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romero-colorFormer state Senator Gloria Romero, founded of the California Center for Parent Empowerment, published an op-ed in Monday’s OC Register taking aim attempts by the Anaheim Elementary Education Association to muzzle members who are walking for Robert Baeza, the popular former principal of Benito Juarez Elementary and Palm Lane Elementary schools.  Baeza is running for the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Education.

Romero writes:

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher and president of California Teachers Empowerment Network, summarized it succinctly: “Ah, the commissar has spoken from on high!”

The “commissar” is none other than the president of the Anaheim Elementary Education Association, Kristen Fisher, who dispatched an email to dues-paying union members on Oct. 6.

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Jose Moreno

Jose Moreno

Ms. Jeanette Saldivar is a parent activist from Benito Juarez Elementary School in the Anaheim City School District. She, along with a number of other Juarez parents (whom one local liberal elitist blogger denigrated as a “pitchfork-wielding mob) has been vocal in protesting the shabby treatment of former Juarez Principal Roberto Baeza. According to numerous sources, Baeza has been a special target of ACSD Board Trustee Jose Moreno, who is now trying to move up to Anaheim City Council.  

This evening, Ms. Saldivar e-mailed out this polemic entitled “Open Letter to Dr, Jose Moreno:”

To Whom It May Concern:

I am Jeanette Saldivar, one of the Juarez parents who has expressed her displeasure with how Dr. Jose Moreno, President of the Anaheim City School District Governing Board, and Dr. Linda Wagner, district superintendent, who removed Dr. Roberto Baeza from Juarez Elementary to transfer him to Palm Lane where they both said he was needed because he was the best principal in the Anaheim City School District. Not six months into his principalship at Palm Lane, where parents comment on the huge changes they noticed from day one in how things were run, he was removed for reasons no one knows. But we know he couldn’t have done something illegal or immoral because he was placed back in the classroom-with kids. Dr. Wagner has even said Dr. Baeza did nothing illegal or immoral. However, Dr. Moreno wants you to believe that there is a “little secret” that they can’t talk about because it is a personnel issue. This type of wording makes it seem like he did something that got him “fired.”

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"Parents: sorry but seeking your input is not politically advantageous to me at this time."

“Parents: sorry but seeking your input is not politically advantageous to me at this time.”

A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Jose F. Moreno, in his capacity as head of Los Amigos, issued a call for the City of Anaheim to hold a series of public forums at which “residents, community organizations and stakeholders” — i.e., scripted participants recruited by Los Amigos and allied interests —  could “provide input in the characteristics that their city needs in a new City Manager.” My suspicion is the real purpose was to have the city do the work of organizing events to which Moreno could invite the media to report on what he and his comrades had to say.

So, it is interesting that when it came to pushing out Dr. Roberto Baeza, the popular and effective principal of Benito Juarez Elementary School, Moreno – in his capacity as the de facto jefe of the Anaheim City School District Board of Education — had no interest in having the affected stakeholders (parents) provide input on keeping the principal they have and want to keep.

It’s sort of like how Moreno agreed to be lead plaintiff in the ACLU’s lawsuit against the City of Anaheim for allegedly not electing enough Latinos to the City Council, but takes no such action against his own Anaheim City School District Board — which has had proportionately fewer Latinos elected to it.

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Dr. Jose F. Moreno

“Sorry, parents of dual-immersion students are not invited to the dual-immersion fundraiser at my house.”

On Tuesday, I posted a comment from a Benito Juarez Elementary School parent blasting Anaheim City School District Trustee Jose Moreno and ACSD Superintendent Linda Wagner over the impending transfer of the school’s popular and effective principal, Roberto Baeza.

Moreno is also the lead plaintiff in the ACLU’s lawsuit to force Anaheim to replace the current at-large council election system with a single-member council district scheme. But I digress.

Today, the OC Weekly‘s Gabriel San Roman has an article with more on the issue. Here’s an excerpt:

But is there more to the story than a simple routine rotation? Our sources say there is, indeed, an axe to grind between Moreno and Baeza and that it does, in fact, concern dual immersion. They tell the Weekly that a California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) fundraiser, partially for the DLI program at Juarez Elementary, was held last weekend at Moreno’s home, but with a selective guest list that included Anaheim mayor Tom Tait, Los Amigos Chair Emeritus Amin David (Moreno is David’s successor), and the new supe herself–but not Baeza, originally (he did eventually make an appearance). Meanwhile, parents whose children are actually enrolled in the program weren’t given an open invitation to the event. ¡Que huevos!

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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.

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