School board member plagiarized answer on questionnaire

A response by an Albuquerque school board member to a candidate questionnaire appears to be directly lifted from a website without any attribution. And after speaking to those involved, it’s unclear who exactly copied the answer. When Steven Michael Quezada ran for his current spot on the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education in late 2012 […]

School board member plagiarized answer on questionnaire

A response by an Albuquerque school board member to a candidate questionnaire appears to be directly lifted from a website without any attribution.

And after speaking to those involved, it’s unclear who exactly copied the answer.

When Steven Michael Quezada ran for his current spot on the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education in late 2012 and early 2013, he submitted answers to a candidate questionnaire with information ranging from basic personal information to his overall thoughts about education. Quezada’s answer in response to a question regarding the role of individual board members is identical to language from the National School Boards Association.

APS school board member and actor Steven Michael Quezada.
Albuquerque Public Schools board member and actor Steven Michael Quezada.

Quezada, who is now a candidate for Bernalillo County Commission, told NM Political Report he wasn’t the one who copied the information but that he is ultimately responsible for the final result.

“At the end of the day, I signed off on it,” Quezada said.

Quezada said he can’t remember writing the answers to the questionnaire. He added that his campaign manager for the school board race completed most of his campaign material.

“Everything I did was with the approval of Neri,” Quezada said, referring to Democratic political consultant Neri Holguin.

Quezada didn’t blame Holguin directly, but maintained that plagiarism is out of character for him.

“I’m an honest guy, everybody knows that I am,” Quezada said.

Holguin, for her part, also denied she copied wording without proper attribution. She also said she would not have filled out a questionnaire for a client.

“I cannot find evidence that I did that,” Holguin said. “I wouldn’t do that.”

The two are now actually on opposite sides of an upcoming primary election.

Holguin is the campaign manager for Adrian Pedroza. Pedroza is also running for the same Bernalillo County Commission seat as Quezada.

Quezada said he was unaware of plagiarism in his 2013 campaign until NM Political Report brought it to his attention.

“I didn’t even know what the National School Board [Association] was,” Quezada said.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.51.42 AM
An answer from Stephen Michael Quezada on a 2013 questionnaire.

The identical wording came in Quezada’s answer to a question about the proper role of school board members.

“Promoting outstanding student performance based on clearly delineated standards is central to the key work of school boards,” Quezada wrote. “The next step is to determine how well students are doing in meeting those standards. School boards need information in order to make decisions, not only about how well they are doing, but also about what may be needed in order to ensure that the APS school system goals will be met.”

The same answer can be found almost word for word on various school board websites, most of which attribute the language to a book published by the National School Board Association. Quezada added the words “APS school” before “system” on the answer’s last sentence, marking the only difference in wording between the two answers.

Effective School Boards taken from the National School Board Association
“Effective School Boards” language from the National School Board Association

The APS policy on plagiarism includes a procedural directive for copyright compliance. That directive reads, “Copying, selling or distributing copyrighted material without the express written permission of the author or publisher (users should assume that all materials available on the Internet are protected by copyright) and engaging in plagiarism (using other’s words or ideas as your own) shall be prohibited, and in most cases illegal.”

In response to questions about the alleged plagiarism, an APS spokeswoman referred NM Political Report to the plagiarism policy.

The school district’s student handbook does not appear to address plagiarism.

Quezada gained attention in New Mexico and nationwide while playing the role of DEA agent Steven Gomez on the popular television show Breaking Bad.

Quezada won election to the APS board in February 2013 and recently announced his candidacy for county commissioner.

Quezada and Pedroza are both aiming to replace Commissioner Art De La Cruz, who is term-limited and cannot run for another term.

 

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Both Republicans and Democrats skeptical of guv’s proposals for special session

Both Republicans and Democrats skeptical of guv’s proposals for special session

A representative from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office outlined on Thursday the bills the governor’s office will back during the upcoming special session, but…
Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

By Justin Horwath, New Mexico In Dept Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is running for a fourth term despite the state Democratic Party’s decision to censure…
AG announces legislative priorities for upcoming special session

AG announces legislative priorities for upcoming special session

Attorney General Raúl Torrez announced on Thursday his legislative priorities for July’s special legislative session, including the creation of a crime victim’s unit to…
LANL plans to release highly radioactive tritium to prevent explosions. Will it just release danger in the air?

LANL plans to release highly radioactive tritium to prevent explosions. Will it just release danger in the air?

By Alicia Inez Guzmán, Searchlight New Mexico Last fall, the international community rose up in defense of the Pacific Ocean. Seafood and salt purveyors,…
Program administrator outlines how waitlisted community solar projects will be selected

Program administrator outlines how waitlisted community solar projects will be selected

The program administrator for New Mexico’s community solar program released guidance Thursday for waitlisted projects. The new guidelines follow a petition from several developers…
Community organizations propose providing naturalized immigrants with public lands passes

Community organizations propose providing naturalized immigrants with public lands passes

A group of advocates are asking the federal government to give naturalized citizens a one-year pass to the national parks. President Joe Biden’s signing…
Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury secured $8.3 million for childhood development and youth services in the 1st congressional district through federal community project funding. Stansbury,…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf answered questions about the safety of human milk formula and mifepristone on Wednesday. Sen. Martin…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Texas-based Christian group trying to restrict access to abortion medication on Thursday. The case, FDA v. the…
How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

In the month of March 2024 alone, 1,650 clinician-provided abortions took place in New Mexico, according to the reproductive research organization, the Guttmacher Institute.…
Many Democrats endorsed by reproductive rights group won primaries

Many Democrats endorsed by reproductive rights group won primaries

With nearly 53 percent of the precincts reporting as of 11 p.m. Tuesday, most of the legislative candidates endorsed by Planned Parenthood Votes New…
Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Texas-based Christian group trying to restrict access to abortion medication on Thursday. The case, FDA v. the…
How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

In the month of March 2024 alone, 1,650 clinician-provided abortions took place in New Mexico, according to the reproductive research organization, the Guttmacher Institute.…
Senate Republicans block bill to ensure access to contraception

Senate Republicans block bill to ensure access to contraception

Senate Republicans blocked an effort to pass a bill to protect access to contraception this week. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján,…
Democrats announce spending on CD2 race

Democrats announce spending on CD2 race

The Democratic National Committee announced on Monday that it will spend $70,000 for organizing staff to aid U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, the Democrat trying…
Handful of legislators lose primaries

Handful of legislators lose primaries

Every legislative seat is up for grabs in 2024, which means all incumbents who sought reelection had to face the voters. Most did not…
Many Democrats endorsed by reproductive rights group won primaries

Many Democrats endorsed by reproductive rights group won primaries

With nearly 53 percent of the precincts reporting as of 11 p.m. Tuesday, most of the legislative candidates endorsed by Planned Parenthood Votes New…
Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Texas-based Christian group trying to restrict access to abortion medication on Thursday. The case, FDA v. the…
How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

In the month of March 2024 alone, 1,650 clinician-provided abortions took place in New Mexico, according to the reproductive research organization, the Guttmacher Institute.…
LANL plans to release highly radioactive tritium to prevent explosions. Will it just release danger in the air?

LANL plans to release highly radioactive tritium to prevent explosions. Will it just release danger in the air?

By Alicia Inez Guzmán, Searchlight New Mexico Last fall, the international community rose up in defense of the Pacific Ocean. Seafood and salt purveyors,…

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report