Gloria Romero, a leading education reformer and former Democratic state Senator from Los Angeles, took direct aim at Anaheim council candidate Jose F. Moreno in today’s OC Register editorial page.
As readers know, Moreno is long-time member of the Anaheim City School District Board of Education. Romero blasts Moreno for “suppressing” the efforts of Palm Lane Elementary School parents to utilize the state Parent Trigger law and convert Palm Lane to a charter school. She also notes the chasm between Moreno’s rhetoric on Latino empowerment in the context of the Anaheim City Council, and the reality of suppressing this attempt by Latino parents to empower themselves for the sake of their children’s education.
For awhile, [Palm Lane Elementary] parents were hopeful: Principal Roberto Baeza had assumed leadership, bringing with him a stellar record of excellence and respect for parents. That ended when he was inexplicably removed by the Anaheim City School District in May. Parents approached the school board, including the sole Latino representative, Jose Moreno, but felt rebuffed.
That’s when parents decided to use California’s Parent Trigger law, which enables parents to transform such chronically underperforming schools. Although parents still hope Baeza will return, they’ve decided to try to convert Palm Lane into a charter school. Los Angeles Unified and other CORE districts have won an exemption from the law, but Anaheim City is not one of those districts.
Parents thought it might be helpful to seek support from Los Amigos of Orange County – a Latino advocacy organization headed by Moreno. I joined them Wednesday at a meeting to appeal to club members. Not only did they leave with no support, but Moreno missed the presentation. He told the parents afterward in the parking lot that he was displeased with their actions.
Why, they wondered? “This isn’t Mexico, with a patronage system,” observed parent leader Cecilia Ochoa. “He shouldn’t stop us or tell us we’re ‘embarrassing’ him for organizing on our own.”
Yet, within 48 hours, Moreno was meeting with the club’s Education committee to express his opposition with the parents’ reform efforts.
What is particularly ironic is that Moreno recently sued the city of Anaheim, seeking greater Latino empowerment. He cited the failure of the very schools the parents are seeking to transform. Moreno said, “Anaheim … [Latinos] have suffered from, and continue to bear the effects of, past discrimination in … education … which hinder their ability to participate effectively in the political process. … In Anaheim, there are significant disparities in the educational levels of Latino and non-Latino white residents. … Only 53 percent of Latinos 25 or older have graduated from high school.”
His lawsuit fails to mention that he has been a school board member for eight years, with the power to work on turning around these failing schools he decries. Given his lawsuit, shouldn’t he support the parents’ reform efforts, rather than try to sabotage them?
Why, indeed? It’s akin to Moreno’s strident demands that Anaheim immediately impose single-member council districts, while at the same time refusing to take the simply step of bringing district elections to his own school district.
Residents across Anaheim should be thankful that Ms. Romero and the Palm Lane parents are speaking out and exposing this man for the political opportunist he really is. There is no desire to serve the Latino community – it’s all about self promotion for Dr. Moreno. If he cared about districts he would have implemented them at ACSD which is 70 percent or more Latino students. Let’s hope the voters put an end to his machinations in November. It takes a lot of courage for these Moms to stand up and speak the truth and they are fortunate to have an advocate in Gloria Romero.
Romero is a vendida, an opportunist, which is why her op-ed fits nicely on this blog.
Gosh, if Gabriel says it is so, then by golly it must be so!
Yup, and it’s why she stands cheek-to-jowl with Roberto Baeza to try to discredit … I won’t go on.
Nice, Vern. Reminds me of how you denigrated those protesting Palm Lane Elementary School parents as a “pitchfork crowd.” Don’t those ignorant proles know better than to second-guess the experts about what is best for them and their children?
I was talking to Gabriel actually, he’s right about Romero. Here’s a couple of examples of Romero’s honesty in this piece:
She dings Moreno for “missing her presentation” at Los Amigos – but she knew perfectly well that he had to be at court that day, and she came to give her “presentation” anyway.
Also she perpetuates the “for SOME reason Baeza was removed” innuendo, when as I reported in that famous piece, it was simply part of a standard principal rotation that happens all the time.
Gabriel should know that, whatever his disagreements and disappointments have been with Moreno, Baeza and Romero are both highly political reactionaries who are in tight with the Murray-Eastman majority and want to keep them in power.
Vern, you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. But you acquit yourself well in peddling the party line.
What party would that be?
The “What Jose Moreno Told Me and I Repeated” party.
…combined with the “What I Saw With my Own Two Eyes” party.
Really? Did you really see parents with pitchforks?
And Jose Moreno isn’t an opportunist aided by a vendido school board and dumber than dirt superintendent? Why don’t you ask employees of Anaheim Elementary District what they think of Moreno? Isn’t he known as the Malinche Moreno?
Re: “Only 53 percent of Latinos 25 or older have graduated from high school.”
Romero is disingenuous to use this statistic to indict our K-12 public school system, as many of those people did not drop out of our public schools, but lacked high school diplomas when they immigrated here. If Romero wants this population to get a high school diploma then she should lobby for adult education. Superintendent Deasy, a reformer, gutted adult education when he was in charge of LA Unified.
If Romero really cared about education, she would work to improve the public school system, a system free and open to everybody. Blaming the teachers union for failing schools makes no sense because union teachers work in high performing public school districts too. If the teachers union were the problem then every school in which they teach would be failing but that’s not the case. Schools tend to reflect the community at large, which means that a dysfunctional community will tend to have a dysfunctional school. Address the underlying problem instead of being a tool for billionaires who want to gut a system that has worked for a long time and made America great.
These billionaire reformers and their lackeys have dumbed down the curriculum with Common Core, and are siphoning money from public school districts and transferring it to charter management companies that offer students unqualified teachers and iPads, not to mention excessively authoritarian environments. Look up Whole Brain teaching on You Tube.
Ms. Romero, please read a book called The Miseducation of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson. It was published in 1932, but today, in 2014, it applies to you.
Have a nice day!