Why This Teacher Needs Jackie Goldberg on the School Board

As I wind up my 24 th year of teaching in Los Angeles classrooms , I pause to think of my past lives in different schools and neighborhoods. While presenting to students in Finland I always included a slide of past eras of my life such as   growing up in the Eastside, college and adulthood in the Westside, teaching on the Southside, and married life in the Valley. Apart from being a native Angeleno, significant years of my life have been spent living in many parts of town, and teaching in many communities. I love all of them. Which is why I have no doubt in my mind that what students all over L.A. need more than anything is an ally on the school board. My South Central students need a warrior who recognizes that our teachers’ strike was more than just a salary dispute, but a movement to reclaim our rightful place as agents of change in the profession we love. One that will help us do our jobs serving students. My West Valley students need a fighter who will challenge our


April 14, 2009

Dear Superintendent Cortines,

Hello. My name is Cindy Borunda and I am an eighth grader at Los Angeles Academy Middle School. I will start by saying this school has come a long way since I first started out in sixth grade. I have seen countless sessions of after school tutoring and enrichment programs organized by the teachers. I have seen teachers work countless hours after the school day to figure out what they are doing wrong when one of there students is having trouble understanding the lessons. These are people that care, these are the people we should proclaim heroes, but instead you are giving them indecent wages and laying them off. This is an injustice! Where did all the money from the Stimulus package go? Was the money spent on careless things instead of making an effort to make public education better?

We are the future. I am guessing all the people in the important offices have forgotten about us, or they frankly just don’t care. If they did care they would not be doing this. The people you are firing are more than just teachers, they are mentors, role models, and for some of the students in the school, they are the only people who motivate us to try our best and that we can become anything we want.

Without these teachers I never would have gotten to where I am now. I am now independent and play an active role in my community. I am also a student who has gotten a $25,000 scholarship and will be attending a private school next year. The whole application process was very overwhelming, but I had teachers who helped me and motivated me when I felt like giving up. I want to thank them all. Thanks to them I believe I can be someone important who will make a big difference to the world. I just want other students to have the same opportunities. To have someone to look up to, someone who cares, someone who believes they can be anything they want.

I am furious to know, that there will be more students in the classroom. How will students be able to get one-on-one attention? How will they be able to ask questions and get well informed answers?. Do you really expect students to learn in this kind of environment? This is outrageous!

Are you really going to fire all these amazing and caring teachers and replace them with people who haven’t been in a classroom for years? They will lack passion, they won’t care about us. These are not the teachers that will inspire students to be great; these are the people that are teaching just because they have to. Instead of taking a step forward to make public education better you are taking a step back. That is not right.

I would like to commend all the teachers who helped me get to where I am now, thank you all very much. Who would have guessed, that a student from South Central LA would be as successful as I am now? My teachers guessed. I will like to thank them for taking the time to listen to what I have to say and helping me become who I am today.


Cindy Borunda


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