Dr. Roberto Baeza

Dr. Roberto Baeza

This is a bit unusual for me, but I’d like to re-publish, as a  stand-alone post, this comment left early this morning by a “Heather J” regarding the decision by the brand-new superintendent of the Anaheim City School District (ACSD) to transfer the popular and successful principal of Benito Juarez Elementary School – apparently in the face of opposition from parents — barely two weeks after she arrived at ACSD.

While the commenter used a pseudonym, I reached out to others knowledgeable about Anaheim schools and corroborated what the commenter is saying.

According to the comment, there is a rally of school parents this evening at Juarez Park.

Now, for the comment itself [NOTE – in response to valid criticism from some commenters, I’ve edited the following to keep the focus on Benito Juarez Elementary.]:

Moreno asks for transparency???? What a hypocrite! He is a tyrant and a showman.

Last week, it was announced that the principal of Benito Juarez Elementary School in the Anaheim City School District would be transferred to another Anaheim school. Dr. Roberto Baeza is just now reaching his 5th year as our principal. If you look up the test scores of our school, which is the current gauge for current accountability efforts, Juarez has had an upward trend since Dr. Baeza arrived at the school. I mention test scores only because progress as measured by test scores is evident under the leadership of Dr. Baeza.

But that is not all he has achieved in his 5 years as principal. Parent engagement is up. The children love our principal. He is connected to them and it is evident as you walk the campus with him. We, the parents, trust this man to be in charge of our children’s education. His rapport with all in this community is evident in how approachable he is to children and adults alike. He has rid our school of mediocre teachers and is vigilant about our children’s safety.

Two years ago, he was told he would be opening up the second of the dual-language immersion programs in the Anaheim City School District – the first was opened at Price Elementary. Well, Dr. Baeza has exceeded the expectations because he has chosen amazing teachers and keeps a watchful eye on the instruction happening in these classrooms as well as all of the other classrooms.

However, Dr. Jose Moreno, a meddlesome and selfish Board member has an ax to grind with our principal. It was known this was true as Dr. Baeza was considered for appointment to the Anaheim Union High School Board and did not receive the support of Dr. Moreno who is suing the city for lack of Latino representation. This is interesting because the AUHSD Board doesn’t have Latino representation either, yet Moreno remained silent.

Now with the help of a new superintendent, Dr. Linda Wagner, Moreno is behind the removal of our principal. She has been superintendent of the Anaheim City School district all of 24 days. She had not been in our classrooms, knows nothing about our school, can’t remember people’s names, and had promised to “learn and listen over the next 100 days.”

Well her decision, she told us in a meeting, was that Dr. Baeza was the best principal and therefore would be moved to Palm Lane which has more needs at this time that Baeza can help fix. This was decided in less than 19 days. What happened to the 100 days?

Moreno demands that parents always be considered but now he doesn’t care about our Juarez parent community because we support a man he can’t control and has maintained a strictly academic dual immersion program rather than allowing Moreno and his allies to turn it into a Latino indoctrination program.

Dr. Moreno, we need your help in exposing this unfair action by this disconnected superintendent and we need you to stop being an evil and callous Board member who dominates the others.

We have a parent meeting scheduled tonight at Juarez Park to rally support not only for Dr. Baeza but most importantly to highlight the lack of respect and care this know-nothing woman has demonstrated towards us parents. She wrote a book entitled the SAVVY SUPERINTENDENT. Yet her reckless behavior demonstrates the opposite. How did 100 days turn into 18 or 19 days, which is when the decision to transfer Dr. Baeza was made?

While we acknowledge that Dr. Baeza may not remain with us much longer, we resent the arbitrariness and arrogance of this woman and the apparent pushing out of a principal who does what is right even when it is not popular.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this, but it strikes me as premature and precipitous to come into a district, promise to listen and learn for 100 days and then push out a very successful principal, and judging by other sources, at the behest of ACSD Board of Education Member Jose Moreno.