Saturday, April 28, 2012

Want to see Mónica García's 15 Minutes of Infamy come to an end?

Donate 15 to Recall Monica GarciaWant to see the schoolboard member most responsible for privatization and cuts to services crucial to immigrant and impoverished families get her own personal pink slip? All it will take is FIFTEEN of your Dollars, FIFTEEN Hours of your time, and for you to Tell FIFTEEN of your Friends.

Donate 15 Dollars to the recall campaign

Of course we won't be mad if you add a zero or two to that figure, but we'll take what we can get. It costs money to print petitions, and we don't have any "big funders" like Mónica García does. Donate now at If you want to donate offline, we can do that too.

Donate 15 Hours to the recall campaign

We need volunteers to collect signatures, help organize, and a host of other tasks. If you are a registered voter, we'd love to have you circulate the recall petitions. We have a bunch of jobs that need community members driven by their pasion to restore School Readiness Language Development Program (SRLDP), Early Education Centers (EEC), Elementary Arts, and the Division of Adult and Career Education (DACE). Sign up as a volunteer at

Share the recall campaign with 15 friends

Share the recall website, our facebook page, and our twitter account. Talk to your friends, colleagues, and family members. If you're an activist or educator in District 2, let parents know that people are fighting back against the budget cuts and privatization. The more people we can get to give 15, 15, and 15, the better chance we have of successfully recalling the Board President.

This campaign is about sending a clear message!

The recall campaign isn't about García as an individual. Instead it's a repudiation against budget priorities and policies that are not in line with our community. All of the LAUSD Trustees need to know that they will be held accountable for decisions that are harmful to the ninety-nine percent. We want LAUSD to answer to every nieghborhood, not just 10900 Wilshire Boulevard!


Friday, April 27, 2012

RALLY in the VALLEY to Save LAUSD Adult Education!

RALLY in the VALLEY to Save LAUSD Adult Education!

Van Nuys Government Center
6262 Van Nuys Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91401


Friday, April 20, 2012

Parents Across America Action Alert: Help fight ALEC!

Parents Across America is a grass roots organization against corporate charter school privatization scheme! Help fight ALEC! You may have been reading about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) lately because this group wrote the controversial Florida "Stand Your Ground" law involved in the Trayvon Martin case. They were also behind the union-busting and voter ID laws in Wisconsin.    ALEC is a secretive business-backed group that writes conservative legislation and then spreads it rapidly across the nation with the help of wealthy individual and corporate sponsors.

PAA warned parents a year ago about ALEC's education initiatives, which include promoting the "parent trigger," vouchers, and virtual learning.

Now ALEC is being exposed nationwide and many of its sponsors are fleeing the wreckage. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Kraft have already jumped ship. McDonald's pulled out yesterday as a result of organized pressure. Bill Gates has said he will not renew his current support for ALEC's online education and teacher merit pay initiatives.

Help turn up the heat on other ALEC funders and put an end to their ramrodding bad laws through states before the people even know what's happening. Sign this petition asking AT&T, State Farm, and Johnson & Johnson to stop funding ALEC. Thanks!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Activists Announce the Recall Campaign of LAUSD President Mónica García

She has failed to listen to our voices, the students, and she refuses to see any of us to hear our stories. — Mary Ann Reyes

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 saw nearly three dozen parents, students, and activists hold a press conference in front of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Room announcing the start of an official recall campaign for LAUSD Board of Education President Mónica García.

Speakers announced Ms. García had been served with a Notice of Intent to Recall on April 7, 2012, and the City Clerk of Los Angeles was provided appropriate papers as part of the protocols for recall. While Ms. García's privatization policies and wrongheaded budget priorities have long been an anathema to social justice activists, the recall proponents cited Ms. García's recent unconscionable cuts to critical programs including School Readiness Language Development Program, Early Education Centers, Elementary Arts, and Adult Education, while the district holds over $700 million in reserve as the final straw. The text of the Notice of Intent follows:


Vera Padilla, Maryanne Reyes, José Lara, Ken Montenegro, Robert D. Skeels


Mónica García has consistently ignored the voices and needs of our parents, students and communities, employing repression to stifle legitimate dissent. Under García's leadership, tens of thousands of teachers, librarians, and health and human service employees have been subjected to reduction in force notices. While some of these educators have been rehired, the net effect has been teacher demoralization; a disincentive to enter the teaching profession; a disruption and marginalization of impoverished schools; and arguably illegal classroom overcrowding. Under García's watch, hundreds of millions of dollars in LAUSD properties and resources have been given to privately managed charter school corporations, systematically starving public schools of resources. García has overseen several destructive school reconstitutions and closures, despite warnings from scholars that such drastic “reforms” do nothing to improve outcomes. García has been a party to handing public schools over to charter corporations which are documented to perform worse than the schools they replaced. The hallmark of García's tenure has been hundreds of millions of dollars squandered on unnecessary tests, consultants, and questionable hiring priorities. This budget mismanagement has led to the current situation where programs critical to poor and immigrant families including: The School Readiness Language Development Program, Early Education Centers, Elementary Arts, and Adult Education have been cut, while the District holds $700 million in reserve. Under García, LAUSD has taken Federal Title I and Title III funds (supporting low-income students and English Language Learners respectively) away from school sites. We believe García’s abysmal failure to address the needs of LAUSD District 2 stakeholders leaves us no option but to demand her recall.



Vera Padilla, Maryanne Reyes, José Lara, Ken Montenegro, Robert D. Skeels



Mónica García continuamente ha ignorado las voces y las necesidades de nuestros padres de familia, estudiantes y comunidades, usando la represión para sofocar la legítima disidencia. Bajo el liderazgo de García, decenas de miles de maestros, bibliotecarios, empleados de salud y servicios humanos han recibido cartas de despido.  Aunque algunos de estos docentes han sido contratados de nuevo, el resultado neto ha sido la desmoralización de los maestros, la falta de incentivos para cursar la carrera magisterial, la interrupción y marginalización de escuelas en áreas con altos índices de pobreza, y podría decirse el hacinamiento ilegal de los salones de clase. Bajo la vigilancia de García, cientos de millones de dólares en propiedades y recursos del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles (LAUSD) se han canalizado a empresas de gestión privada que operan las escuelas “charter”, mientras que se quitan recursos de las escuelas públicas de manera sistemática. García ha supervisado la reorganización y cierre de múltiples escuelas a pesar de las advertencias de expertos que indican que éstas “reformas” drásticas no hacen nada para mejorar el rendimiento de las escuelas. García también ha tomado parte en la entrega de escuelas públicas a empresas “charter” las cuales están documentadas de tener un peor desempeño que las escuelas a las que sustituyen. El estandarte de la presidencia de García ha sido cientos de millones de dólares despilfarrados en exámenes innecesarias, consultores y cuestionables prioridades de contratación. El mal manejo del presupuesto nos ha traído a la situación actual en la que programas esenciales para familias de bajos recursos y inmigrantes como el Programa de Preparación del Desarrollo de Lenguaje Para la Escuela (SRLDP), Centros de Educación Temprana, Arte para las Escuelas Primarias y Educación para Adultos han sido recortados, mientras el Distrito mantiene 700 millones de dólares en reservas. Bajo la dirección de García, el Distrito ha quitado a fondos federales de Título I y Título III (fondos de apoyo para estudiantes de bajos recursos y estudiantes cuya primera lengua no es el inglés, respectivamente) de las escuelas. Creemos que el fracaso abismal de García de atender las necesidades de las partes interesadas del Distrito 2, parte del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles, no nos deja otra opción más que exigir su destitución.  

모니카 갈시아, 엘에이 제2구역 교육위원, 퇴진을 위한 공고문

Vera Padilla (베라 파딜라), Maryanne Reyes (메리앤 레이스), José Lara (호세 라라), Ken Montenegro (켄 모테네그로), Robert D. Skeels (로버트 디. 스킬즈)

퇴진해야 할 이유 진술문

모니카 갈시아는 학부모, 학생, 그리고 지역사회의 필요한 요구사항과 의견들을 끊임없이 무시해 왔으며, 모니카의 의견에 법적으로 반대하는 사람들을 억압해 왔습니다. 모니카의 강압에 의해, 수많은 선생님들, 도서관 직원들, 보건과 복지사업 종사자들이 해고 통지서를 받았습니다. 몇몇 교육자들이 재취업 되는동안, 선생들의 사기를 저하시키고, 선생님이 되고 싶어하는 사람들의 의욕을 꺾었으며, 교육의 질을 낮추면서 혼란을 가져오고, 불법적으로 한 학급에 많은 학생을 두게 했습니다. 모니카의 지배아래, 몇 백만 달러의 엘에이교육위원회 재산과 자원들이, 모니카의 개인적 관리아래, 조직적으로 공교육을 무시하고 기업이 운영하는 챠털스쿨을 지원하고 있습니다. 교육 전문가들은 모니카가 추구하고 있는 교육 개혁안들이 교육발전에 아무런 기여도 하지 못한다고 경고했습니다. 그럼에도 불구하고 모니카는 기존의 제도를 무너뜨리고 여러 학교들을 폐교시키는 파괴행위를 자행해 오고 있습니다. 모니카는 정치적인 마인드를 가지고 공립학교들 (public schools)을 기업이 운영하는 챠털학교 (charter corporations)로 넘겨 주고 있습니다. 그러나 보고된 자료에 의하면 챠털학교의 교육의 질이 공립학교 교육에 비해 훨씬 떨어진다고 합니다. 모니카가 재직하고 있는 동안에 수백만 달러가 필요없는 시험, 상담 그리고 의문스러운 사람고용에 사용되고있습니다. 교육위원회가 700만달러를 보유하고 있으면서도, 예산을 잘못된 곳에 사용하면서도, 저소득층 학생과 이민자 가족, 즉 언어읽기 발달능력 프로그램, 조기 교육센터, 초등학교 예능교육, 성인교육(어덜트스쿨)에게 예산을 없애는 심각한 상황을 초래하고 있습니다. 모니카의 지도아래, 정부직함1과 직함2 (저소득층 학생과 영어습득자들을 위한 지원금)을 학교 웹페이지에서 삭제했습니다. 우리는 모니카가 최악의 지도력으로 엘에이 제2구역 교육 이해당사자의 당연히 필요한 요구와 의견을 무시한 것을 선언하고 퇴진할 것을 공고합니다.

The five proponents of the recall are all long-time LAUSD District 2 residents comprised of one student, one teacher, and three community activists. Two of the proponents were participants in the highly successful OccupyLAUSD campaign that brought the abject truth to the consciousness of the Los Angeles public that members of the one percent including Philip Anschutz, Stephen Bing, Eli Broad, Jerry Perenchio, and Bill Gates control LAUSD.

The recall campaign was started in response to hundreds of poor and immigrant families wanting to see a LAUSD budget that puts their needs ahead of wasteful and unnecessary testing that degrades their children and deprofessionalizes teaching. Many Adult Education students, qualified to collect signatures on the recall petitions, have already volunteered for the campaign. The media coverage at the press conference was extremely favorable, and activists vow to bring their issues to the forefront of the education debates that until now have excluded those most affected by LAUSD policies.

Currently the proponents are on schedule to begin circulating petitions in late April or early May. They welcome any and all support from grassroots community members, progressive organizations, and organized labor. If successful in gathering the signatures of 26,608 registered voters in LAUSD District 2, then a special recall election will be scheduled.

Learn More and Get Involved
Recall Monica Garcia Recall Monica Garcia Recall Monica Garcia Recall Monica Garcia Recall Monica Garcia Recall Monica Garcia
First two Photos by Yoon Jung Lee, following four by Photo by Pocho-one Fotography


United Adult Students Meeting, April 21, 2012

20120421 United Adult Students Meeting


¡No La Quieren Mónica García!

"When she needed us, to get to the position she's in, we were there for her. Now that we need her, she isn't helping us. We don't want Monica Garcia to keep her position...She is affecting the needs of our communities, our children and our families." — Enoe Terra (Parent and Adult Student)

Learn More and Get Involved


Saturday, April 14, 2012

A promotional video about the organization that created the Parent Trigger

The Parent Trigger, or Parent Empowerment Law, was crafted by the fringe-right-wing group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

"I wrote the nation's first parent trigger law in California." — Sen. (Ret) Gloria J. Romero

Ms. Romero really means is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) wrote the charter trigger law and she put her name on it.

This is no different than the myriad bills the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) provided her with to do the same. Where the mendacious Romero talks about parents and children she really means charter executives and their deep pocketed lobbyists. For example Romero's SB 592 which handed public school property paid for by taxpayers over to private corporations.

Romero's biography always forgets to mention her honorary membership in the John Birch Society, as evidenced by her deep connections to the Koret Foundation and Hoover Institution. For a better understanding of ALEC operative Gloria Romero, see: Peas in a pod: Koret Foundation, The Hoover Institution, and Democrats for Education Reform.


Sunday, April 08, 2012

Highs And Lows? More like a Year of Woe! Deasy has got to go.

I was interested in the fact that the scandal over Deasy's PhD hit the headlines at the same time he was hired by Gates. His financial connections with Robert Felner date back to his Santa Monica days — Susan Ohanian

Plutocratic priest of privatization, LAUSD Superintendent John DeasyLast week the Los Angeles press was effusive with anniversary homages to Eli Broad and Bill Gates' personally selected poverty pimp, Superintendent John Deasy. Short on facts and long on neoliberal cheerleading, the articles paint the man who has shuttered libraries and killed programs depended on by countless desperate poor and immigrant families as some kind of thoughtful hero. The Huffington Post jumped on the bandwagon, paying political tribute to the pirate king. My comments on The Huffington Post's Lucy Blodget's gushing love letter to Deasy are duplicated here:

The debut has been disastrous. Deasy squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on highly discredited programs like VAM/AGT. He spent millions more on costly tests that aren't mandated. Meanwhile, programs critical to impoverished and immigrant communities were cut entirely including: SRLDP, EEC, Elementary Arts, and Adult Education. I document much of Deasy's 1% spending spree in NCL:

Peer reviewed academic studies find only three things improve student performance when poverty is accounted for. Reduced class size, teacher experience, and access to books. My Schools Matter writing colleague Professor Krashen has done expensive research on the latter. Deasy's response to allowing poor children access to books? Close countless school libraries and fire numerous librarians, while telling poor children to buy iPads. I discuss this tragic incident in:

Others mentioned his stealing Title I and III funds to pay for his VAM/AGT white whale, and elimination of the only voice community and parents had in councils. Eliminating parental input, he brings in the vile Maria Casillas, whose long career in service to the lucrative charter-voucher industry belies Deasy's purposes.

On balance Deasy has been everything one would expect the plutocrats Broad and Gates to unleash on the working people of Los Angeles. We need a schoolboard that will eliminate him and get a superintendent that will place pupils above profits.

I also took issue with another Deasy fanfare in the Los Angeles Times, but chose to comment on a single turn of phrase which was incredulous, even by their standards.

One of you penned: "...diverse organizations as the Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, the Urban League and InnerCity Struggle, an Eastside community group."

Since both Urban League and Inner City Struggle are funded by the United Way, just how "diverse" are these groups?

Moreover, outside the plutocrat Billionaire Boys Club that comprises United Way's Tocqueville Society, the vast majority of their donors are the well heeled and quite reactionary members of the Chamber of Commerce.

In other words, diversity would be the last word that one would use to describe an essentially monolithic set of groups with an identical right-wing privatization agenda.

Two recent essays speaking truth to Deasy's power are valuable and enjoyable reads.

LAUSD’s Dark Lord, Dr. John Deasy
by John Mears
LAUSD Superintendent of Schools John Deasy Must Go
by Joseph K.

Of course, if my current endeavors are successful, one of the first things I'll do is push to start a search for a qualified Superintendent for LAUSD, since no such search was conducted when Ramon Cortines stepped down.

The Susan Ohanian piece quoted above says: "Many speculate that the Gates job was just a holding pattern for the Los Angeles appointment, which will give him the opportunity to turn LA in to the Gates model district." The broad base of community members, parents, and educators that I work with on a constant basis don't want a "Gates model district," we want a social justice model district.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

What is Prop 39, and What is the Colocation Fightback?

[click here if you can't hear this audio]

Politics or Pedagogy - KPFK - with John Cromshow and guest Robert D. Skeels. March 31, 2012 source: KPKF 90.7 Discussing the social justice struggles against Proposition 39, especially the efforts to save beloved Micheltorena Elementary School in Silver Lake from the deep pocketed Citizens of The World Charter Corporation.


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

"Almost equal" in Arizona

"It think this is a great country. In some countries I might be actually locked up for teaching the way I have, but in this country, I'm just banned from doing it." — Curtis Acosta (TUSD Teacher)

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Tucson's Mexican-American Studies Ban
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Tucson's Mexican-American Studies Ban is the Daily Show's humorous, but poignent look at the racist reactionary ban of ethnic studies in Arizona.