Sunday, October 25, 2009

The New Minstrel Show-Latino Brown Face

The other day I watched CNN's new show "Latino in America". I don't know what I even think about it-I do think it had a superficial coverage of the Latina/o community, but hell, I sort of could really care less.

One of my followers on twitter is the Latino comedian Mike Robles, star and creator of Qué locos. Over the past couple of days, he has been promoting a video of himself criticizing CNN's show and giving Soledad O'Brien a hard time. He claims that the show that she created doesn't show any positive role models of Latinos and that the show exploited Latinos.

So Mike spammed everyone left and right with his video link, including sending direct messages to pass it on to our people, etc. I retweeted his video, but then I asked him a question. I asked him something to the effect of, "Are you also going to hold Latino comedians, like George Lopez, accountable for also perpetuating negative stereotypes about the latina/o community?" Just making sure, since he was definitely sending tweets to George Lopez and retweeting stuff that George Lopez was writing.

He of course never answered. He sure did answer tons of tweets of people kissing his ass. I'm not surprised that he would spam everyone and then not respond to a question about being a big fat hypocrite. Because really, if you are going to criticize CNN for exploiting Latina/os, then we might as well have a productive conversation about the role of Latino comedians in this matter.

Now I have never seen Mike Robles perform a comedy act, and I really knew nothing about him until he retweeted something that I said.

As far as I'm concerned though, many Latino comedians, including George Lopez, are nothing more than chumps up on a stage, perpetuating the stereotypes of the stupid, ignorant lazy-ass-mexican myth. They are our very own present day brown face dumb asses performing a fucking minstrel show for everyone's entertainment.

You don't know what a minstrel show is? Well, basically it was a show where whites dressed up and painted themselves with a black face. They performed on stage like they were a bunch of idiots. Then there came a time when even some of the blacks were painting black paint on their face and acting like an idiot. You know-the "Oh, golly, gee" crap while scratching their head.

Here's a video of a reenactment of a minstrel show. It takes about a minute for these dumb asses to put the paint on their face.

As far as I'm concerned, what many Latino comedians do is tantamount to a fucking minstrel show. Our very own brown face entertainment. We've come a long way, baby. Now the whites don't have play the stupid latino part like they did in West Side story, now the latinos just stand up there and do it themselves!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Latinos on Television Shows

I just watched the show "In Plain Site" on, a site which shows television shows online. In the beginning of the show, there is a clip of a woman standing in front a bunch of working class looking workers and holding an labor rally. She is speaking in English with a thick accent. Suddenly police officers bust in and they arrest her and are ready to kill her. Then the US government busts in and saves her and puts her in protective custody so that they people of Argentina will rise up against the president because they will think that the president killed her.

My first question I asked myself was: Why the hell was the lady holding a labor rally in English? Stu-pid. Why didn't the show just show her organizing in Spanish and have subtitles?

My second observation was that the labor organizer was very light skinned, while the workers all had darker skin. Go figure.

Later in the show, they move her as a witness to Albuquerque in the US, and she moves into a bad neighborhood with tons of Latino thugs, gangsters, and drug dealers. Uh, I am getting so sick of all of these shows portraying Latinos as if they are all a bunch of thugs.

But whose fault is this, really? The Latino actors are just as complicit in perpetuating these fucked up stereotypes because they choose to accept parts that show them as Latino gangsters. Enough already-they need to stop with this madness.

Monday, July 27, 2009

On Work Burnout

I'm having one of those grouchy weekends that spilled over into a Monday. I called off sick today because I am feeling so burned out from work. Perhaps it was from working all of those long days and non-stop Saturdays for two or three months. Perhaps it was from taking over the two new departments that I was given in the beginning of July. Perhaps it is because I am always going non-stop with all sorts of projects, even during my free time. Perhaps it is from my adrenaline pumping all last week for my presentation. Or maybe I am just crashing because I have had to dodge so many bullets at work for the past six months because of the fucked up budget crisis. Who knows, but today I am feeling burned out.

I feel lethargic. My body hurts. I feel bitchy. I don't feel like thinking at all. I have been having migraines. My skin feels like it looks like shit. I feel exhausted. I feel mentally drained. In fact, the other day my boyfriend asked if I was drunk because I was blabbering and not making sense. I feel as if I don't even want to go back to work.

Today I am feeling much better than I did on Friday and Saturday. I know it will be a matter of time until I recover. All I need is sleep, healthy food, and exercise.

Beyond me even feeling burned out, I am just sick of the public school system. The system as a whole breeds mediocrity and incompetence. I am tired of everyone dropping the ball on something and then shooting darts in my way so that they have someone to blame when they fall straight on their faces. I am irritated that everyone's lack of planning has to turn into my emergency. I am tired that school principals and other administrators do not know how to fucking handle their money and I have got to run around and find money to offset when they went into the red.

I would have to say that more than half of the teachers that I work with do not make their job a priority. They don't attend any training, even when they are paid. All they want to do is blame the kids and their parents, and not hold themselves accountable for what they might be doing that is NOT working, or what they are NOT doing. I bust my ass on a daily basis to assist the teachers and put structures into place that will help them with their teaching, planning and assessment, and many of the teachers don't appreciate it.

I mean, would they go to a surgeon and have brain surgery with a doctor who has not attended any training in the past ten years? Would they be okay with their own children's teachers never attending any training??

At least one third of the teaching population that I work with is highly dedicated and they want to implement all that they are learning. But then they go back to their classrooms and their incompetent principal won't let them do what needs to be done.

I'm so tired of people acting as if these inner-city kids are a bunch of idiots and they don't deserve a quality education. I'm so sick of hearing all of the negative comments about the kids, the community and the families. I was one of those damn kids and yet I have been successful in spite of all that the public ed system put me through.

I am exhausted with lack of imagination, lack of creativity, and adherence to the status quo. I have always thought outside the box, and I am tired of being treated as if "we can't do it that way". And I get really tired when what I have been saying for years is finally implemented-why the fuck does it take like five years for people to get the picture?

I just want to be surrounded by amazing people, amazing, creative people who have a passion for what they're doing. Instead I am surrounded by many people who wake up to put in their six hours (yes, I said six hours-if teachers do not stay after school or go to trainings, they work six and a half hours) in what is only a j-o-b to them.

I know that I could walk away any day and make the same amount of money consulting and working on other projects, but I stick around in my attempt to make a difference in this world-to be that one person in the school system who I never had. But I'm also not going to mentally and emotionally kill myself when no one else apparently takes our job so seriously. Only time will tell if I want to keep killing myself like this.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover

It always bothers me how many teachers and administrators treat students. I'm an administrator at the school district level and you just can't imagine how badly many parents are treated. 

Today I had a meeting with a principal about a student who had applied for a choice program. The principal refused to let the child in, stating to the mother that he was "low" and shouldn't be in the particular program. I pretty much strong armed the principal into allowing the child in the program, but she continued to obsess over the fact that she was worried that he wouldn't be successful.

I asked her, "Don't you think that you should give him a chance before you make these assumptions?"

I'm sorry, what was I thinking--I thought that as educators we are supposed to have open minds about students and teach to their strengths. I didn't know that it was our job to automatically accentuate their "deficits".

I literally get calls from either principals or teachers on a weekly basis as soon as a child winds up in their class, making statements about wanting to retain the student, that the student should be referred to psychological testing, and all such nonsense. I'm always thinking, "Uh,'s the kid's first day with you!" 

So I found this great spoken word on the topic and I think it's really a great demonstration of how educators typecast and stereotype students and parents, while knowing little about them:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Very Own LIttle Identity Crisis

It's difficult for me to find a space sometimes in the online community. I search and search for many other Latina bloggers and I feel like sometimes I just don't click. It seems that the online Latina community that I tend to run into is mainly of the mommy blogger variety, and I'm just not really into that so much.

I've been meeting other feminist bloggers, and sometimes I can't find a space in the feminist community. Some feminists can be so damn judgmental. With some I feel like I have to hide that I am a sex positive feminist. With other white feminists (some), I feel like they don't get when I am looking at something from the perspective of a woman of color. But then again, I'm slowly starting to meet other feminists who accept sex positive feminism, who are politically to the left, and who try to understand the perspectives of feminists and/or womanists of color. 

I've been meeting many African American women who I have really been connecting with online lately. It makes me feel connected in a way, because I have deep ties to the African American community due to our shared sense of oppression. But I still feel a tad bit uncomfortable that there aren't many Latinas out there that I seem to connect with in the virtual world. Well, I'll live. 

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Nasty Little Habits

For the past year I have been really trying to be healthy through eating healthy food, exercising, sleeping well and minimizing my stress from work. 

I've been doing okay with the eating. I fall on and off the wagon with eating meat. Although I have never really cared for meat, I occasionally crave it and/or am too lazy when I am out to eat and there really aren't vegetarian meals. My only issue that I am grappling with now is this- I have been eating so well that my body can't handle it when I eat junk. I'm talking about something as basic as a soda. My whole body starts to feel shaky and I get a stomach ache. If its crappy food, forget about it. I am literally sick.

One of my friends said, "Well, stop eating so healthy so that you don't have to put your body through the stress when you eat poorly".

Okay, so I initially thought that sounded like a great idea. Then I've lately been thinking that I just need to get my butt in gear and just stop occasionally eating the crap. If all that junk is giving me a stomach ache or causing a physical reaction to my body, then I really probably shouldn't be ingesting it all all, que no?

Now on to my exercise. I've been a lazy ass. A total lazy ass. I've scaled back on my running every since I missed the marathon and I keep forgetting to go to my yoga classes. I've been walking here and there, but definitely nothing that is really rigorous.  I can definitely feel a difference in my energy levels, and I'm vowing to get my ass back in gear. Starting this afternoon. 

I've saved the worse for the end. My sleep patterns suck and so do my stress management. I find myself wanting to stay up at all hours of the night and keep myself super busy doing stuff on my down time, and I am suffering from lack of sleep and also lack of relaxation. Even this last week-I took almost one week off and I was working my ass off on projects that I have been working on. Now THIS is definitely a problem that I really need to address. 

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thoughts on "Independence Day"

The whole Independence Day and "fourth of July" crap has never really had any meaning to me. Growing up I could never see any of my family's history present. We weren't descendants of anyone who came to the United States for a better life or to escape any type of religious persecution. My parents were actually on this continent long before the grand ole heros that we all celebrate were even born. 

I can remember being frustrated all of the time in class because I would learn about all of these white men who fought a war and established their own country on land that belonged to someone else in the first place. I frequently got into trouble because I would ask my teachers why we were constantly celebrating the date of July 4, 1776. I was born in 1976, and when I was a young child I was always told what an important years the 76 years were.

My great grandfather told us a different story at home. My great grandfather, my abuelito, told us of ancestors on his side who lived in California long before California was part of the United States, and some ancestors lived here long before the Spanish even arrived. My abuelito told us of the days when the American settlers arrived and intermarried with many of the prominent Mexican Californios. He told us tales of the time in 1846 when American settlers arrived, slapped up their Bear flag in northern California and took over the land from the Mexicans in the Bear Flag Revolt. 

July 4, 1776 means nothing to me. California wasn't even ceded to the United States until 1848. There was no grandiose display of fireworks, no picnics, nothing of the sort. Rather, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed into law in order to protect the Mexican inhabitants, but was since systematically broken like all the other treaties "they've" ever broken. 

On a certain courthouse in a certain city in Southern California, one of my old great uncle's names is displayed on a plaque in the front of the building for having been a prominent land grant owner. Hah, but the last laugh was on him once the US decided to not hold up their end of the bargain of the treaty and weaseled all of the land grants out of the hands of the descendants of those who owned the land grants. 

So tomorrow while everyone is out lighting fireworks, I'll be wondering how many of those fireworks are burning down the land that was stolen from some of my ancestors. I'll also be sitting there and thinking of everything in the treaty after the Mexican-American war that was just pushed aside. And for those people who will inevitably pull the "if you don't like it go back to Mexico" bullshit, just remember that many of my people were here long before the US was even a thought in any founding father's head. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fireworks Suck

I really hate the fourth of July. Every year everyone in my neighborhood inevitably brings loads and loads of illegal fireworks from Mexico so that they can shoot them off like a bunch of jerks all weekend long. 

One of my dogs gets so agitated that I have to dope her up all weekend. Even when she is completely doped up with sedatives, she still gets so agitated that she tries to get in my lap all night long. Imagine a seventy pound dog trying to sit in your lap all night long.

In about thirty minutes I am going to take the dogs over to the vet and get some sedatives. I'm going to have to load the two of them up, sit at the vet for hours and it's all gonna piss me off. Tonight and especially tomorrow means some serious lack of sleep for me.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Economic Shock Therapy-California Style

Yesterday I was reading the LA Times about the budget crisis in California and it just makes me sick. The particular article that I was reading discussed the fact that the governator readily admits that he is basically looking forward to cleaning house and "reforming the system" (i.e., cutting social services, education funding, cal grants for higher education, etc.). It's sickening and disgusting to me. 

This whole situation reminds me of Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. If you haven't read the book already, then you definitely should read it sometime soon. Klein summarizes the ways in which governments and corporations use fear, panic and disasters to push through free market theories and/or dismantle liberal economic policies. Klein calls this process "economic shock therapy", similar to the disorientation and disequilibrium caused by shock therapy given to mentally ill and tortured prisoners. 

This is exactly what is going on in California. "They" are going use this opportunity to cut the social services that they have always hated. It's also another reason for them to beat up immigrants, people of color and people who live in poverty.  

Check out this excellent video by Al Jazeera,  "Fault Lines-California Failed State":

Part One 

Part Two

Those jackasses Jon and Ken over at am640 can kiss my ass. I'd bet that the majority of people are receiving social services are citizens. Every brown person is not an "illegal alien", assholes. Over 80% of students who are identified as language minority students in the public school system were born here. 

P.S. Yeah, so is the government going to bail us out too? They sure bailed out all the men who caused half of all this shit storm. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

In Desperate Search of Competence

Somewhere in the world there is probably a itty bitty violin playing a sad, sad tune for me. I just came home from work and my head is pounding out of frustration. 

What is my newest frustration, you ask? Well, quite frankly I am sick and tired of working for people who are less competent than me. Sick and damn tired. 

The education system breeds a pathologic culture of mediocrity and incompetence. It's the type of profession where you can pretty much suck at your job and still make $100,000 in some places as a manager. Or you can mess up kids' lives and not do what you are supposed to do (i.e., teach) and still bring home a better than average pay check each month. I can't blame the teachers though, because the managers are the ones who should be responsible for weeding out the shitty teachers. Yet how can they get rid of bad teachers when they are idiots themselves? I keep sticking around in the system out of some idealistic idea that I am making a positive impact on the lives of children in the community that I was born, raised and where I still live.

When I was a teacher I worked for a horrible manager. When I moved out of the classroom, I worked for someone who at the time I thought was very competent but who I later found out was just a master at creating an illusion. Now I have a manager who I wouldn't necessarily go as far to say is completely incompetent, but I don't necessarily view him as a high performer. I see him as someone who can't multitask, doesn't have the indepth knowledge required for his position and who drags his feet because he is a scaredy cat who doesn't want to rock the boat. 

I am getting sick and tired of climbing up the management chain and having people above me who are less competent. I look everywhere for mentors who can teach me how to excel in my career. I am tired of busting my ass all day long doing work that I think my boss should be responsible for but he doesn't know how to do. I am tired of doing all the work and then the people above me stand up there and get all the recognition. It's not that I need the recognition or anything, but it is starting to get irritating that I am the little burra who is doing all the work.

It's like I am dying to work for a really high performer who I really respect. I feel a little bit sad that I am so young and I don't really have any in my profession who I look up to. I feel demoralized that I have more admiration and respect for one of my kick ass female subordinates than I do for many of my superiors. 

I am tired of people having higher expectations for me than they do for other people. It has always been this way. I am expected to work harder, carry a heavier load and take more shit than other people. In one way it is a compliment that my superiors think so highly of me, but in another way it is frustrating.

Let me give you an example:

I have been kicking ass creating, writing and conducting staff development trainings for years. Just recently one of my colleagues in the department who is my equal has taken on a five day training that was created by someone else. She goes on and on about how draining the training is, how much energy it is, how she has to study for hours and hours, etc. My boss does backflips giving her public kudos about what a great job she is doing. I take a look at the training and I KNOW that I could do the damn training with minimal preparation and while standing on my head. 

Over the past few months, I actually wrote and created a seven-day training that was approved by the state. I created it from scratch, unlike my colleague being handed a manual provided by someone else. All the while I was writing the training and training my trainers who would provide the training, I was also writing three grants, the district policy (a very large document), conducting multiple staff development, taking over two extra departments....The list can go on and on. And how does my boss react? "Have you done this yet? Why is this not done?"

It's like the more that I do, the more they expect from me. I brought this to their attention today that I feel that they have higher expectations for me than they do for other people. They say that I am a high performer and can get the work done, and that they can't tell if they are dumping too much on me. 

I'm not the insecure type of person who needs to be patted on their back for everything I do. But I am finding it hard to control myself from puking in front of everyone when someone who is my equal is getting a metaphorical gold trophy for doing something that I could probably do with my eyes closed. 

For the past two weeks, I am beginning to question whether I should leave the institution and just work for myself. I just want to surround myself with other kick-ass high performing, creating and amazing people. I'm afraid that I will end up doing consulting and will have to deal with some dumb ass incompetent fools also. I'm beyond exhausted with all this damn mediocrity. 

Yesterday my boyfriend told me that I because I am the one who is controlling all the money, the policy, the procedures, etc that I actually have a lot of power in the institution. I suppose I could look at it that my boss is just nothing but a puppet and I am pulling the strings. I guess that in one way I am able to get my way with anything I want. Maybe I'm singing myself a sad little tune today because I am exhausted. 

I always strive to be the best that I can be. If anyone has any reading suggestions or ideas for dealing with incompetent bosses, please leave a comment. Ciao

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Single "Temptress"? Puke.

Today I went to work after I had been off for two days on a much needed mini-vacation. I had to attend a pseudo graduation ceremony for parents who had graduated from adult school. A couple of months ago, a male parent complained to our school board about a certain program in our adult school and because the situation has been volatile we have had to micromanage the situation with increasing our presence at some of the adult school events.

About two months ago, the father came in to meet with my boss and I about the issue. Throughout the entire meeting, he was extremely flirtatious with me in front of my boss and actually asked me out on a date. My boss is a male and it made him very uncomfortable. The father continued to call and call until my boss finally told me that he was going to pass off the problem to one of my male colleagues. 

I usually would slap the hell out of the man and put him in his place, but I was kindly asked by people above me (who have been very good to me) to please control myself and not kick him in the shins over his behavior. So I kept my mouth shut.

Today I attended the graduation with my male boss and three of my male colleagues. I ran into the father who had complained. As we were leaving, the father came up to me and shook my hand. Then, he said, "Oh, I really like the way you look without your suit jacket. That shirt really accentuates your nice breasts".  I thought that no one had heard him and I didn't want to cause a scene by chewing him out in public, so I just stared at him and walked off.

When we got to the car, I told my boss what he had said and lo and behold the jackass told me that he had heard what the man said and he didn't know what to do. I told him that I am not going to turn the other cheek the next time that the man says something like that, so he better tell his superiors to expect that I might give the man a possible bitch slapping one of these days. 

You won't believe what my boss told me. He said, "Well, maybe it is because you are single? Maybe you would get more respect from men if you wear a wedding ring". That's so disgusting to me on so many levels. Needless to say, I gave my boss a piece of my mind and you can rest assured that he won't be saying something that stupid any time soon. 

The Governator Can Suck It

I took the past two days off work and took a little min-vacation, which I have desperately been needing. This school budget fiasco is almost driving me to have a heart attack. I'm not messing around here. I thought that stuff was bad back when Prop 227 was on the ballot (the bilingual education initiative), but after it passed we just had to figure out a way to work around it. It seems now though that our hands are tied behind our back.

It seems like every single day that passes, I can't predict what the hell is going to happen with the budget. If it isn't the state yanking us around and putting restrictions on certain budgets, then it's the state telling us that they are making certain categorical funds flexible that previously were restricted to only a certain population of students. One day there seems to be money in a budget and the next day, poof it is gone. If it's not the state jerking us around, it is the teachers, the parents, the principals, and other employees who are fighting us and one another over the money.

It's almost about to make me hate money. I said ALMOST, mind you.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Goodbye and Good Riddance: Adios to Low Performers

Today I went to the retirement party of one of my former bosses. I didn't want to go, but my current boss asked me to go with him, so I decided to go. I am disappointed in myself for doing so.

For the sake of this post, I will call her Suzy. Suzy has been a school principal for years and years and she was my first principal when I was a new teacher.

When I arrived, tons of people were talking about what a wonderful person she had been. The first speaker stated that she aspires to be like Suzy one day, and she said that the greatest thing that she learned from Suzy was how to shop on QVC. A couple of other speakers stood up there and talked about how Suzy hooked them up with many police officers and maintenance workers that she always had hanging around her.  One of her former teachers stood up there and talked about how Suzy could drink a lot of alcohol and was a great pool player. A higher level manager talked about her ridiculously pink office.

I could go on and on about all of the things that they spoke about, but I want to refrain from making myself SICK. Not once did anyone mention what a great leader she had been. Because she wasn't a great leader, at least in my opinion.

When she interviewed me for a sixth grade teaching position years ago, the first question she asked was if I was single and whether or not I liked to party. She always catered to all of the men, babied the men and tried to be the eternal matchmaker instead of actually writing up shitty teachers and holding people accountable. 

I can recollect a time when one of my wacko colleagues had two young girls spend the night at his house. He was infatuated with one of the little girls and I suspected that he was a perv. I approached Suzy and told her about my concerns. The first thing out of her mouth was, "Oh, we need to find him a girlfriend". I said to her, "No, we need to find him a fucking shrink." I actually had to strong arm her into investigating the situation because in my sane world teachers don't have third and fourth grade little girls spend the night at their house.

Everything about Suzy and her leadership style bred mediocrity. She rarely came out of her office and the few times that my students saw her walking around they actually asked me who she was. Can you imagine that-students not even knowing who the school principal was?? She made excuses for everyone, especially the men, and everything was a big party to her. She put people up on a pedestal and told everyone what a great teacher they were, when she had never even been in their classroom. She didn't get into classrooms much because she was truly shopping online in her office all day long, and she was not one to hide it. 

Suzy left the school in shambles a couple of years ago as one of the lowest scoring schools in the district.

As I sat listening to everyone's stories, I felt dirty in a strange way. I felt like a hypocrite sitting there because every story that someone told about her made me think even less of her. 

On my ride home, I thought about the time that I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I recall an exercise in the book where the author asked you to imagine your funeral and imagine what your loved ones would say and what your colleagues would say about your life. Throughout the entire party today, not one person brought up the fact that she was an excellent leader who made a difference in the lives of children.

People in my school district always accuse me of taking my work too seriously. I can only hope that at my retirement party people will talk about my accomplishments and how I have made an impact on the lives of children and our community. I most definitely hope that people don't remember me for having taught them to shop on QVC or as a wild party animal. I hope I am remembered as someone who busted her ass to make a difference for children and worked tirelessly to make this world a better place. 

Goodbye and good riddance to her. I am very sorry that as a leader in the same institution, that now I have to clean up some of the mess that she leaves behind.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grieving is a Bitch

Today I will have one of those touchy feely posts that I hate to post. But I suppose that I just can't help it.

I am having problems today dealing with the death of a loved one. It seems like it was so long ago and I should get over it, but every year the anniversary of his death comes around and I can hardly deal with it. Saturday will be the anniversary.

Over fourteen years have passed.

Fourteen years ago, my boyfriend was supposed to take me out to a party when I got out of work. He never showed up and I paged him over and over about what an asshole he was. The next day his friend called me at work and told me that he was dead.

Apparently he headed to a party without me and was going to pick me up later and bring me to the party when I got out of work. Someone started shooting into the crowd at a party and he started to run away. He was shot in the back and by the time that his friends took him to the hospital he was dead.

I paged him all night long with nasty messages because I thought that he stood me up. I don't think I have ever been able to forgive myself.

I haven't been to his grave in over ten years. Every year I promise myself that I will visit and I just can't bring myself to do so. 

Today I received a call from both his mother and his former best friend. I would just rather not have them call me anymore. I hate to say that, but it's true. It's too hard for me to deal with. 

I'm a tough, bad ass bitch, but it still hurts me every year when the anniversary rolls around. I just want to roll up, and forget that it ever happened. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NCLB Can Kiss My Ass

Yesterday I had a meeting with representatives from the California Department of Education over compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act. It was brought to my attention that we may be out of compliance because we have not been offering services to private schools. What a load of crap. 

Let me get this straight-we are a public school institution and I've got to provide services to a private school? What the hell for? If private schools want to be detached from the public school system, then they should come up with their own services as far as I'm concerned. 

I asked for clarification as to what we should be doing to help the private schools. They recommended that we should provide timely and immediate consultations to the schools regarding assessment, professional development and training, etc. I'll repeat-what a load of crap. So, now I have to dedicate my precious time and public education resources to help out these damn private schools?

Apparently the No Child Left Behind Act requires that public school systems assist the private schools. I'll repeat for the third time-BULLSHIT! I'm going to engage in my own little act of civil disobedience and refuse to help an institution who is NOT part of the public school system. They are on their own, whether the federal government likes it or not.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Charter Schools and the Capitalist Way

For some strange reason, that American Indian Public Charter School article that I bitched about in my last post is still really bothering me. I can't explain why, but I suspect that it is because of my irritation with charter schools within my work context that I have been experiencing lately. I decided to look up the charter school today and it DOES say this on their website: "We are looking for hard working people who believe in free market capitalism to join our family at AIPCS." "Multi-cultural specialists, ultra liberal zealots, and college-tainted oppression liberators need not apply."

Puke to the highest degree. Liberatory pedagogues should be present in all inner-city schools, jackasses. It figures that rich and privileged white men would know just how to education poor black and brown kids.

This type of ignorant shit has been pissing me off all week and has set me in a mood from hell. I'm totally serious. All week long I have been dealing with fucked up charter schools who are taking advantage of our kids, basically. These business people (as in the case of the American Indian Charter School--he was in real estate I believe) come into our schools, make money off of our kids, and then the public education system typically has to pick up all the pieces when the kids are either kicked out of the charter school because they aren't performing to their expectations or the charter school crumbles. It's all a sham to dismantle the public education system, make money off of innocent kids and shove traditional teaching methods down the throats of children who live in poverty.

I was just reading in the LA Times opinion piece that many people are just as disgusted with the school as I am. In fact, the opinion piece is titled "Capitalism for the Kids". Many of the opinion pieces just reminded me of one of my favorite books on the topic written by Bowles and Ginitis "Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life" which details that schools are nothing more than institutions designed to reproduce the existing class structure in society. It's an older book, but it's a classic and a must read.

It figures that everything reminds me of a damn book. I'm beginning to think that I need to get a life outside of the bookstore.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What's on My Reading List Today??

Here are some things that I've been reading in the LA Times today and are on my mind:

1) Two Sides to Sonia Sotomayor: Um, is there a problem with standing up for minority rights? I bet the racists are shaking in their boots imagining that if Sotomayor is on the Supreme Court that "those people" will take over the country by actually having the nerve to have equal protection under the law! Imagine that.

2) Spitting in the Eye of Mainstream Education: I just can't fucking believe this article. What part is pissing me off the most? Is it that the charter school openly recruits capitalists who subscribe to free market theory and openly supports union busting? (It's supposed to be public education, jackasses.) Or is it the part when the CEO of the charter school asked if the Jews and Chinese were stupid enough to ask the public school to teach about their culture? I suggest that he take a stroll over to San Francisco Unified School District, where the district continues to be under Lau v Nichols regulations as a result of the lawsuit regarding bilingual education that Chinese parents brought over 40 years ago.

What pisses me off about it all is that the fucking school is called "American Indian Public Charter School". What, are we going back to the "Indian boarding schools" days when they would hijack American Indian youth, cut of their hair, not let them visit their homes, stamp out their language, teach them that the people in their culture were a bunch of savages? This type of school remind me of the Indian boarding schools documented in the book: "Education for Extinction: American Schools and the Boarding School Experience 1875 to 1928".

The sad thing is that although the article is titled "Spitting in the Eye of Mainstream Education", this is pretty much as close to mainstream education as you can get. What's the difference really between this school and other schools in California? Minority children are denied a quality education in most schools, students are treated as if they are in the military, teachers have narrowed the curriculum and pretty much only teach to the test, and the curriculum is basically from a white, middle class perspective, despite the claim from right-wingers that schools are a bunch of liberal melting pots.

The main difference between this fucked up charter school and others is that the school practices corporal punishment in the form of public humiliation such as shaving heads and forcing kids to wear humiliating signs--you know, the types of punishment that are actually outlawed in public schools??

Saturday, May 30, 2009

All About Me!!

I've been having such a fabulous time blogging lately, so I figured that I would start another blog! (I must obviously not have enough time on my hands, qué no? I don't really know how this blog is going to be any different than some of my other blogs, but I suspect that I will probably focus more on race issues and will have less adultish themes to it. (ha, we'll see how long that lasts). We'll see how it goes, and if I find that I just end up writing everything on my other blog then so be it.

I figured that I would take the opportunity to introduce myself.

I am a 33 year old Latina feminist living in Los Angeles, California. I am a school administrator and am obsessed with the field of education. I was a bilingual educator for a number of years and now I am in the area of school finance, institutional leadership and educational law and policy. 

I'm pretty obnoxious, feisty and so far to the left that democrats often look like right wing assholes in my mind. I curse a lot, so much in fact that sailors have been known to blush in my presence. I have no inner monologue and I say whatever happens to be on my mind. I am fearless and I try to subvert the status quo in almost everything that I do. 

I am not married and have no children. I do not believe in marriage or monogamy at the moment. I have been in a very unconventional (to say the least) relationship with a male for the past twelve years; our relationship is open and I date other people if I feel like it while he chooses to be monogamous to me. 

My interests and some of the things that I will be blogging about here are: education, diversity, multilingualism, race and culture, feminism, politics, California history, leadership, and anything else that catches my interest at any given moment. Let's just say that I have a pretty stressful job during the day, and blogging releases some of my pent up frustrations.

Oh, and one more thing-I have been known to be mean and I am always plotting, planning and scheming to take over the world. 

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be here for a little bit before I move over to a hosted account.