From Xavier Miranda

Xavier Miranda sent this in:

In the Best Interest of Our Children

Concerted efforts to privatize our public schools are being implemented with potential calamitous consequences for our children.
Business-reform models discussed on the golf course continue to be applied without any verified empirical evidence or tangible framework. The rationale provided is classic “policy-based evidence,” that is rarely challenged. Such reforms stimulate the private sector by creating profitable ventures at the expense of our children.
Here are a few condensed examples:
  • Our children are gradually becoming 1 of 200+ students on a high school teacher’s roster. Personalized instruction, wherein the whole child is taught, will be relegated to a one-size-fits-all model, under the guise of online learning enhancements and blended instruction. This model is not effective, yet district administrators hired Tom Vander Ark, who is instrumental in the privatization movement of public education. Below are a reference number and a link that provide insight.
    • EPISD Solicitation: RFQ #15-028 Strategic Planning Services for Getting Smart, LLC for $125,000
  • Based on the Jacobs Engineering Firm report, the Board of Managers has recommended the consolidation of  some elementary and middle schools, and subsequent conversion toKindergarten through 8th grade settings. This transition disregards the emotional, physical, and social development of our children.
  • The Board of Managers has yet to resolve the ongoing TEA investigations associated with the Lorenzo Garcia scheme. Yet, punitive economic and personnel measures are passed on to employees, while accumulating a district-level administrative team that averages approximately $100,000.
  • The Board of Managers, led by Dee Margo and Carmen Candelaria-Arrieta, have publicly stated that our district will be facing a $17 million shortfall, yet they award  an exorbitant $1.4 million to MNK Architecture, Inc. to merely design a new Central Office—yet the Board recommends the closure of schools to save money. 
  • Through the formation of the Public Corporation, the Board of Managers has effectively circumvented the democratic process of allowing taxpayers to vote on the aforementioned construction, and burden our tax-base with a $29 million bill.The Board of Managers also found $1.3 million to pay the Jacobs Engineering Firm to provide a study, which contradicts the Texas Education Agency’s projected population growth, while recommending the closure of 22 schools. All these expenditures in the shadow of a $17 million budget shortfall. 

 

These developments beg the question, How do these reforms best serve our children? 
Such concerns can be effectively addressed, at our community-generated forum for all EPISD School Board of Trustees candidates. Given the number of individuals running, the current Board of Managers will likely be in power until July when run-off elections conclude. Meanwhile, vital decisions will continue to be made without community input. Meetings will accommodate for the Managers’ schedules, without any regard for the rest who work a typical 9-5 day, essentially muting our voice.
Please plan on attending this forum on Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 9 AM to 12 noon at Cafe Mayapan, located at 2000 Texas Avenue. 
 
(The Facebook link below provides detailed information and allows you to spread the word to interested folks.)
 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1598489520365484/

It is requested that our elected officials attend, as these issues affect the economic outlook of our community. It would be of great benefit to students from UTEP’s College of Education to attend and catch a glimpse of how education is being directed. Lastly, it would be of immense value to have the Board of Managers attend and acknowledge the insight of our community.
On a personal note, I invite all to take time from their busy schedules to visit and shadow our teachers, coaches, and administrators to gain a valuable perspective to what we do for the children of our community. Feel free to contact me to make the necessary arrangements. 
Best Regards,
Xavier Miranda
El Paso Grassroots

 

9 Responses to From Xavier Miranda

  1. balmorhea says:

    DD – Your opinion would carry more weight if you took out the attempts to run down others based on your political views. Your cheap shots are easy to make but they weaken what may be valid points.

    Like

  2. Stop Public Education says:

    The very idea that public education can somehow be “fixed” is laughable. It is inherently flawed, and can never work because those who are within the system benefit completely regardless of results. Kids are not learning, yet year after year the teachers and administration enjoy raises and tremendous benefits. Then they turn around and oppose anything even resembling a methodology measuring progress in the children’s learning. They actually blame their lack of results on the testing. The best way to “fix” education is to make parent’s responsible for their children’s education. Then they will see it as less of a daycare and more of an investment. They will help their children learn and will hold teachers accountable. A private school system doesn’t have the bloat associated with public infrastructure, and people can be fired for non-performance. Allowing any system to feed itself by forcing higher taxes only results in an increasingly hungry system. Now they want almost half a billion dollars for YISD, because they neglected their existing facilities. If I bought my child a car and they neglected it, I wouldn’t then turn around and buy him a Corvette.

    Like

    • Deputy Dawg says:

      Dear Stop:
      By what measure do you make the claim that children “are not learning?”
      Also, how would you enforce making “parents responsible for their children’s education?”
      In the essay that Javier wrote, he specifically argues AGAINST privatizing education.

      Like

  3. Jerry Kurtyka says:

    I have now a simple rule after watching EPISD and YISD taken over by the State: Never vote to give them a bond issue. They do not know what they are doing and, when they do something, they screw it up. Then there is the “can you trust them?” matter. No.

    Like

  4. Deputy Dawg says:

    Specious at best.

    Mr. Miranda likes to take lots of discrepant topics and make them sound as if they are one big conspiracy against, depending on who he is writing or speaking to: kids, teachers, administrators, the public, parents…. He is becoming the Ramnath Subramnian and Fox News of El Paso Speak. Thank you Brutus for giving him a forum. I can now stop reading the Times and watching Bill O’Reilly.

    Although each of his points could easily be disproved, let’s pick the low hanging fruit of K-8 schools. Many of you probably went through a K-8 school. I went to one and seem to be ok (although some will argue the opposite). In fact, for many years, almost all schools in the area were K-8 schools.

    In this area, there still are many K-8 campuses, including MacArthur in EPISD, where parents have time and time again over the years fought to keep it a K-8 campus whenever the idea of breaking it into a middle school has come up. Now why is that? Why would parent FIGHT to keep a campus a K-8 if they are so bad for the “emotional, physical, and social development of our children?” Why would Socorro and Ysleta have K-8 campuses? Are those children emotionally, physically, and socially deficient somehow? Of course not. It is a non-argument.

    It is a non-argument because they actually are not bad. There is much evidence that K-8 schools are actually more effective than the current K-5 then Middle School model.

    (http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr06/vol63/num07/Mayhem-in-the-Middle@-Why-We-Should-Shift-to-K–8.aspx)

    So, one bullet point down. The rest are just as easily disproved, unless you are wearing a tinfoil hat. You will have to take that off occasionally.

    Like

    • Reality Checker says:

      Dawg, this might be good for you. I find that when I spend less time watching the cable news channels and turn off talk radio, I am more calm and a little less p!$$#d off. They like politicians are all just playing the public for their own financial gain.

      Like

      • Deputy Dawg says:

        I get irritated when people make claims that go unchallenged…sigh…deep breath…chant my mantra…ooooohhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

        Like

        • Kelly says:

          Change the name from Deputy Dawg to Lapdog. Are you one of the EPISD people who moved up after passing your oral exam with Dr. Garcia?

          Like

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