Have you ever heard of the Parent Trigger Law? It was authored by a Democrat, Gloria Romero, but has become a tool for Republicans to turn public schools into charter schools. Locally this has come to the forefront at the Palm Lane Elementary School in Anaheim.
The Parent Trigger can only be used in low performing schools – and Santa Ana has a lot of those. SAUSD Trustee Cecilia Iglesias was involved in the Palm Lane effort as an employee of State Senator Bob Huff, a Republican in north Orange County. Now she has recruited a team of candidates to take over the SAUSD School Board.
The candidates include Angie Rosario Cano, Reyna Orozco and Marilyn Bernaudo-Delgado. Cano ran previously for the School Board in 2014.
The coalition that Iglesias has put together is largely a religious one. This is the same coalition that elected former SAUSD School Board Trustee Rosie Avila so many times in years past.
Iglesias has inflamed the local teachers’ union by stating on Facebook that teachers work only 5 hours and insinuating that the teachers are overpaid. The SAUSD teachers reportedly rank 14th in teacher pay in Orange County. Iglesias says that they don’t deserve another raise because only 36% of the local students are literate or capable in math.
To us the real problems are poverty, single parent households and parents who can’t help their kids with homework due to their low education and lack of English fluency. We don’t believe any of this is the fault of the teachers, many of whom spend thousands of dollars of their own money on supplies for their overcrowded classrooms.
The SAUSD does not promote the free English classes at Santa Ana College – but they should. Because of the Unz initiative our schools cannot teach in Spanish, except for the charter schools who can pretty much do whatever they want. So it is of great importance to ensure that the parents learn English so they can help their kids with their homework.
And the SAUSD administration, led by massively overpaid Superintendent Rick Miller, who makes almost as much in income and benefits as President Barack Obama, is pushing for more computer use in classrooms. However the Chromebook computers break down a lot and there are few replacement units. Moreover the district is spending some $24 million a year on consultants – largely because of the computer programs and other programs designed to collect data about the kids instead of actually teaching them.
Are more charter schools the answer? The teachers argue that these schools cherry pick their kids and have few controls. The teachers also take umbrage at so much money leaving the already suffering public schools. While the SAUSD School Board has rejected several questionable charter schools, Iglesias’ Republican allies on the Orange County Board of Education have proven that they will approve any charter school that comes before them, overriding the SAUSD Trustees.
One of the only allies the teachers have left on the SAUSD School Board, attorney Jose Alfredo Hernandez, announced at this week’s SAUSD School Board meeting that he is not running for reelection in 2016. Iglesias is up for reelection. Now she is aiming not only to regain her seat but to also take over the entire School Board. This figures to become a hot contest in 2016.
So far the Democrats have announced only one candidate for the SAUSD School Board – union leader Gloria Alvarado. She ran for the School Board previously and lost. But so did current Trustee Valerie Amezcua and she eventually won. Amezcua is supporting Alvarado this time around.
11 thoughts on “Republicans aiming to take over the SAUSD School Board”
We need qualified people that know education. The fact that Jose Alfredo Hernandez said he was embarrassed to even be in pictures with Cecilia speaks volumes. It’s all the more hilarious that Cecilia ran away from the board meeting with her tail between her legs.
It’s so disturbing that people like her bffs such as Angie Cano (oh wait, forgot the Rosario because pandering to Latinos), or Reyna Orozco who have no background in education are trying to take over. We have a UCI Spanish Lit graduate and a mortgage underwriter. Clearly, they don’t know the way a classroom, school, or a district should run!
Eres una hipocrita Cecilia Iglesias!!! Renuncia!!!! Tu no representas los estudiantes de Santa Ana!!! Tu representas los officiales no los estudiante. Voy a expresar mi voz en el proximo eleccion local.
Is this the video where Cecilia walks away in tears?
I can only hope that people care enough next year to elect Board members who are not only passionate and invested in our community but ALSO knowledgeable and qualified to deal with the complexities of a large urban school district. It’s not enough to claim to be the former when you can’t deliver on the latter. This isn’t a small time organization. SAUSD is the 7th largest school district in California, with a $600 million dollar budget, over 56,000 students and over 4,600 employees. An organization of this size and reach requires a governing Board composed of qualified professionals with the requisite and BASIC knowledge of the issues impacting public education. Ceci’s comments (at board meetings, on social media, etc.) demonstrate, despite her self-proclaimed good intentions, that she is unfit for the role. SAUSD students deserve better.
One statement you made that stood out to me regarding failing Santa Ana schools was; “and Santa Ana has a lot of those.” I watched the well done, impressive documentary, “Waiting for Superman.” I’ve come to believe, if the people in charge of and are the ones making decisions regarding the education of children, really cared about children, much different decisions would be made. But it seems to be about power, control, egos etc etc. As a result the children get kicked to the curb. Based on the apparent tremendous success of the charter schools in the video “Waiting for superman,” and the apparent failure of the public school in the same video, it would seem that the people running the failing schools would be breaking down the doors of the successful charter schools and demanding that they immediately share their plan with the public schools. I know, that just makes to much “common” sense. That’s how you would expect mature, intelligent, caring people to act. But when their true interest and desires are about power and self-centered promotion, that is just to much to expect. I’m less concerned about the political party, than I am about putting good, caring, self-denying people who truly have the best interest of the children as their priority and goal, in office. Democrat an/or Republican party, I could care less,just as long as they throw a few parties during the year with some good food….lol.
(foot note aka a rabbit trail)
I grew up in Santa Ana. From kindergarten at Wilson elementary, to Willard Jr. High, to Graduate from Santa Ana High, class of 65. We had all we needed in order to be given a good education. I don’t recalled money being a problem. We even had a tackle football program in Jr High. And, you won’t believe this, teachers were allow to give us swats on our butts. I remember the boys dean at Willard, Mr Koral, I believe, was his name. Mr Koral kept a paddle in his desk, about 2 plus feet long with small holes drilled in it. You got out of line, and you felt the wrath of Mr Koral. Loved that man, he was fair, and he cared about us. If you got a swat, you didn’t complain because you knew you deserved it. Then you would get it with a tennis shoe(old converse, size 13), in PE classes. And no parents ever complained or demanded, “you better not touch my child”… All we suffered was a sore butt, but it sure created some very respectful kids, and school was so much fun. Anyway, I’m reminiscing about what’s called “the good old days.” Put some of these values back in schools and it will make a difference. Teachers could focus more on teaching and the kids that want to learn could learn. It would save money on building special schools for those who are labeled “trouble makers.” A bit of discipline goes a long long way.
You made some good points about parents learning English, doing something about that overpaid dude and the wasted money on consulting services(24 mil, the thought makes my stomach hurt….along with my head). Get rid of those chrome computers, I have one(brand new) and its about the most irritating, dumbest computer on the market(mine doesn’t even have a caps lock key, go figure, but it was a gift, so I guess I shouldn’t complain,… to much..lol). I have a 10 inch tablet I paid around $60 for(used) and I’ve had it for over 2 yrs. Its fast, works great, and has never broke down and, you won’t believe this, I’ve never had to hire a consultant. Kids love them. Or they could give the kids assignments and they could just use their phones. They are on them anyway, they could take selfies of themselves doing their homework and of each other doing home work. Probably not as exciting as filming and posting fights, but much more productive. right on? There, we just got rid of the computer problem and the consultants and saved a cruise liner load of money. Now, just one more thing to do, we got to work on that overpaid guy. So, I think anyone who puts his glasses in his shirt pocket with part of it hanging on the outside and wears a goatee in this day and age should just flat out be fired.. Anyway, its a thought.
Yes, I think charter schools should “cheery pick” their students, case by case, with some reasonable guidelines of course. In this culture, that’s a way to make sure you get the kids who want to learn and parents who care and willing cooperate and partner w/ the school, and teachers in their child’s education. The schools where the non-picked kids will attend, are then faced with the challenge to motivate those kids to work hard, with the reward of getting in the charter school as a result of their hard work, and staying out of trouble. Wow, what a concept. Hard work? Sure won’t hurt their so-called, fragile “self-esteem” to develop values, such as, integrity, respect for others, discipline, honesty etc etc. Wow, unbelievable, another unique concept, you mean actually teach kids respect and honesty? Look out, I’m on a roll.
Anyhow, I’m all in favor of a changing of the guard, if the new guard will make changes that will improve our schools. Call them charter schools or whatever, fix what’s broken and do it all for the children.
As you can tell, I’m retired, and I have way to much time on my hands….
You have some good points, however a “changing of the guard” should happen at the district level, not the school level.
You mention “successful” charter schools. We already KNOW their “SECRET”.
Any school can be successful when they can hand pick their students, or even later turn them away for not fitting the mold, as well as choose their own curriculum. At the same time, they don’t take the same tests as regular public schools, nor near as many as SAUSD has our students taking. More testing means less time teaching. Different tests means you can’t really compare. So how do we really know charter schools are better, if they only take certain types of students and families (they usually have to commit to being involved), and they don’t use the same measuring stick?
I’m sorry, but anything they can boast about, in my opinion, is due to having the best of all worlds to create their own educational program, and regular oublic schools aren’t allowed to do that. THAT is why we aren’t knocking down their doors demanding to know their secret. We already know!
Watch “Waiting for Superman” again. In the documentary, they admit an important truth about charter schools that you apparently missed: Only 35% of charter schools outperform the local public school.
So nearly 2/3 of the charter schools either underperform or at best match the performance of the public schools, despite being able to cherry pick students and send the ones they don’t like back to the public school and not take special Ed students and mainstream them into classes with the general population.
This takeover needs to be stopped. These people want to destroy public education.
This is a shame, teachers are to be honored, not attacked. Talk to them , they do the real work.
75% of all students in SAUSD are not meeting standards in English Language Arts and 79% in Math! (http://edsource.org/smarter-balanced-results/search_school_districts.html) So, all of these pundits who continue to rail on charter schools, take a good look in the mirror. The only data that matters is that SAUSD IS FAILING THEIR STUDENTS! No spin doctoring will demonstrate otherwise. Something powerful needs to be done for these families and focus needs to be placed on kids, not teachers’ jobs. The union is continuing to support no just status quo, which is terrible, but educational oppression, when choice is taken from parents. If they want to go to a charter, so be it. Rosa Parks didn’t want to sit at the back of the bus! When 3/4 or more of your students are FAILING, to think we are all just foolish and uninformed enough to look away is a mistake. It’s time the parents know the truth about SAUSD, and the union needs to stop deflecting their blatant support of “adults over children” onto Ceci.