Judicial Watch recently received documents from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) in response to a California Public Records Request filed on May 22, 2012. The request sought records relating to UCLA’s partnership with a failing charter school that has a declared Marxist, Marcos Aguilar, for a principal. Despite its consistent inability to meet minimum standards to continue operating under the auspices of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Academia Semillas del Pueblo (ASP) remained open year after year thanks to pressure on the school board from professors throughout the southwestern United States. According to the documents Judicial Watch obtained, its high school outgrowth – Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory (AIUP) – appeared before the LAUSD Board of Education to request that its charter be renewed despite inadequate marks on statewide metrics. Highlights from the documents received today:
- A letter signed by six academics to LAUSD Board of Education President Monica Garcia urging renewal of Semillas’ charter on the basis that: “Our future depends on alternatives to high stakes, unicultural, competitive approaches that currently exist in the LAUSD school bureaucracy.” The academics’ letter, read at the LAUSD Board of Education’s June 18, 2013 meeting, goes on to argue that:
“High stakes testing is not a solution but part of the complex set of problems and issues facing Latino students in the LAUSD school bureaucracy.”
- A Powerpoint presentation dated June 18, 2013 with introductory remarks intended for the Board of Education in what purports to be the indigenous language “Nahuatl.” Several slides later, the same Powerpoint presentation, designed to win the Board of Education’s renewal approval, defends Anahuacalmecac’s failure to meet statewide standards by quoting State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson as saying, “It’s disappointing that this report applied a one-size-fits-all checklist. Those who are serious about examining the quality . . . will have to look elsewhere for more reliable and useful information.”
- A glossy prospectus distributed at an open house on January 30, 2013 which concludes with an alternative report card, described as a “reconceptualization of what we seek as the qualitative results of the learner’s experience is a values-based guide for teachers as well as learners. This table is only a linear representation of the matrix of the learning experience, which can occur at any point, over time, in any setting, formal and informal.” The metrics set forth in the “reconceptualiz[ed]” report card include attributes such as “Trustworthy” and “Meticulous” yet misspells another trait: Communal.
The elementary school aspect of the institution has received a total of $314,469.00 in federal funding. To date, LAUSD has failed to release any records responsive to Judicial Watch’s May 22, 2013 records request.
Judicial Watch’s prior reports on the matter appear here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2006/11/mexican-separatist-school-pushes-marxism-anti-americanism/