Erika Alvarez is a Latina, Indigenous educator, and is running to fill LAUSD School Board District 5. If elected, she will shift the balance of power away from the Pro-Charter caucus, which currently has a 5-4 voting majority.
Blue Grizzlies wishes to endorseErika Alvarez for LAUSD5, because she is passionate, and cares about Los Angeles Schools. She has proven that she is willing to work hard, and cross the aisle in order to get things done, and we encourage all voters in LAUSD5 to vote for her in the upcoming March 5th primary.
We recently discussed our shared values below.
Where do you stand on arming teachers, and weapons on school grounds?
I am against arming teachers with weapons of any sort on our campuses. I am a gun sense advocate and am currently working with Drain The NRA to come up with a plan for LAUSD safety. As a teacher in LAUSD, I can attest to the fact that we are very unprepared to respond to gun violence on campus. I can also commit to organizing teachers to fight any potential legislation that would place guns in our classrooms. The bottom line is that we need systems in place to support our protesting guns in the classroom. We need a network of attorneys ready o support any teacher that protests. We need educators and trainers ready to advise and train school sites on how to handle a school shooting. We need fully funded medical services and psychiatric social workers ready to help our communities navigating trauma.
What actions will you take on LAUSD to fight for fact-based education?
Discovery based education is currently at the core of my curriculum. I am a founding member of a Humanitas Social Justice Program at Visual and Performing Arts Legacy High School that blends English, History, and Art together using discovery based pedagogical practices such as Project Based Learning and Praxis. I believe that teachers in LAUSD should stay away from route-memorization and foster the creation of conceptual maps and critical thinking within our students. This can happen by instituting a committee for curriculum and instruction at the board level that then organizes funding and instructional support for teachers to support critical learning practices.
What actions will you take on LAUSD to protect funding for a well-rounded education including Civics, the Arts, and STEM?
I plan on working with the state and nation to further fund public education. Currently we are 42nd in the nation for per pupil spending and the 5th economic power in the world. We need to stop staring our schools and reinvest in civics, the arts and STEM curriculum.
What actions will you take on LAUSD to protect education equality?
Educational equity really begins with queering our systems of schooling and our curriculum. When I say we need to queer pedagogy, I mean that we need to be sure that our education is aware of the intersectionality of our students. Educators need to be sure that our curriculum is inclusive and sustaining our communities. The biggest inequality I witness with my students happens in their health and sex education classes. These classes are often heteronormative and do not take into account the various issues that our communities face outside of binary definitions. Our Humanitas program queered the former by inviting Bienestar, a non profit LGBTQ+ awareness and advocacy group, to talk to our students about safe and healthy practices in their love lives. I believe that we need to change our common core standards to include a queered curriculum that speaks to all students and supports all of their communities. I also believe that we need professional development and frameworks to train all of teachers, not just health teachers, about the support we must provide for all of our children.