Please Don’t Speak for All Latinos

Well thank you, Julian Vasquez Heilig for speaking on behalf of all Latinos everywhere. However, I don’t need you to speak for me. I don’t need you to use Latino students, including my own, to dish your baseless opinion about what is good for my kids and the millions of other Latino students in this country.  

While I generally agree that Betsy DeVos is bad for education because of her inexperience in education and overt efforts to use education reform “to advance God’s kingdom,” I take offense with your position that charters and choice are not what Latino families need, and here’s why:

  1. The unions, working in conjunction with districts, control opportunity and access. You stated, “When corporations and churches control the schools, which is the ultimate goal of neoliberal approaches to markets, they control opportunity and access.” For years, one could argue that organizations such as NEA, AFT and local uber politicized teacher unions have basically done exactly that. Who currently controls the schools? Unions. And whether by design or inadvertently, they have caused a great deal of oppression and thwarted opportunity and access for many Latino students for years. The power amassed by the unions and the wealth amassed to fight education reform, teacher accountability, and improved measurable outcomes collectively constitute the “elephant in the room” that you and others continue to ignore. Your failure to address or even acknowledge this very important fact clouds the rest of your message. You lost me at, the big corporations…blah, blah, blah. We need to be just as critical of the overly political teacher unions, who are just as a negative a force in education as some these corporate forces.  
  2. You include a hyperlink to your page on “False School Choice,” but your video is not available to the public and your data (from 2015) seems to include a very one-sided opinion about California Virtual Academies and pernicious language by renowned charter school hater, Diane Ravitch. Your bio claims you are an award winning researcher and teacher but so far, all I hear is regurgitation of Diane Ravitch talking points.  
  3. Your opinion is one-sided and lacks authority to support your assertion that Latino students do not benefit from school choice. You pollute the term “school choice” by including privatization and vouchers, when you should know that in California, proponents of vouchers are NOT included in the push for reform or choice and the in California all CHarter Schools are public schools. You chose to interject it to make your piece relevant to the Betsy DeVos appointment. People should not be fooled by your false claims, fancy credentials, and doublespeak.

As a Latina, I take issue with the generalization and disdain that “Educators” take with school choices.  I used everything available to me to get my four kids through school.  At one point I had them in Private (Christian) School, then local public school as well as Charter Schools.  I had my reasons for all of it but the important thing is that it was all available to me and my kids.  You may not “like”  school choice for political reasons, but please do not speak for all Latinos on the matter.  I don’t know how you can simply ignore the millions of charter school success stories throughout the nation in your shaky research but in the future, consider all sides.

What do you think?

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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