Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Forbes: Cortines moonlights as a "Top Corp. Exec": $151,000 in 2009

According to Forbes, since becoming LAUSD Superintendent January 1, 2009 (and while thousands of LAUSD employees lost their jobs) Mr. Cortines has been compensated $151,186 as a Director of the Scholastic Corporation.

What LAUSD program do you think Mr. Cortines should donate his corporate compensation to?
Post your idea in the comments section (below) or send us a message on Twitter @CutsHurtKids

Top Executives at Scholastic Corporation
Ramon C. CortinesDirector
Director Compensation (Scholastic Corporation) for 2009
Total Compensation$151,186.00

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yolie Flores Aguilar's POSTCARD from Brazil...

Must be nice to vacation in Brazil, 
while so many of us are doing the stay-cation thing.

Here's Janet of Echo Park yet again:
upcoming POSTCARD From Yolie Flores Aguilar, enjoying Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And a remix of Yolie's tweet (from weeks ago?)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Villaraigosa's Pre-emptive success poster Remixed...

Janet of Echo Park strikes again...she writes:
There's a poster at bus stations all around [Los Angeles] and attached to the fence across from the LA Times building entrance, applauding Mayor Villaraigosa for eliminating coal energy by 2020.  So, 11 years of pre-emptive success?

Well, there's a better idea for the poster...
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
here's the original poster:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

LAUSD Revised Schedule of TownHall Meetings

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Video: Aurora Ponce receives scholarship & speaks

NBC Ch4 August 11, 2009 - Presents Aurora Ponce her Scholarship

glad Channel 4 was there, but some corrections: (not UTLA) is who presented the over-sized check of $1683.34 from it's successful Twitter-based scholarship fundraiser. UTLA later provided its own scholarship of $1000. 

Also, due to community outrage, Aurora was in fact able to give her Valedictorian speech at her graduation from Annenberg High School (The Accelerated School). 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Press Release: Scholarship for Aurora Ponce

F O R   I M M E D I A T E   R E L E A S E

LOS ANGELES, CA - August 10, 2009 
A scholarship of over $ 1680 will be delivered to Ms. Aurora Ponce as the result of a successful fundraiser on Twitter and Facebook led by the Team. 

WHEN: Tomorrow, Tuesday August 11 at 10AM. 
WHERE: Entrance to The Accelerated School, 4000 S. Main Street, Los Angeles (corner of King Blvd and Main St) MAP: 
PRESS CONTACT: Jose Lara, Teacher at Santee, cell: 714-864-0543 

Tomorrow a check of over $1680 will be presented to Aurora Ponce for her courageous work in defense of education. The event is organized by Parent Leaders of The Accelerated School and ACORN. 

Jose Lara, Teacher at Santee Educational Complex (one of the Leaders of the recent hunger strike, "Hungry For A Better Education") will represent for the presentation of the check. 

Ms. Ponce was punished by The Accelerated School (where she was class Valedictorian) for protesting peacefully against the budget cuts, increased class sizes and teacher layoffs. 

Among other punishments, they took away her summer job, which she needed to buy books for her freshman year in college, which she is starting this Fall at UC Davis.

86% of the scholarship donations come from Public School Teachers. This is a powerful statement that our teachers care deeply about our students. 

Aurora Ponce was punished publicly, and in response, teachers and community members have stood up publicly in her defense. In this effort hopes to counter any chilling effect on student activists. 

We also hope the message is heard loud and clear: if a student dares to defend what is just or criticize what is unjust, the community will stand with her.

# # #

Comunicado de Prensa: una Beca para Aurora Ponce

P A R A    D I F U S I O N    I N M E D I A T A

LOS ANGELES, CA - 10 de Agosto, 2009
QUÉ: Una beca de mas de $1680 se entregará a la Srta Aurora Ponce de la exitosa recaudación de fondos que se hizo por Twitter y Facebook liderada por el equipo de 

CUÁNDO: Mañana, martes 11 de agosto a las 10AM. 
DONDE: Entrada a la Escuela Acelerada, 4000 S. Main Street, Los Angeles (esquina de King Blvd y Main St) MAPA: 
 Jose Lara, maestro de Santee, celular: 714-864-0543

Mañana se entregará a Aurora Ponce un cheque por más de $1680 por su valiente labor en defensa de la educación. El evento es organizado por padres líderes de la Escuela Acelerada y ACORN. 

El maestro de Santee Educational Complex, Jose Lara (uno de los lideres de la reciente huelga de hambre, L.A. Hungry For A Better Education) representará a para la entrega del cheque. 

Srta Ponce fue castigada por la Escuela Acelerada por protestar pacíficamente contra los recortes presupuestarios, el aumenta del tamaño de las clases y los despedidos de maestros. 

Entre otros castigos, se le quitaron su trabajo de verano, lo cual ella necesitaba para comprar libros para la universidad en el otoño (UC Davis). 

Un 86% de las donaciones de la beca provienen de maestros de escuelas públicas. Esta es una poderosa afirmación de que nuestros maestros se preocupan profundamente por nuestros estudiantes. 

Aurora Ponce fue castigada públicamente. En respuesta, los maestros y miembros de la comunidad se han parado a su defensa. En esperamos que este esfuerzo contrarresta cualquier efecto negativo (chilling effect) sobre los estudiantes activistas. 

Esperamos que el mensaje se escuche alto y claro: si un(a) estudiante se atreve a defender lo que es justo o criticar lo injusto, la comunidad estará con ella. 


Monday, July 13, 2009

Guest Article by Robert D. Skeels: Yolie Flores Aguilar's Resolution

Echo Park, Los Angeles - July 12, 2009 - Robert D. Skeels

Let Yolie know how you feel about her betrayal of our communities and schools

Keep the PUBLIC in public schoolsPlease leave comments on Yolie Flores Aguilar's blog regarding her CORPORATE CHARTER GIVE AWAY known as "Public School Choice: A New Way for LAUSD." We don't want the Wall*Mart model of cut-throat corporate competition to ruin our children's education!

It's imperative that every parent, student, community member, and social justice activist make their voices heard. Ms. Flores Aguilar and LAUSD we don't want you to hand our schools over to corporate interests. Charter school operators are wealthy enough! Keep the public in public schools! The school board votes on this Tuesday, July 14, 2009!

Please email the Ms. Tamar Galatzan <> and let her know you strongly oppose Ms. Yolie Flores Aguilar's resolution and want her to vote against it.

Below is Robert D. Skeel's letter to BOE President:
Ms. Mónica García, President of LAUSD Board:

Please find this message to contain my strongest encouragement for you to vote no on Yolie Flores Aguilar's Public School Choice: A New Way for LAUSD resolution this Tuesday. Essentially a hand out to wealthy corporate charter interests, this resolution does not serve the interests of Los Angeles' children in any way. It does, however, serve the interests of organizations that already receive massive funding from the Waltons, Gates, and Broads.

My wife and I live in District 2 and my wife attends Evans Adult School. We are appalled that several LAUSD board members have aligned with deep pocketed corporate against their own communities, but it isn't too late to draw a line in the sand by voting no on this draconian resolution. Please vote no on this resolution and show that we can keep the public in public schools!

Ms. Garcia, I have voted for you many times in the past, including this last election. However, I can guarantee you will not get my vote in the future if you don't take a stand on this.

Robert D. Skeels and YJ Lee
Barrio Echo Parque residents for 14 years

Sunday, July 12, 2009

KPFK: July 13 Launch of PAPEL Summer School

PAPEL's 1ST DAY OF SCHOOL Monday, 13 July 2009 
8AM - 5PM: Elementary School Children 
8AM - 5PM: Advanced College Preparatory Courses (8th - 12th) Fridays, 
9AM - 12PM: Advanced Seminars (Mandatory) for 8th - 12th  

For a complete schedule of classes, please visit the following temporary website:  Registration is still open and will continue throughout the summer.

Vista Hermosa Nature Park at 100 N. Toluca Street 

Martin Terrones: "we will be at the top of the park overlooking the downtown LA landscape.  If you can't participate at all but would like to donate water or fruit, even school supplies, bring them on by."

Martin Terrones & Sean Leys, former hunger strikers in the Hungry for a Better Education campaign, annouce the July 13 launch of: P.A.P.E.L. SUMMER SCHOOL (People's Assemby for Popular Education & Liberation).  

Here, they speak on KPFK radio 90.7 in Los Angeles on July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Last Call for PAPEL's Summer School Program

by Martin Terrones Thursday, Jul. 09, 2009 at 3:48 PM 

With the budget cuts to our summer program now in effect, and with reports by community members of acts of vandalism throughout the different communities in Los Angeles by young children who should otherwise be in school, one community group is ready to take over what the LAUSD failed to do: save our kids!

Last Call for PAPEL'...
papel_logo.jpg, image/jpeg, 362x338

It’s been a long and arduous journey but we have finally reached our destination. Tomorrow, at 11:30AM, members of the People’s Assembly for Popular Education & Liberation, a coalition of community activists, teachers, parents and students, will be holding a press conference to inform the community of our intent to hold registration for our summer school program on Saturday, July 11th, from 9:30AM – 1PM. Summer classes are scheduled to begin on Monday, July 13th, starting at 8AM and concluding at 5PM each day until August 21st. 

Since launching our Hungry for a Better Education campaign on May 24, 2009 – a campaign designed to pressure LAUSD school board members and the superintendent to save teachers and reduce class size – we have occupied the sidewalks of John Leichty Middle School, Miguel Contreras High School, Santee High School and the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Over that period of time, teachers, community activists, parents and students, including the Danza Mixteca Cuauhtemoc, have vowed to fight against a system that has decided to abandon our students to an uncertain and dangerous future. The stakes are too high to sit back and watch our kids get lured into a life of crime and violence by gang members and drug dealers. Their future is too valuable to ignore what is happening, too important to walk away, especially for something so insignificant like the Lakers’ parade or Michael Jackson’s funeral service. 

We understand, perhaps better than our elected and appointed officials, the ramifications of these budget cuts because we are the ones who have to see the future of our communities, our kids, waste their lives away instead of striving to improve them. Our drop out rate has shot through the roof, and now our youngest children will not be able to attend kindergarten because the district feels we need administrators more than educators. 

On Monday, July 13th, the community of Los Angeles will be taking back what is rightfully ours: our children’s education. We are going to show up and teach, mentor and inspire young kids to believe in themselves and in us, their teachers, parents and friends. We are their future, and we will not let them down anymore. 

As we get ready to embark on this, our latest attempt to save our kids, we would like to make one final call to educators and parents, including young adults and members of the community who believe in this struggle to volunteer as tutors for our elementary school kids. We need your help if this summer program is going to be successful. So spread the word. Talk to your neighbors, your friends, and your family members and encourage them to volunteer. We will be holding classes at Vista Hermosa Natural Park, 100 N. Toluca Street, near 1st and Beaudry in Downtown Los Angeles all summer long. 

Your help and contribution is invaluable. Our kids will thank you some day, I promise you. 

Faithfully yours, in solidarity and struggle, 

Martin Terrones, 

Monday, July 6, 2009

Report: LA County 2008-2009 Civil Grand Jury - ARTS EDUCATION AT LAUSD

TOO SMALL TO READ? just click this link:
p235-p256 MasterDocument2009-06-04

What does Tweet about? Take a look...

Today marks 3 months of Tweeting by  We took our 1000+ tweets & made tag clouds with

Here's three different ways to view the words we tweeted the most.

You can see we use #hashtags LAUSD & UTLA a lot. Both are short & commonly used tags for RSS feeds.

Also, we tweet a lot in the afternoons and evenings, hence the PM.  

There were a lot of tweets in May and June, not so many in April (and July's just begun).

We retweet a lot, which explains the big "RT".  You can also see some of the people we've retweeted or tweeted at.

You can also see some of the campaigns we've been involved in, particularly our collective grassroots mapping project at & the Hunger Strike (LAhungry4ED), among others.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

PAPEL Teacher Participation Information Form

Martin Terrones, of PAPEL (People's Assembly for Popular Education & Liberation) writes,

"As some of you may have heard, LAUSD's budget cuts have taken effect and a toll on our students, many of whom, we've learned, have been locked in their homes by their parents for fear that they may leave and get into trouble by joining the wrong crowd or by ending up on the wrong place at the wrong time.  

As a result, members of the newly created People's Assembly for Popular Education & Liberation (PAPEL) have decided to hold summer school to help save as many of those students as we possibly can.  We may not be able to help the hundreds of thousands of students affected by these cuts this summer.  But however many we can help and save will be more than our elected officials are willing to themselves.

And so, if you are interested in teaching a class for a few hours a week over a 6-week period of time (or less, depending on availability), please complete the questionnaire form and return it IMMEDIATELY so I can compile a master schedule of classes and determine what teachers will be available to teach.  

If you are not interested but you know someone who may be, please forward the email to them.  We need your help if this is going to be a success.  I can't emphasize enough how important your participation, however limited, will be to starting a movement that will resonate with other school districts already mired by their own budget cuts."

Martin Terrones sent this form, below, for interested teachers to fill out. Completed forms can be sent to him at 

Summer School Teacher Sign-up


Teacher Name:


Home Address:








Telephone (mobile):


Telephone (home):





Teaching Grade Level
(if any):


Name of School
Where You Taught:


Subject(s) Taught:



Contact Person:


Relationship to Teacher:


Telephone Number:




Please list your undergraduate degree(s) earned.


If you are still in the process of getting a degree, please list the major you are considering or academic subject you are most interested in.


If you are not in college or have no undergraduate or advanced degree and would like to teach, please discuss your experience in the area you are interested in teaching.
(Please note: You do not need a university degree to educate our kids. We are simply trying to ascertain the different skills our community possesses so we can provide our students with a wider array of courses or skills to teach them.)


In order of preference, please list the subject(s) you would like to teach. If possible, please be as specific as possible (e.g. California History; Chicana/o Art; Chicana/o Literature; History of the Roman Empire; American Authors of the 20th Century; Pre-Colombian Art; History of Rock ‘n Roll; Mexico in Transition, 1810 – 1910; Poets of the Revolution; Geometry; Molecular Biology; Human Anatomy; Mechanical Physics; Astronomy, etc.).


Course Description
















Based on your preference, please list the top 3 best days of the week that you would like to teach and the preferred 2-hour block of time. 

Please note: Because we are offering students specific courses to register for, we are asking that teachers sign up for a two-hour block of time, two days a week. If you wish to commit to a single day for 4-hours, that will be acceptable also. For example, if you are teaching a literature course, we would appreciate you committing to teach Tuesdays/Thursdays, 1Pm – 3PM or Tuesdays 1PM-5PM.  While we are still considering how long to keep the summer program going, we are tentatively trying to shoot for a 5-week session.  If you are unable to commit for that period of time, we will try our best to find someone to take over in your absence.  Whatever time you can provide, we will be most appreciative. 

Preferred Day(s) of the Week

Preferred Block of Time



8AM – 10AM or 1PM – 5PM










Friday, July 3, 2009

DAY 2: PAPEL, People’s Assembly for Popular Education & Liberation (Summer School))

July 3, 2009

TO: All Immigrant, Human, Womyn's and Education-rights Organizations

FR: People’s Assembly for Popular Education & Liberation (PAPEL)

RE: Summer School Education Program Schedule for Friday, July 3rd, 2009

I just wanted to provide you with a schedule of today's class and a brief update on our first day of school.  Before I do, however, I just wanted to apologize to those of you who have asked me to stop posting on some listservs.  My intention was not to inconvenience any one of you. I just thought this was the best way to inform everyone of what is happening the first few days while we update our information on a website where anyone interested in this project can visit.  After this email, I will send one more message to let you all know what is planned for the days and weeks ahead.  For those of you who want to take part in the planning of the summer program to save and educate our kids, the Assamblea General de Educacion Popular will be meeting this Sunday at 12PM in front of the Beaudry Building.  Please visit for updates.

Our first day of class hit a few snags here and there but we managed to survive the day.  Carolina Valdez from the Association of Raza Educators, Cuco from Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc, Sean Leys from Hungry for a Better Education, and Ron Gochez from Union del Barrio did an exemplary and wonderful job teaching those few but eager to learn students.  Many of the students, including some instructors that stayed on for the next class, learned something new.  In a few hours, we will begin with day two.  We're hoping that despite this being a holiday season, more students and parents will show up.  Even if one student shows up, that's one student we will serve.  And that's why were here, to serve them.

Finally, our sister-in-arms, Kelly Flores, will be helping to coordinate logistics with our teachers so we can start planning out a schedule.  Once we finish drafting the proper survey, we will email it to those of you who showed an interest in volunteering to let us know what you would just love to teach and when so we can start letting students and their parents know.  Remember, it's not to late to participate.

Thank you all for hanging in there.  I know yesterday was hard for those of you who got dismissed.  Do know that the battle is far from over and we will win it for the children and for you.  Save the students! Save the teachers! Save our future!

Faithfully yours, in solidarity and struggle,

Martin Terrones,
People's Assembly for Popular Education & Liberation (PAPEL)
(310) 591-7560 mobile


8AM – 10AM: Elementary School Students, Grade 1st – 6th
Teacher: Carolina Váldez
Assitant: Micaela López
10:15 – 12PM: Danza Mixteca Cuauhtemoc, Open to Anyone
Teacher: Cuco
Assistants: Danza Mixteca Cuauhtemoc
1PM – 2:30PM: Middle School Students, Grades 7th – 9th
Teacher: Sean Leys
2:30PM – 3:30PM: Aztec Calendar Reading
Teacher: Cuco
3:30PM – 5:30PM: High School Students, Grades 9th – 12th
Teacher: Martin Terrones
Topic: "Understanding the Politics in Quevedo, Lorca, Neruda and Alberti's Romantic Work"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

PRESS RELEASE Aurora Ponce college books Fundraiser for Valedictorian punished for protest (South L.A.)

SUMMARY: launches college books fundraiser for Aurora Ponce, valedictorian in South-Central Los Angeles. Raza Education Fund is the fiscal sponsor. Ms. Ponce is being punished by her school for peacefully protesting school class-size increases & teacher layoffs.

Among other things, her school took away her summer job.
Donations for her college books/supplies are being accepted at 

I'm going to college, I'm going to be broke," she said. "I was going to save that money for books. It's going to be hard,”,0,7536793.story?track=rss

We're asking people to consider donations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 or whatever they can afford to give this student-warrior, whose bravery we want to reward & encourage. 

For those who would like to give, but can't until a paycheck arrives, we are asking that pledges be sent to or . So far we have managed to raise just over 50% of $1590 needed for books/supplies at UC Davis. But $790 is still needed.

F O R    I M M E D I A T E    R E L E A S E

LOS ANGELES, CA - July 1, 2009

WHAT: announces the launch of a college books fundraiser for Aurora Ponce, valedictorian in South-Central Los Angeles, punished by her school for peacefully protesting school budget cuts, class-size increases & teacher layoffs. Raza Education Fund (REF) is the fiscal sponsor.

WHERE:  Donations are being accepted at (securely, via Paypal)

WHEN: Starts today, July 1st  and ongoing through August, 2009.

Ms. Ponce's school, Annenberg High School (one of The Accelerated Schools) located on the corner of Main street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, have punished this stellar student leader for her participation in a non-violent, peaceful student sit-in.

We roundly condemn the actions and inactions of Patrick Judd, Jonathan Williams, Elizabeth Oberreiter and Sandra Phillips in the public punishment of Aurora Ponce, by suspending her for 2 days, not allowing her to participate in the senior class trip, taking away her summer tutor job and barring her from giving her graduation address (until public outrage forced school officials to relent minutes before the ceremony June 27).


I'm going to college, I'm going to be broke," she said. "I was going to save that money for books. It's going to be hard,” says Ms. Ponce in a June 25 LATimes article


This pattern of administrators silencing dissent  is unacceptable. Ms. Ponce's case comes on the heels of the June 18 Liechty school diplomas scandal in which 65 brave students were denied their diplomas for turning their backs on graduation speaker Monica Garcia (L.A. Unified School Board President) who has supported drastic budget cuts. The Annenberg High School, a charter school, is also located in Monica Garcia's District 2, according to

On the 20 anniversary of Spike Lee's film “Do The Right Thing”, released in June, 1989, we are reminded of the consequences of justice denied and pent up anger.  The film was prophetic: three years later, in South-Central Los Angeles the 1992 riots took place.  Let this serve as a wake up call.

Aurora Ponce, a solid A average student, needs to be commended for her bravery.  She honors the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., for which the boulevard where her alma mater is located is named.

We stand in support of this Los Angeles hero and are collecting funds toward her college books and supplies. Donations can be made online at (securely, via Paypal).

Ms. Ponce who will be attending UC Davis in the Fall needs $1,590 (according to UC Davis website) for books and supplies for her freshman year.


Raza Education Fund EMAIL: EMAIL: 


P A R A   D I F U S I Ó N   I N M E D I A T A

LOS ANGELES, CA - 1 de julio, 2009 

QUÉ: anuncia el lanzamiento de recaudación de fondos para Aurora Ponce, la Valedictoriana en el Centro-sur de Los Ángeles, castigada por su escuela por protestar pacíficamente los recortes presupuestarios, la alta proporcion estudiante-maestro y los despidos de maestros. Raza Education Fund es el patrocinador fiscal.

DÓNDE: Las donaciones se aceptan en 

(a través de un vínculo seguro de Paypal) 

CUÁNDO: Comienza hoy, 1 de julio y continurá hasta el fin de agosto, 2009. 

La Srta. Ponce de la High School Annenberg (una de “The Accelerated Schools”), que se ubica en la esquina de Martin Luther King Boulevard y la calle Main, ha sido castigada por su participación en una protesta no-violenta dirigido por los estudiantes.

Condenamos rotundamente las acciones y falta de acciones por parte de Patrick Judd, Jonathan Williams, Elizabeth Oberreiter y Sandra Phillips en el castigo público de Aurora Ponce, incluyendo: su suspensión de por 2 días, el no permitir su participación en el viaje de la “senior class”, quitarle su empleo de verano y la denegación de permitir su discurso como valedictoriana en su graduación (hasta que la indignación pública obligó a la administracion de ceder y permitirlo, minutos antes de la ceremonia de 27 de junio). 


"Voy a la universidad, voy sin dinero,” dijo. "Yo iba a ahorrar ese dinero para libros. Va a ser difícil,” dice la Srta. Ponce en un artículo de LATimes (25 de junio)


Este patrón en Los Angeles por parte de los administradores de silenciar el disenso es inaceptable. 

El caso de la Srta. Ponce viene justo despues del escándalo en la escuela Liechty el 18 de junio en el que 65 estudiantes se les negarón sus diplomas por darle la espalda a Mónica García (Presidente de la junta de educación del distrito escolar unificado de Los Angeles), quien ha apoyada a drásticos recortes presupuestarios. La Annenberg High School, una escuela charter, también se encuentra en el Distrito 2 de Mónica García, según

En el vigésimo aniversario de la película de Spike Lee "Do the Right Thing", de 1989, se nos recuerda de las consecuencias de la denegación de la justicia combinada con la ira. La película fue profética: tres años más tarde, en el Centro-sur de Los Angeles tuvieron lugar los disturbios del 1992. Que este sirva de llamada de atención. 

Aurora Ponce, con promedio de resultados de “A”, debe ser elogiada por su valentía. Ella honra el espíritu de Martin Luther King Jr., para quien el bulevar donde su escuela se encuentra fue nombrado. 

Apoyamos a esta héroe de Los Angeles con una recaudación de fondos para los libros y materiales que necesitará en la universidad. Las donaciones se pueden hacer por internet en (con seguridad, a través de Paypal). 

Srta. Ponce, quien asistira a la UC Davis en el otoño, necesita $1590 para libros y materiales para su primer año (según el sitio web de UC Davis).


Raza Education Fund – EMAIL: – EMAIL: 

# # #