A group of Arizona teachers called in “sick” Wednesday so they could protest at the state Capitol. Their absence closed nine schools in a district that serves roughly 10,000 students in Phoenix and the West Valley. The teachers want higher wages and more school funding. Their right to protest is not in question, and that’s a worthy conversation to have. But these educators walked out of their classrooms in a school district where the families most need them to show up, robbing students of precious instructional time. As a former school leader, I know the difference just one or two missed days can make. And as a Latino, I know far too many students who look like me get left behind by our current system. According to the Arizona Department of Education, the vast majority of students at Sunset Ridge, one of the nine shuttered schools, are Latino — and in desperate need of utilizing every second of instructional time constitutionally allocated to them by the state. Two-thirds of the student population there is not proficient in math or reading. The main question I and others are asking is why walk out on so many economically disadvantaged students in Glendale and not the more affluent students of, say, Ahwatukee? I am not suggesting that Sunset Ridge is a bad school. They may be doing a fantastic job helping the two-thirds of their students who are behind make great progress toward their proficiency. What I am suggesting is that walking out during classroom time is counterproductive to their goals of helping these children succeed. For the record, I’m not suggesting that Ahwatukee teachers walk out on instructional time, either. Those educators are garnering attention for their needs, but are they meeting the needs of the students in those schools? Would those students be better served elsewhere if they could [...]
Arizona is leading the nation in academic gains, and despite what you might be hearing, school choice is a major, if not the major factor in our success. Don't believe the hype-believe in a parent's right to choose! Whether a parent decides to send their child to a district public school near their house, use a tax credit scholarship or Empowerment Scholarship Account for a private school education, we should support their decision. Why? Because parent engagement is the primary indicator of a child's academic success, and we want to encourage parents to participate in every aspect of their child's educational experience. That starts with choosing the proper school for them. Please contact us if you have any questions about your school choice options or would like more information about Education Matters - Latino (Education Matters - Arizona). If we can't help you, we will direct you to someone who can. Contact Us!
Hispanics For School Choice’s Zeus Rodriguez challenges Matt Damon to come see the success of School Choice in Arizona
Hispanics For School Choice's Zeus Rodriguez challenges Matt Damon to come see the success of School Choice in Arizona after picking the headline 'Matt Damon Promotes Anti-School Choice Documentary in Boston' on the #StoryOfTheDay.
School is back in session in some districts; others will be starting back up soon. And tonight in Scottsdale, a panel will debate the future of education in Arizona. For a preview, I’m joined by Zeus Rodriguez, founder and president of Hispanics for School Choice, and Dawn Penich-Thacker with the group Save our Schools Arizona.
Es tiempo para que los líderes Latinos confíen en sus constituyentes y apoyen sus selecciones educacionales. En su libro del 1968 “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, el educador Brasileño y filosofo Paulo Freire escribió, “el confiar en la gente es la condición previa para cambio revolucionario. Un humanista puede ser identificado más por su confianza en la gente, que lo envuelve en la lucha, más que mil acciones de su favor sin la confianza”. Pero muchos campeones de la comunidad Latina, en las palabras de Freire, “substituyen monólogos, slogans, y comunicados con el dialogo”; y “atentan liberal al oprimido con los instrumentos de domesticación”. Latinos—como cualquier otro—no necesitan que se les diga que debe de hacer o que debe de creer. Nosotros necesitamos estar equipados con las herramientas necesarias para alcanzar nuestro potencial humano máximo. Pero sobre todo lo demás, nosotros necesitamos que confíen en nosotros mientras navegamos nuestro propio camino hacia la liberación. Si se puede buen un slogan efectivo para César Chávez y el United Farm Workers Union en los 1970’s, perro ahora ha sido mal usado tan comúnmente que ha perdido la mayoría de su significado real. Por ejemplo, cuando coros de “si se puede” se pueden escuchar en asambleas dirigidas por las uniones de maestros—los cuales rechazan el derecho de los padres de escoger lo que ellos creen es la mejor opción educacional para sus hijos—tiene mas que ver con negar posibilidades de los niños que ninguna otra cosa. A pesar de las preocupaciones de Latinos en respecto a la retórica del presidente Donald Trump en relación a la inmigración, muchos Latinos continuar priorizando educación sobre todo lo otro. De acuerdo al Pew Research Center, el mejorar el sistema educativo esta al tope de la lista de prioridades de Latinos en el 2017. esto no es sorpresa para esos de nosotros en [...]
It’s time for Latino leaders to trust their constituents and support their educational choices. In his 1968 book, "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire wrote, “trusting the people is the indispensable precondition for revolutionary change. A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, than by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.” But too many champions of the Latino community, in Freire’s words, “substitute monologue, slogans, and communiqués for dialogue,” and “attempt to liberate the oppressed with the instruments of domestication.” Latinos—like everyone else—don’t need to be told what to do or what to believe. We need to be equipped with the tools necessary to reach our full human potential. But above all else, we need to be trusted to navigate our own path towards liberation. Si se puede was an effective slogan for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union in the 1970’s, but it has now become so commonly misused that it has lost most of its real meaning. For example, when chants of “si se puede” can be heard at teacher union led rallies—which reject a parent’s right to choose what they believe is the best educational option for their children—it has more to do with denying possibilities to children than anything else. Despite Latino concerns in respect to President Donald Trump’s rhetoric regarding immigration, many Latinos continue to prioritize education above all else. According to the Pew Research Center, improving the educational system tops the list of Latino priorities for 2017. This is no surprise to those of us on either side of the school choice debate. We all agree that public education is failing too many of our most vulnerable children, and that something must change. What we disagree on is who [...]