Last week ISPAC reported that NM PED Secretary designate Hanna Skandera replaced the consortium that had been working with New Mexico schools to implement the Common Core Standards. She replaced them with a consortium that is requiring the Albuquerque Public Schools to spend tens of millions of dollars on new computers and equipment. Purchases not required by the previous consortium.
Skandera hired the new consortium, sits on its board of directors, got its parent company a state contract, and receives free travel and accommodations from them.
No conflict of interest there.
In its editorial today, the Albuquerque Journal ignored Skandera’s role in creating this situation and placed all of the responsibility on APS calling for them to figure out ways to reduce the costs.
Absent from the editorial was any mention of the cozy relationship between Skandera and consortium or that it was Skandera who foisted this consortium on the state. No mention of the fact that the state had already been working with a different, less expensive, consortium to achieve the same goals.
The Journal acts like APS has a choice in this matter. It doesn’t. Everything was dictated by Skandera and represents cronyism at its worst.
The Journal, on a regular basis, attacked the Democratic Richardson administration for cronyism and corruption, but is strangely silent about it when committed by the Republican Martinez administration.
The Journal went out of its way to find potential conflicts of interest under the Richardson administration. It ran a steady stream of front-page stories day in and day out.
Yet, the editors of the Journal have refused to print any of the clear-cut conflict of interests and corruption that have blatantly occurred under the Martinez administration. From the Dirty Downs deal, in which the administration was caught by ISPAC colluding with a bidder on a massive state contract, to Skandera’s sweetheart deals and state travel paid for by contractors and special interest groups, to abuse of power by Martinez’s chief of staff and her key advisor, to concealing public records, the Journal has been silent on the Martinez administration’s misconduct.