Aplauden interés oficial por mejorar educación de latinos

La iniciativa de la Casa Blanca de escuchar por todo el país las opiniones de quienes a diario viven de cerca los logros y los fracasos del sistema educativo no habría podido ser mejor recibida entre los padres latinos, activistas y los funcionarios escolares de Los Ángeles.

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Octava "Semana Anual de Justicia Educacional" en Preparatoria de Garfield | Eastern Group Publications

Por el octavo año consecutivo, estudiantes se motivaron unos a otros a tomar control de su educación y su futuro en la Preparatoria Garfield. El hecho fue parte de la semana de "Semana de Justicia Educativa" ("Educational Justice Week) que se llevo a cabo del 27 al 31 de julio.

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Que se queden en la clase | La Opinion

La secundaria Garfield del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles (LAUSD) ha cargado la fama durante años de ser uno de los planteles con mayor abandono escolar en el este de la ciudad, pero donde sus administradores han tomado en serio el reto de frenar la deserción.

Los resultados demuestran que desde que se puso en marcha hace tres años el programa de Recuperación y Prevención de la deserción en LAUSD, esta escuela, diseñada para unos 2,500 alumnos pero que hoy día acoge a unos 4,300, ha comenzado a mostrar mejoras.

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Lideres del Futuro: En La Communidad

Hijo de un mecánico de autos y de una maestra, sus padres fueron el mejor ejemplo para que Luis Sánchez decidiera entregarse a querer mejorar la educación de los latinos en Los Ángeles. A sus 31 años, el menor de tres hermanos asegura que no piensa descansar hasta que el 100% de los niños del este de la ciudad se gradúen y vayan a la universidad. 

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East Los Angeles Youth Movement for Educational Justice

One of many slogans chanted during the May 2005 campaign to ensure a quality education for all students was, “Give me life prep not a life sentence, let me choose my future.” High school students, with support from parents, teachers, and other community members, won two amazing victories in a row—one in June 2004 and another in June 2005. A movement that started with its focus on one area has spread throughout the city. 

Los Angeles is not the only city in California where youth are rising up to demand a better education. In the San Francisco Bay Area, a call for “Books Not Bars” has mobilized youth and many supporters with the same spirit. A march last year lead by middle-school students from Richmond to Sacramento (39 miles) took place with the goal of pushing the governor to restore school funding. When he refused to see them, other youth followed it with a 26-day fast that won major concessions. 

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Staying the Course at L.A. Urban High Schools

When Nancy Meza arrived at Roosevelt High School, she quickly made 30 friends among her classmates at the sprawling Boyle Heights campus. On Thursday, as her senior class gathered for its final photo, only four of those friends showed up. Most of the missing had dropped out. 

"It really struck me today," said Nancy, 17. "All of my friends are gone." 

Roosevelt's senior photo was a sobering reflection of a Harvard University study released this week spotlighting the Los Angeles Unified School District's alarming graduation rates. The district was among the worst in the state, with just 39% of Latinos and 47% of African Americans graduating in 2002.

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Community Activists Promote Education on Eastside

In the slightly cramped rainbow-hued storefront on busy Whittier Boulevard in Boyle Heights, the student leaders of InnerCity Struggle talked about their victories:

How they won key changes in the tardy policy at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. How they successfully lobbied for ethnic studies classes and more college counselors at Roosevelt High in Boyle Heights. 

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Maria Brenes: Student Teacher

Ironically, when it comes to public school reform, just about everybody has had their say — policymakers, pundits, even athletes — except for the students themselves. But a change is coming: There is a growing local movement to enlist students as expert witnesses and leaders in the fight for their own academic and political survival. Among the best of these efforts is the Youth Organizing Communities, based in East L.A. and run by Maria Brenes, an alum of UC Berkeley and Harvard’s graduate education school.

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Accord Reached on High School for East L.A.

For several years, educators and civic leaders have struggled to come up with a plan to build a new high school in East Los Angeles to take some of the enrollment burden from overcrowded Garfield High. A previous plan died amid political squabbles, public relations blunders and a dispute over location.

But on Friday, community leaders and Los Angeles Unified School District officials stood on the steps outside Garfield and announced they had agreed on an innovative solution to the complex problem of building a 2,300-student high school in unincorporated East Los Angeles.

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La Fuerza del Activismo Estudiantil

A sus escasos 16 años, María Salcedo tiene muy claro que desea estudiar ciencias políticas y que, para lograrlo, el principal obstáculo que debe superar es ser alumna de la Secundaria Garfield. 

“Es triste admitirlo, pero la educación que nos dan en esta escuela no sirve para ir a la universidad; simplemente es para sobrevivir en un trabajo de salario mínimo. Por eso la mayoría se desanima y deja los estudios antes de graduarse”, dice Salcedo con una mezcla de ira e impotencia.

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