Xavier Miranda EPISD open forum statement

Xavier Miranda sent this in.

We are not knowledgeable about the specific points he raises but it is interesting to know what is going on at EPISD board meetings.

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Brutus,

I will be going before the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, April 10  [edit: 17] at 5 PM to read the statement below at Open Forum.
A few folks from the community will be standing with me as I read it to the Board, but my career may still be in peril.
Please consider posting my statement on your blog in the days leading up to the meeting; as I hope to encourage folks to demonstrate support for our children and our public education system.
Thanks for serving our community.
Best,
Xavier Miranda

EPISD Board Meeting Open Forum Statement


As a professional educator for 31 years, it is my duty to appear before you today, even at the risk of facing retaliation, to ask the trustees to formally request the resignation of Superintendent Cabrera.


The following concerns are shared by many in our community, of whom some stand with me today:


  • Students in the Chamizal Neighborhood continue to be exposed to high levels of air toxins from idling International Bridge traffic and a nearby recycling plant. Yet despite supplications from Chamizal parents, Superintendent Cabrera has exacerbated the situation by re-locating the Transportation and Maintenance Facilities to Bowie High School.

  • Decreasing literacy and math scores as reported by TEA, indicate a failure of Superintendent Cabrera’s leadership and initiatives, in terms of authentically addressing the unique needs of our student population.

  • Secret negotiations have been revealed by Union President Ross Moore, through a FOIA request, which indicates that Superintendent Cabrera is granting oversight of our public schools to charter school officials.

  • Dubious procurement processes have been revealed through internal audits, wherein companies and individuals  seeking to privatize our education system are awarded contracts. Some individuals have been featured in local news reports, such as the $1500 a day consultant who hails from a charter school company.

  • Internal audits reveal that Superintendent Cabrera had inappropriately utilized district funds to pay for affiliation between our district and companies that seek operational oversight of our public schools, namely Chapin High School, Bowie High School, and Andress High School.

  • Audits also reveal the use of district funds by Superintendent Cabrera to regularly travel in first-class, pay for attendance to an AIPAC conference, and sending an associate superintendent to a charter school company event.

  • Superintendent Cabrera’s administrative re-alignments have prompted many educators to resign, and have left schools such as Coronado High with decimated IB and AP programs.

  • Despite passage of a $668.7 million bond, projects are slow to break ground.Given Superintendent Cabrera’s initiative to steer our education delivery to online sources, the promise of converting our schools into WiFi hubs has not taken place.

  • Action taken by Superintendent Cabrera and the Board that is seen as politically motivated, has been the approval of the external audit of Trustee Byrd. A better use of district financial resources would be to ensure the funding of programs such as the Migrant Education Program, or the Physical and Occupational Therapy programs.

  • Emails between Superintendent Cabrera and disgraced KIPP Co-founder Mike Feinberg have given the impression that various campus administrators will be imminently replaced by individuals trained by private companies. .

  • News reports indicate that Superintendent Cabrera has been absent from our district for over 100 days, and makes over $500,000 a year with benefits and leave.

  • Decreasing morale of employees is a result from district leadership that includes some individuals of whom have been reprimanded by TEA, or have  left previous districts under questionable circumstances.


It is requested of the Board of Trustees to meet with constituents, the elected state delegation, and educators to discuss subsequent steps in restoring our public education system, to one that puts student needs first, and shares our community’s values..


Xavier Miranda

EPISD Teacher

21 Responses to Xavier Miranda EPISD open forum statement

  1. Justathot says:

    relax, teach. Sheffield wont be nice. teachers in episd are easily replaced. Sisd wont hire episd exes. no where to run to.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    I really would like for Cabrera to leave the district, but I am not sure this message will do it.

    Do you remember how much he used to travel with Dori? The excuse was that she was the Board President. I haven’t seen him that much with Hatch. Suddenly he does not have to be THAT close to the Board President?

    I believe a clause to his contract was added in reference of alcohol. I have heard from multiple sources he has an alcohol problem. Perhaps that is going to be what gets him to leave the district.

    Some food for thought.

    Like

  3. Old Fart says:

    From past media reporting, haven’t Bowie and Jefferson both high school South of interstate 10, had problems with DECLINING student enrollment?

    Jefferson High is across the street from UMC, plus it has a medical magnet school, which is appealing to the Medical Center of America and that entity’s dream of creating a medical campus complex, as a economic and area revitalization engine for that area of El Paso.

    Bowie High has for years been a troubled high school, but it also has a proud history and dedicated, passionate group of alumni, who have always fought very hard for that school.

    What puzzles be about this latest protest is, by adding that bus hub EPISD would seem to be ADDING VALUE to the Bowie area, which in a time of constant budget pressures and declining student enrollment, would make Bowie an EPISD ‘asset of economic value’ and provide a valid economic reason to keep that school open.

    Do these bus hub protests help or hurt those schools South of the freeway?

    Like

    • Muchadoaboutnothing says:

      YISD and EPISD have large bus hubs within 1 mile of each other on a very busy Transmountain Road in Northeast. (YISD is at Parkland HS and EPISD is at their warehous). They have been there for decades. Have the residents in those neighborhoods complained about excess pollution? Aren’t many of the school district buses run on Propane or LNG which lowers the pollution they put out?

      Like

      • ripper1951 says:

        THE EPISD hub sits alone on a large plat of land. Originally, EPISD was to build their new HQ adjacent to it. Other influences cancelled that. YISD is similarly isolated across 375 from EPISD Gamble Warehouse. While there are houses in the area, no complaints have been registered for either. EPISD needs a central EP location for its other hub as the lease for its west side is expiring. Bowie actually has excess land not being utilized that would be ideal. However I would ask for a TCEQ evaluation of the site first. Local government doesn’t put much stock in local private surveys as we saw with ASARCO.

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  4. abandon hope says:

    All of these complaints need more concrete evidence backing them up. Many of the complaints indicate an unfounded fear of charter schools. Why are you so afraid of charter schools? EPISD gets local tax and bond money with or without charter schools. Why are you opposed to parents having a choice of where their children go to school? I don’t blame performance problems on the teachers. I blame poor student performance on the breakdown of the family and on experimental school curriculums. Get back to traditional ways of teaching. If parents don’t want to waste crucial years in their child’s education, let them pay for a charter school. It is their money and their child.

    Like

    • Dan Wever says:

      Abandon hope, Of course, parents should and do have the choice of where they want their children to go to school, they should just have to pay for it, if it is not a public school. They should not be able to use my grandchildren’s public education money for their choice. The taxes you pay are not being paid for YOUR children’s education but rather are earmarked for public education just like the taxes that are paid for police and fire protection. If you do not feel safe and fear the fire department will not be able to protect you or your house and you put in a fire detection system complete with sprinklers, then tell me, should you be able to go down to city hall and ask for your tax dollars back because you had a different choice for protection? Of course not! And public education money should not be used for Charter schools and privatization of our public schools.

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      • abandon hope says:

        Parents who send their children to charter schools accept that they will pay twice – once for the public school that uses an experimental curriculum and once for the charter. I never suggested otherwise.

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        • Dan Wever says:

          Abandonhope, and thus the parents have always had the choice to send their children to whatever school they choose. So why make a big deal about choice. Why? Because the parents that want a choice of where they send their children also want the money used for my grandchildren to help them pay for their choice.

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          • abandon hope says:

            Some want the money, some don’t. But even if they could take their tax money away from the public schools, that doesn’t take away what you or your family pay for your grandchildren in taxes for public education if you chose that. Fewer students = less money needed. Be honest, it’s about teachers and administrators being afraid they will lose their jobs. It’s called competition. Good teachers can get jobs at charter schools.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Charter schools take money away from public education. They are “free” to attend.

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          • Dan Wever says:

            Learn to use a calendar says: WHY? When there are people like you that have nothing better to do than look for things like this to point out to make yourself feel smarter, I would bet money you also do spell check for people! 🙂

            Like

          • Dan Wever says:

            Anonymous, yes but this also will change when public education is finished being destroyed. And then the end plan can be deployed, raise the cost so only selected groups can afford to be educated at all. Back to discrimination!

            Like

  5. Air toxins? recycling plant? I think this is opinion, unless he’s got some reports from somebody to back this up. Other than that, I got nothin’, and I only mention those items because they could potentially affect all of us in town, not just students in that school district.

    Like

  6. If he is going on Tuesday April 10, he will find a closed building and he will be reading this to no one. There is no regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday April 10 at 5:00PM.

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    • Brutus says:

      Mr. Miranda asked that we change the date to April 17. Unfortunately we failed to change the text. Please accept our apology.

      Like

    • Dan Wever says:

      Learn to use a calendar says: WHY? When there are people like you that have nothing better to do than look for things like this to point out to make yourself feel smarter, I would bet money you also do spell check for people! 🙂

      Like

    • Chico says:

      Hey Deputy Dawg. Hope life is treating you well.

      Like

  7. Xavier Miranda says:

    First of all, the EPISD Board of Trustees meeting is TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2018 AT 5 PM. My apologies for the date.

    Secondly, the following links substantiate the concerns expressed:

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/education/2017/06/17/episd-outspends-peers-superintendent-board-travel/377557001/

    https://www.episd.org/cms/lib/TX02201707/Centricity/Domain/213/Superintendents%20Contract%20Amendment%2002.08.18.pdf

    https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/education/episd/2017/05/23/episd-hires-contractor-who-resigned-prior-job/102053736/

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/education/2017/06/17/episd-outspends-peers-superintendent-board-travel/377557001/

    https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/education/episd/2017/06/21/over-five-weeks-episd-superintendent-away-all-but-9-days/409174001/

    https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/education/episd/2018/02/08/episd-superintendents-evaluation-contract-review/312832002/

    http://www.kvia.com/news/el-paso/episd-board-votes-to-extend-superintendents-contract-until-2023/698660640

    https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2017/08/31/questions-swirl-around-episds-1-500-a-day-consultant/623852001/

    https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/education/2017/08/03/episd-auditor-says-cabrera-improperly-charged-district-conference/538752001/

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3034805-El-Paso-ISD-Superintendent-Juan-Cabrera-contract.html

    https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/education/episd/2018/01/26/episd-audit-finds-lack-transparency-impartiality-bid-process/1058529001/

    Lastly, in response to the previous comment, Familias Unidas de Chamizal and La Mujer Obrera conducted a “Toxic Tour” on June 21, 2016. A researched-based study by folks in UTEP’s Environmental Sciences department. The study can be requested of Guillermo Glenn and Lorena Andrade from Mujer Obrera.

    Thank you.

    Xavier Miranda

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      “Familias Unidas de Chamizal and La Mujer Obrera conducted a “Toxic Tour” on June 21, 2016. A researched-based study by folks in UTEP’s Environmental Sciences department. The study can be requested of Guillermo Glenn and Lorena Andrade from Mujer Obrera.”- None of this is a recognized, supported study using industry standards. Sorry, they came up with it, suddenly. Had it been as bad as claimed, ICEQ and a bunch of other alphabet agencies would have been all over it, as they are looking for excuses to zing El Paso.
      Lastly, you are using news stories that only present bits and pieces of the audit report, his travel, and other facets. Due diligence is when you look at the actual documents produced by the audit committee, by the outside auditor, and by a reputable air and soil sampling agency. the Mujer Obrera “study” was discredited.

      Like

  8. ripper1951 says:

    I like Mr Miranda’s approach, however he has left himself wide open for counters to his objections. Many of the comments are duplicative in nature such as the findings of the internal audit, which concluded he had done no wrong.
    What official air quality or ground contanimentation study shows this “fact”? Correspondence between EPISD and charter schools are not secret negotiations or improper since it is prudent to find out what your competition is doing. Demeaning comments about employees will leave you open to a charge of violating the Educator Ethics, which essentially says “Say no evil of fellow educators”. May I suggest you back up and get studies, expert opinions of legal wrongdoing, and expert discussions of violations of ethics before you charge in with your hair on fire. You should have no fear of retaliation as they usually will ignore you and quietly spread the word that you are a flake, a malcontent, etc., instead of retaliation outright. You might even end up the target of an investigation that shows you used double entendres in class which were taken to mean sexually harassing students.

    Like

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