January 23, 2005: Headlines: COS - Swaziland: Bilingual Education: Hispanic Issues: Ventura County Star: David M. Rodriguez of LULAC says too often, policy-makers like Reed Hastings attempt to decide which public policy can serve our interests without taking the time to involve communities in the discussion

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Swaziland: Special Report: RPCV Reed Hastings: Reed Hastings: Archived Stories: January 18, 2005: Headlines: COS - Swaziland: Service: Hispanic Issues: Education: Bilingual Education: Mercury News: RPCV Reed Hastings, a moderate Democrat who had a broad range of support from his own party, had committed the unforgivable sin of crossing the ``Latino Caucus'' and its out-of-touch position on bilingual education. As a result, someone who has been a committed advocate of our children's education has now been forced from office because he is not empathetic enough for the Latino Caucus : January 23, 2005: Headlines: COS - Swaziland: Bilingual Education: Hispanic Issues: Ventura County Star: David M. Rodriguez of LULAC says too often, policy-makers like Reed Hastings attempt to decide which public policy can serve our interests without taking the time to involve communities in the discussion

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.48.182) on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 9:17 pm: Edit Post

David M. Rodriguez of LULAC says too often, policy-makers like Reed Hastings attempt to decide which public policy can serve our interests without taking the time to involve communities in the discussion

David M. Rodriguez of LULAC says too often, policy-makers like Reed Hastings attempt to decide which public policy can serve our interests without taking the time to involve communities in the discussion

David M. Rodriguez of LULAC says too often, policy-makers like Reed Hastings attempt to decide which public policy can serve our interests without taking the time to involve communities in the discussion

Education board chief missed Latino needs

By David M. Rodriguez
January 23, 2005

Re: Timm Herdt's Jan. 19 essay, "Rejection of a reformer": His essay regarding the confirmation of California Board of Education President Reed Hastings makes our case against the purchasing of political influence by those with the means to do so.

Herdt's essay attempts to frame the issue as one that is simply about Hastings doing wonderful things for education in our state. We certainly commend Hastings and others who give of their time and resources to serve the public. However, that being said, the policies he sought to advance were indeed those of someone with a specific ideology.

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It is true that League of United Latin American Citizens and other organizations opposed to Mr. Hastings' re-appointment vigorously defended bilingual education, however, there is another important message here.

This involves the right of the Latino community to self-determine its future and speak out about how its children learn. Bilingual education is an important factor in our state's education systems. This is not to say that proponents don't expect students to learn and use English as their primary language while their education progresses. Quite the contrary, most who support bilingual education feel it provides enhancement of opportunity and promotes academic achievement. After all, generations of immigrants from throughout the world have become English fluent. We know this takes time. We also recognize that it takes language skills to contribute in our advancing society.

Much too often, policy-makers like Hastings attempt to decide which public policy can serve our interests without taking the time to involve communities in the discussion. In this case, Hastings' practice of bankrolling decision-makers with huge campaign contributions (including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell) who then permit him a free rein on important policy issues is not representative of the community interest. Those who can't pay out the big bucks are left to press their case on their own and without direct access to elected officials.

LULAC believes positive change is in the wind. While Hastings may have thought his public policy benefited all children, he failed to listen to or consult with elected representatives, organizations that have fought for children or even classroom teachers who serve the needs of students and parents on a daily basis. No member of the Senate committee deciding whether to reappoint him had ever met Hastings. LULAC thinks there are important lessons to be learned here.

Appointed officials need to consider that a significant change in direction is needed. Policy-makers can no longer assume that the community will not hold them accountable. Promoting public policy that directly affects our children and their education must include our input and more importantly, the respect of asking us for it.

In making future appointments, we urge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to recognize that personal ideology is not always the best qualifier when appointing someone to the state Board of Education. Latino parents care very much about the future that a good education can provide for their children and our organization must remain vigilant about how policy-makers respond to their needs.

Leaders like state Sen. Martha Escutia deserve our admiration for having the courage to stand tall and advocate for the best education California can offer our children.

-- David M. Rodriguez, of Ventura, is national vice president for the Far West Region of LULAC.





When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 22 2005 No: 391 January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
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Dodd has ring side seat at Inauguration 21 Jan
Peace Corps works in Georgia 21 Jan
Trey Aven monitored Ukraine elections 21 Jan
RPCV group makes quiet indie-pop 21 Jan
Anthony Shriver considers race for Florida Governor 20 Jan
Thomas Tighe says internet brought funds to DRI 20 Jan
Stacy Jupiter researches Australia ecosystems 20 Jan
Libby Garvey is education activist 20 Jan
David McIntyre captures medals on land and in water 19 Jan
Carol Bellamy new president of World Learning 18 Jan
Reed Hastings crossed "Latino Caucus'' 18 Jan
RPCVs sponsor Freeze for Food to aid Colombia farmers 18 Jan
RPCVs urge Bush to aid Democracy in Ukraine 17 Jan
Tom Petri proposes changes in student loan program 17 Jan
Golden Globe Win for Jamie Foxx in RPCV's "Ray" 17 Jan
Stephen Smith is new consul-general in Australia 17 Jan

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Story Source: Ventura County Star

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Swaziland; Bilingual Education; Hispanic Issues

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