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Sunday, September 08, 2013

More Acts of Denial Against and By the Controversial Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter School

The Los Angeles County Board of Education is the latest Educational Body to recommend Charter Revocation for the Controversial Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter School, prompting the below posted, "rant of denial" from its leader Mark(os) Aguilar.
 Will the "facts behind Charter Revocation" come crashing down on Mark(os) and supporter CD 14 City Councilman Jose Huizar? Photo via Eastern Group Publications.
Will former LAUSD School Board President Monica "Gorda Boo Boo" Garcia bellow words of support for her campaign donor Mark(os) Aguilar, at upcoming LA County Board of Education Meeting (** BTW, did "Gorda Boo Boo" eat all the offerings from "Tata" Aguilar's bowl?).
** Blogger's note: Good Sunday morning to all, in the public interest of openness, we present the following from the Controversial Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter School "Founding Tata" Mark(os) Aguilar, as he responds to the recommendation of the Los Angeles County Board of Education to stand by the earlier decision of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), in denying the Charter Renewal for Academia's High School Campus.In the best CD 14 tradition, we "Cut and Paste" "Tata Mark(os)" rebuttal to the County Board of Education's recommendation, as a teachable moment on "acts of denial" ( or embellishment of facts)---Scott Johnson.
LACOE Superintendent Regurgitates LAUSD Denial of Anahuacalmecac Charter Appeal: Discriminatory overtones against Special Education students and English Learners echoed in report
High rates of completion of college preparatory courses and state test improvement ignored 
September 7, 2013
Los Angeles
Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Office of Education- Charter Schools Office headed by Judy Higelin, issued a report rejecting an appeal to justice from Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory Schools of North America (AIUP). AIUP's student body is composed of a higher than average percentage of Special Education students, whose parents have sought refuge from the District's segregation of their children into a failed track of inferior schooling. AIUP's success with Special Education students are also successful English Learners and International Baccalaureate World School students fully engaged in a college preparatory curriculum. While the LACOE report affirms AIUP's solid academic standing and comprehensive educational program, noneducational biases are given greater weight.

The school's petition seeks to appeal the illegal denial of the petition to renew the charter of the school by the Los Angeles Unified School District in an overtly biased political move against the decade long example of educational innovation in a community sentenced to failing middle and high schools. In contrast, AIUP secured a six-year accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) as well as a five year renewed authorization as a flagship IB World School. The bulk of the LACOE Report against AIUP consists of a series of debatable citations of the LAUSD Report and editorials on the language of the AIUP petition as submitted to LAUSD
Ignoring AIUP's 120 page report highlighting remarkable high school graduation rates and highly above average rates of UC/CSU college eligibility among its students, the LACOE Charter Office report instead regurgitated the LAUSD allegations against the school. In a so-called "Capacity Meeting" held previously by the LACOE Charter Office's staff and overlords, a clear message of rejection was made by LACOE senior administrators who alleged that Semillas' students would lower LACOE's Annual Performance Index and thereby impact its financial standing. "If the school's score were 800+, then of course we would gladly accept it," stated the Charter Office representative in an effort to impress upon LACOE Chief Financial Officer against AIUP. 
The appeal process in LACOE has been rife with such discriminatory overtones, illogical biases and last minute changes. In fact, LACOE Board member Doug Boyd established a discriminatory overtone in AIUP's August 13, 2013 public hearing by publicly questioning Semillas' founders who identify as indigenous Mexicans by stating, "Does that mean they are not U.S. citizens?"
Subsequently, Doug Boyd, publicly acknowledged by many in LACOE as outwardly anti-Mexican, illegally addressed the AIUP appeal in a September 3, 2013 LACOE Board meeting accusing others present of bias. Yet, despite the illegal nature of Boyd's actions in violation of California educational law governing charter school appeals, Boyd raised his personal criticisms of AIUP without giving the school community any advance public notice to present any rebuttal as required both by law and the Brown Act. Echoing right wing extremists, Boyd actually went so far as to accuse Semillas of segregation, simply because the school's demographics reflect the ethnic/racial make up of the local community it serves.
The Board of Education vote to accept or reject the LACOE Charter Office recommendation for denial is scheduled for September 10, 2013.
LACOE's staff has now joined the fraternity of school district officials whose overt and covert discriminatory practices have targeted the Semillas community. Of the hundreds of charter schools authorized by LAUSD, Semillas is continually singled out for harassment.  LAUSD discriminates against Semillas both because of its leaders' and students' Mexican origin, and because its programs teach children to value Mexican Aztec cultural, environmental, historic and cosmic knowledge systems in addition to Euro-centric history.  As detailed below, over the course of several years, LAUSD has violated Semillas' and its leaders' rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by:
1. Failing to produce discrete, identifiable public records requested by Semillas more than five times since May 2, 2012 under the California Public Records Act.  The requested records relate to LAUSD's discriminatory and unauthorized demand for Semillas leaders' Social Security Numbers as a condition for renewal of the Xinaxcalmecac charter, a practice the U.S. Department of Justice and Education cautioned LAUSD about just last year as being unlawful.  On October 1, 2012, LAUSD specifically refused to produce certain records to Semillas related to LAUSD's use of Social Security Numbers that the district has already released to other members of the public.  When Semillas pointed out to LAUSD that records were missing, LAUSD's in-house counsel promised to produce all omitted records by October 31, 2012.  LAUSD failed to deliver any records or any further response to date. 
2.Recommending revocation of theAnahuacalmecac charter based on a Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety ("LADBS") Order to Comply ("OTC") for a minor door-swing violation (slope exceeded 2%), knowing that Semillas had already contracted for correction of the door-swing by September 1, 2012, before the start of the school year onSeptember 10.  Even though LAUSD has no jurisdiction over Anahuacalmecac facility accessibility compliance, and even though LAUSD had written confirmation the door-swing would be fixed prior to the school year, LAUSD issued a staff report on August 21, 2012 (just days before the door-swing was scheduled to be fixed) asking the LAUSD Board to issue a Notice of Violation for revocation of theAnahuacalmecac charter based on the OTC.
3.Filing a meritless lawsuit against Semillas on October 22, 2012 for an alleged failure by Semillas to produce records, even though Semillas has already produced all the records LAUSD has asked for, then dropping the lawsuit a few days later after Semillas went through considerable disruption to its school and expense to respond.  In response to Semillas' production of two binders of records, LAUSD demanded Semillas produce every additional scrap of paper in its building.  When Semillas invoked the dispute resolution process under the charter to determine and resolve what specific additional records LAUSD sought, LAUSD sued.  After Semillas began to incur legal fees and demanded mediation, LAUSD unceremoniously dismissed the lawsuit a few days later.  Semillas again sought to invoke the dispute resolution process and was told by LAUSD that "[t]his issue is moot.  The District is not pursuing either the [O]IG subpoena or the PRA." After voluntarily dropping the lawsuit and telling Semillas the issue was "moot," the OIG then turned around and reported in a memorandum to the District's charter school oversight "chief" and the LAUSD Board that the OIG was forced to abandon its audit due to a "lack of cooperation" from Semillas.  That was false.  Notably, the LAUSD OIG has "randomly" selected Semillas schools for audits of its records at least three times in the past five years.  Overwhelming evidence demonstrates that Semillas is targeted, and the audits are not random at all.  Also notably, LAUSD has never sued any other charter school for records or anything else in the past 20 years it has been authorizing charter schools. 
4.Tampering with Xinaxcalmecac and Anahuacalmecac's student records, and delaying Semillas employees' access to Welligent, LAUSD's web-based software system used for online IEPs and tracking of related services.  LAUSD requires Semillas staff to wait two weeks or longer to be assigned access to Welligent, yet Semillas is monitored for compliance on a weekly basis.  On October 23, 2012, several Semillas students were made "inactive" on Welligent by LAUSD, despite these students being actively enrolled in Semillas schools.  Semillas' staff corrected the errors that had been manually inputted by LAUSD staff, but not before Semillas was identified as "noncompliant" for the week. 
5.Barring Semillas' Executive Director Marcos Aguilar from entering the LAUSD Board of Education board room on April 17, 2012, because Mr. Aguilar was dressed in traditional Indigenous formal ceremonial regalia.  In a symbolic gesture to mediate the conflict with four armed LAUSD Police officers, Mr. Aguilar removed his cultural regalia in the full view of students and parents in attendance who were also waiting to enter the facility.
These recent acts are part of a longstanding pattern and practice of discrimination by LAUSD against Semillas, now continued by LACOE.  Semillas calls for an investigation by the proper authorities to reveal the extent and severity of the unlawful discrimination that Semillas suffers at the hands of LAUSD and now LACOE. Semillas seeks an outcome whereby LAUSD and LACOE's wrongful acts will be exposed, and Semillas can operate its schools and educate our children with the harassment continuously railed against us by autocratic local educational bureaucrats.  Further, we specifically seek a finding that LAUSD and LACOE have wrongfully caused Semillas to incur otherwise unnecessary legal expenses to defend itself against slander, false accusations and attacks from LAUSD and now LACOE.
1. Call  the Los Angeles County Office of Education Board of Directors at 562-922-6111 and tell them that you support the charter renewal of Anahuacalmecac.
2. Email the Los Angeles County Office of Education Board of Directors and tell them that you support the charter renewal of Anahuacalmecac.
Vice President:  Braude_katie@lacoe.edu 
Board Member: Boyd_Douglas@lacoe.edu 
Board Member:  Freer_Rudell@lacoe.edu
Board Member: Saenz_Thomas@lacoe.edu 
Board MemberCalderon_Jose@lacoe.edu 
Superintendent: Delgado_Arturo@lacoe.edu
** Did Aztec Math leave out number three and four Mark(os)?
Your thoughts ..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14


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