposed and what more than that of what we've asked for tonight do you find objectionable? BOARD MEMBER KORTE: What I think Dr. Peercy and I think the other board members have stated probably more eloquently than I did, any time a group wants to act advisory to the board, it is time for APS administration and APS board members. Our time is spent. So I agree with Dr. Peercy that any kind of advisory committee -- and we're seeing this with the SHAC, and, with all due respect, the SHAC has done some good work, but any type of advisory committee needs to be -- as Dr. Peercy said, it needs to be assisting us in our efforts, not going off on a tangent doing whatever it thinks it needs to do. It needs to be assisting us in our efforts which are the four goals that we have come up with as a board and as a result of community involvement. So we've got clear goals in this district, and so my biggest pet peeve about everything we're doing this district is making sure that every effort, whether it's time or money, is all lined up and geared toward ultimately student achievement. So it has to be effective. It has to be efficient. I'm all for efficiency. So my fear with all of these advisory groups is that you have tentacles reaching out -- I've said this a gazillion times. Poor board members are probably tired of me saying it in this year on the board -- so many of these tentacles. Everybody is wanting to do something. It's all gallant. That's great. However, we all need to make sure that we're aligned toward the same ultimate goal which is our kids, what is best for the kids in our schools. So, as Dr. Peercy said, there an apparent lack of maybe communication or processes in place that make sure that whatever citizens do and get involved in our schools, we're welcoming that; however, we need to make sure that what citizens are doing on behalf of our children do ultimately align with our district goals and with the resources. BOARD MEMBER: That work for our kids. BOARD MEMBER KORTE: And that ultimately will work for our kids. So that is what I'm saying. I think nobody here can ever say that I am not an advocate of parent and community engagement. I'm sitting here because I'm a parent, a parent involved in my schools. So I'm not saying that. I'm saying that what we need to make sure is we've got processes in place in this district that make sure that our time and our money is being efficiently spent, and, as Pete so eloquently put it, in a time of very few dollars. I mean, we are scraping by. So we need to make sure that the

efforts, any effort that is made by a citizen group, a community group, parent group, whatever, is very closely aligned with what we need because I'll tell you, the board, there's a lot of stuff we'd love to do to do, but -- and we'd welcome the help but it has to be a cooperative effort. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: So, Board President Maes, would you sum up for us -BOARD PRESIDENT MAES: I just have one point or comment. You said you wanted to have someplace where you could go and ask questions of administrators. We have that. We have a service center who is manned by a top administrator by the name of Toby Herrera. You can go to Toby Herrera with any question you want, anything you want and he'll get an answer for you. And how big is that department? UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Probably about four people. BOARD PRESIDENT MAES: Four people. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER; And they probably get hundreds of phone calls a day. BOARD PRESIDENT MAES: Hundreds of calls a day from the community. So the community does have a place to call. So your question was answered. We do have a place for you to go. You just don't use it. You're not using it and you want a whole other office like another administrator like Toby to do the same thing. You're duplicating services and not really looking at what we have. You haven't really looked at what APS has in place. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: The other person you do have as a direct link to APS administration is a board member. I mean, I can't tell you how many e-mails or how many calls I get every day or every week. You have direct lines of communication to your APS administration through this board of education. We are a citizen advisory group basically. We've been elected to represent the public in how our schools operate, and all of us have different -- yeah, we all have different skill sets. You know, Mr. Robbins is the master of money, and I love the parent part. I mean, we all have that different skill sets but we do have that student support services. I guess that's my other -- I agree with Paula. We have what you're telling us and you have us here, too. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: : I'd like to go ahead and wrap this up. I'd like to thank you for being here this evening. Please, you're welcome to stay for the rest of the meeting which is equally, if not more important from different points of view, but we want to make sure that we give you a chance to see what these meetings are about. BOARD MEMBER: And I think the next presentation also serves to what you're asking, and those are school websites that you could go to so you can stay for that. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Okay. The next presentation this evening --

MR. WALKER: Thank you very much. I want to thank the board for its time. I want to say that, again, our group is a wide ranging, broad based group and we have several of them here. I'd like you ask you to stand if you came in support of this. BOARD MEMBER: Call the service center if you need anything. MR. SMITH: Well, if it's working out for you, there's no need to do anything. BOARD MEMBER GARCIA: Okay. Let's not continue the discussion. Let's go on to the next.

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