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Old 04-10-2019, 12:17 AM
 
Location: Boston (city limits)
20 posts, read 2,126 times
Reputation: 33

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As many may know, the controversial Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Education, Julia Beatrice Keleher, has resigned. The effective day of the resignation was as soon as the next day. Fulminant! There are some speculations about her sudden departure, but we certainly don't know what was going on behind the scenes beyond what the media has been reporting.

According to news reports, Keleher stated that it was time to leave the position to allow another leader to continue with the reforms that she started. After the resignation, she planned to stay with the agency as a consultant, behind the scenes, like she was doing since 2007 until her appointment as Secretary of Education in 2016. Those plans never came true because after the public started to scrutinize that contract and the high salary.

Julia Keleher implemented some controversial reforms and ideas that were difficult to accept by labor unions within the agency. She closed many schools given the progressive decline in student population that the island has been experiencing for decades. She used external consultants for her decision making because she did not trust in the upper management staff who were supposed to work close to her because of the historic culture of corruption, favoritism and political partisanship that has plagued the agency forever. She was a supporter of charter schools, and wanted to bring modular classrooms to Puerto Rico after the hurricane destroyed many schools. In summary, she wanted to bring successful ideas from the states, but was a target of a fierce opposition because Puerto Ricans resent changes even if they are beneficial.

Her detractors created a campaign on social media under the hashtag #JuliaGoHome. I want to talk about it here. According to media reports, Keleher confessed the campaign was hurtful to her. She interpreted it as a manifestation of people who were recriminating how can a "foreigner" (a "gringa") be in charge of the public school system of Puerto Rico.

It is valid to disagree with Keleher's ideas. However, the xenophobia that such campaign implies is reproachable, nasty, inadmissible, cruel, shameful, and hypocritical. Imagine if an islander working for any state government of the mainland would be subject to a similar campaign, let's say something like #SpicGoHome. Or if there is a campaign in the public schools of Florida, the favorite destination of Puerto Ricans, under the hashtag #PuertoRicanWelfareLosersGoHome.

Some ignorants in the island forget the warm welcome that the State of Florida gave to all Puerto Ricans fleeing from the island after the hurricane, but it was not the only place. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where I live, prepared its public schools for the massive influx of Puerto Rican students. Why? Because Puerto Ricans have the same rights of any American citizen. It is the same citizenship of Julia Beatrice Keleher. It is the same citizenship that allow us to live and work anywhere in the US. Moreover, if we have the right to invade Florida, why a person born in the states like Keleher cannot work in a posistion of leadership in Puerto Rico?

The public school system in Puerto Rico is as mediocre and dysfuctional as many school districts in some inner cities. It is even worse because the decision making is highly bureaucratic and centralized. The system is divided into educational regions and none of them had the freedom for decision making and local managment before Keleher. That was one of her achievements.

Finally, my writing has nothing to do with political parties. It is about the self-destructive resistance of the people in Puerto Rico against everything different to what they already know, and the blatant discrimination against someone in a local position of leadership that was not born in the island.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:50 AM
aax
 
84 posts, read 8,058 times
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They want to chuck her out.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:47 AM
 
10,721 posts, read 3,562,819 times
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Like I said before, many Puerto Ricans in the island don't feel Americans. Some to a point of being hostile. The Pro Statehood movement in the island who pushes for statehood has to deal with this before it demands from Congress statehood because it has deep roots in the public education system and politics for decades. You can't make Puerto Rico a state when many don't feel Americans and are hostile to Anglo Americans having a position in the government of Puerto Rico.



What Keheler went through was brutal that the majority in the media and intellectuals in the island ignored and condoned by their silence.


The majority in the Puerto Rican media and island took great offense and insult for the President of the USA tossing paper towels to people that told him to do it than this racism/xenophobia campaign of telling an American White U.S. Citizen #JuliaGoHome and calling her gringa in a negative term......I find that troubling for a territory that wants to become a state.


You had the News Anchors at WAPA TV celebrating and dancing on the set when she resign. I was like "WTF", I knew they were always bias but that's just crossing the line by a mile. If journalism in the U.S. has lost it's prestige than it's worse in the island.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Philly
9,895 posts, read 13,880,475 times
Reputation: 2710
Quote:
Originally Posted by diegomar2007 View Post
As many may know, the controversial Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Education, Julia Beatrice Keleher, has resigned. The effective day of the resignation was as soon as the next day. Fulminant! There are some speculations about her sudden departure, but we certainly don't know what was going on behind the scenes beyond what the media has been reporting.

According to news reports, Keleher stated that it was time to leave the position to allow another leader to continue with the reforms that she started. After the resignation, she planned to stay with the agency as a consultant, behind the scenes, like she was doing since 2007 until her appointment as Secretary of Education in 2016. Those plans never came true because after the public started to scrutinize that contract and the high salary.

Julia Keleher implemented some controversial reforms and ideas that were difficult to accept by labor unions within the agency. She closed many schools given the progressive decline in student population that the island has been experiencing for decades. She used external consultants for her decision making because she did not trust in the upper management staff who were supposed to work close to her because of the historic culture of corruption, favoritism and political partisanship that has plagued the agency forever. She was a supporter of charter schools, and wanted to bring modular classrooms to Puerto Rico after the hurricane destroyed many schools. In summary, she wanted to bring successful ideas from the states, but was a target of a fierce opposition because Puerto Ricans resent changes even if they are beneficial.

Her detractors created a campaign on social media under the hashtag #JuliaGoHome. I want to talk about it here. According to media reports, Keleher confessed the campaign was hurtful to her. She interpreted it as a manifestation of people who were recriminating how can a "foreigner" (a "gringa") be in charge of the public school system of Puerto Rico.

It is valid to disagree with Keleher's ideas. However, the xenophobia that such campaign implies is reproachable, nasty, inadmissible, cruel, shameful, and hypocritical. Imagine if an islander working for any state government of the mainland would be subject to a similar campaign, let's say something like #SpicGoHome. Or if there is a campaign in the public schools of Florida, the favorite destination of Puerto Ricans, under the hashtag #PuertoRicanWelfareLosersGoHome.

Some ignorants in the island forget the warm welcome that the State of Florida gave to all Puerto Ricans fleeing from the island after the hurricane, but it was not the only place. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where I live, prepared its public schools for the massive influx of Puerto Rican students. Why? Because Puerto Ricans have the same rights of any American citizen. It is the same citizenship of Julia Beatrice Keleher. It is the same citizenship that allow us to live and work anywhere in the US. Moreover, if we have the right to invade Florida, why a person born in the states like Keleher cannot work in a posistion of leadership in Puerto Rico?

The public school system in Puerto Rico is as mediocre and dysfuctional as many school districts in some inner cities. It is even worse because the decision making is highly bureaucratic and centralized. The system is divided into educational regions and none of them had the freedom for decision making and local managment before Keleher. That was one of her achievements.

Finally, my writing has nothing to do with political parties. It is about the self-destructive resistance of the people in Puerto Rico against everything different to what they already know, and the blatant discrimination against someone in a local position of leadership that was not born in the island.
teachers unions are nasty and frankly are pretty terrible to controversial reformers stateside, at least in union areas. in the end, people seem to focus more on how much the person is making ($250k) than how well the person is performing. centralized dysfunction is a hallmark of large districts in the states as well and why the charter movement has grown in those places.

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2...own-after.html
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
891 posts, read 1,908,736 times
Reputation: 934
For some reason the educational field seems to be a place where there is more hostility towards outsiders than any other aspect of life in Puerto Rico.

I felt more than welcome as a university student there, and I met so many Dominicans, Haitians, Venezuelans, Colombians, even an Argentinian. But we were paying to study there, or in the case of the Hispaniola kids, paying with their athletic abilities for the right to study.

When I started looking for a job there as a teacher is when I started getting the cold shoulder. Being a gringo holds no advantage to the Dept of Education, not with so many bilingual Boricuas who move back and forth, afterall they are seen as having some "right" to be there. One of my adjunct professors, an American guy from NYC, learned perfect Spanish and taught English in a primary public school during the day...he had plenty of stories to tell...one that I remember in particular was the water going out one day in the school. The PRINCIPAL came up to him and remarked, "So...whereŽs Uncle Sam now??" as if the US government had any damn thing to do with that, and furthermore he just had to make that comment to the only American on staff.

It is what it is. IŽd say that overall Puerto Ricans either make no issue at all about Mainlanders/Gringos/"Americanos" being there and are nice as can be, or their disapproval is completely blatant..not much passive-aggressive, underhanded in between.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:58 PM
 
10,721 posts, read 3,562,819 times
Reputation: 5032
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
teachers unions are nasty and frankly are pretty terrible to controversial reformers stateside, at least in union areas. in the end, people seem to focus more on how much the person is making ($250k) than how well the person is performing. centralized dysfunction is a hallmark of large districts in the states as well and why the charter movement has grown in those places.

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2...own-after.html
well, that's a mischaracterization and 1 sided simplification of the situation in Puerto Rico. There are legit reasons to criticize the Teachers Union in P.R. but calling out the outrages salaries and bonuses of the heads of the government departments while the Puerto Rican government is in huge debt and demanding the American taxpayers to send more billions is a legit and valid criticism.

The government of Puerto Rico, the ruling class, is demanding that the working class in the island sacrifice and take one for the cause that the own government created while still giving outrages salaries, bonuses, and contracts to their political appointees and their friends.

You can't defend the fact that the Secretary of Education in P.R. (a territory) makes more money than the United States Secretary of Education, Director of the FBI, Director of the CIA and the Governor of California.

The Secretary of Education in Puerto Rico makes more than double than the Governor of my state of Utah, the LT. Governor and the Chief Justice of the state and my state doesn't have a huge debt begging the federal government for more aid to run the state.


This is not just 1 department or an isolated thing. This is all the departments of the government of P.R. and their 78 municipalities.


The Puerto Rican people are not stupid, they see what the government has been doing for decades and now they are being told they must sacrifice while the ones on top of the departments and their friends with the contracts don't.

Last edited by Hellion1999; 04-10-2019 at 01:07 PM..
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Philly
9,895 posts, read 13,880,475 times
Reputation: 2710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellion1999 View Post
well, that's a mischaracterization and 1 sided simplification of the situation in Puerto Rico. There are legit reasons to criticize the Teachers Union in P.R. but calling out the outrages salaries and bonuses of the heads of the government departments while the Puerto Rican government is in huge debt and demanding the American taxpayers to send more billions is a legit and valid criticism.

The government of Puerto Rico, the ruling class, is demanding that the working class in the island sacrifice and take one for the cause that the own government created while still giving outrages salaries, bonuses, and contracts to their political appointees and their friends.

You can't defend the fact that the Secretary of Education in P.R. (a territory) makes more money than the United States Secretary of Education, Director of the FBI, Director of the CIA and the Governor of California.

The Secretary of Education in Puerto Rico makes more than double than the Governor of my state of Utah, the LT. Governor and the Chief Justice of the state and my state doesn't have a huge debt begging the federal government for more aid to run the state.


This is not just 1 department or an isolated thing. This is all the departments of the government of P.R. and their 78 municipalities.


The Puerto Rican people are not stupid, they see what the government has been doing for decades and now they are being told they must sacrifice while the ones on top of the departments and their friends with the contracts don't.
the Us Secretary of education is a meaningless job, education is primarily run by the states and localities. the lower merion superintendent, whose job is far easier than Keleher's ever was, gets paid $240k. Lower Merion School Board approves 5-year contract for new superintendent Copeland | News | mainlinemedianews.com

you could pay the PR secretary of education $80k and nothing would change and no one's taxes would go down, you are missing the forest for the trees. either diego's post is correct, Keleher was ousted because she was an outsider both in not being "from there" (also known as provincialism) and because she was pushing change on a union and bureaucracy that was going to fight back at all costs. obviously the politics of PR are broken, presumably it is not because the people are stupid.

https://www.ydr.com/story/news/educa...rea/920091002/
Philadelphia's is over $300k. superintendent's are usually the ones closing schools. that's one way to pay the secretary less, decentralize and push responsibility down to the mayor so the secretary's responsibilities are diminished.
now, the secretary of education in PA is "only" $155k but the secretary in PR seems far more involved. and yes, obsessing over higgins salary at PREPA was not a mark of intelligence but a sign of the hopelessness of anything political and a symbol of why it should be privatized.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:02 PM
 
10,721 posts, read 3,562,819 times
Reputation: 5032
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
the Us Secretary of education is a meaningless job, education is primarily run by the states and localities. the lower merion superintendent, whose job is far easier than Keleher's ever was, gets paid $240k.

you could pay the PR secretary of education $80k and nothing would change and no one's taxes would go down, you are missing the forest for the trees. either diego's post is correct, Keleher was ousted because she was an outsider both in not being "from there" (also known as provincialism) and because she was pushing change on a union and bureaucracy that was going to fight back at all costs. obviously the politics of PR are broken, presumably it is not because the people are stupid.

https://www.ydr.com/story/news/educa...rea/920091002/
Philadelphia's is over $300k. superintendent's are usually the ones closing schools. that's one way to pay the secretary less, decentralize and push responsibility down to the mayor so the secretary's responsibilities are diminished.
now, the secretary of education in PA is "only" $155k but the secretary in PR seems far more involved. and yes, obsessing over higgins salary at PREPA was not a mark of intelligence but a sign of the hopelessness of anything political and a symbol of why it should be privatized.
1) U.S. Secretary of Education is a meaningless job? NO. All the public schools and universities rely on federal funds to operate in all 50 states and territories like Puerto Rico. Go ask the governor of Puerto Rico if he can keep open the public schools and the universities on the island without Pell Grants and federal aid. It has an annual Budget of 68 billion to operate. Compare that to the Department of Education in Puerto Rico that has a budget of 3.5 billion. The U.S. Secretary of Education has more on her plate and a lot more to manage than the Secretary of Education of Puerto Rico. Is not even close.

2) If you want to argue that the Department of Education is meaningless and shouldn't be then you are taking the hard conservative and libertarian argument and good luck convincing the Democrats and some Republicans and the government of P.R. that depends on those federal funds that it's meaningless job and department.

3) She was ousted because she is under Federal Investigation for fraud on education contracts and she was forced to resign. It's hard to operate and get things done in P.R. with no investigation on your department and 10 times harder when your department is under investigation for misuse and fraud of federal funds contracts that put a cloud in the administration. Governor Ricky Rosello had to cut her loose. Especially when his father, Pedro Rosello, as governor, suffered the same fate with his Secretary of Education in '90's that was convicted of fraud of federal funds. That's why she was let go and forced to resign, which is a lot better than being fired because then the Governor has a lot of questions to answer why he fired her and what he knew and when he found out. By her resigning, it gives the governor distance and buys time if this blows up.

4) I'm not saying she is guilty, time will tell. I'm saying why she was forced to resign. If she has to spend most of her time in the department defending herself and dealing with the press and allegations all the time about the contracts she is no good for the department or the governor especially when next year are the elections.

5) Who pays for the salaries, contracts, and bonuses of the heads of the department of government in P.R.? Puerto Rican taxpayers and American taxpayers.......public perception is everything. There is a huge difference paying a department head $80,000 a year and paying $250,000 a year plus bonuses when you are asking the teachers and workers to sacrifice and take a cut and the government can't manage the budget.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:02 PM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
7,656 posts, read 8,368,064 times
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I disagree with the salary that Keleher was getting and I will be the first to say that I have serious concerns about charter schools and their funding with taxpayer money. That said, the #Juliagohome campaign was disgusting, xenophobic, and disgraceful. One can disagree with her polices without being a xenophobic bigot. Why does this occur? The teacher's union and Puerto Rican academia in general are pro-independence and nationalism is ugly. The Puerto Rican media and the education system are the two biggest obstacles to reforms and changes. The slightest change or even an attempt to make things more efficient or more financially viable will be met with howls of outrage, cries of "selling the country", UPR students being egged on by their professors to go on strike, independenistas calling for an armed revolution, etc. It's absurd. People in Puerto Rico - especially those on the left and on both the pro-commonwealth and pro-independence sides of the political spectrum have to understand that changes need to be made and that these changes are going to upend the established way of doing things and the power of public sector unions. There's no other option. It's not financially viable to keep open all these half empty schools when the island has been hemorrhaging school age children.

Also, this whole investigation into Keleher is a giant nothingburger. The subpoena the media keeps showing off is from September of 2018, the grand jury was convened in July or August of 2018 ... I think she'd have been charged by now if a crime was committed. The Puerto Rican media fell into the same trap that the mainland media made with Mueller's investigation into Trump.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diegomar2007 View Post
Finally, my writing has nothing to do with political parties. It is about the self-destructive resistance of the people in Puerto Rico against everything different to what they already know, and the blatant discrimination against someone in a local position of leadership that was not born in the island.
I concur 110%
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:26 PM
 
10,721 posts, read 3,562,819 times
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Originally Posted by WIHS2006 View Post

Also, this whole investigation into Keleher is a giant nothingburger. The subpoena the media keeps showing off is from September of 2018, the grand jury was convened in July or August of 2018 ... I think she'd have been charged by now if a crime was committed. The Puerto Rican media fell into the same trap that the mainland media made with Mueller's investigation into Trump.


Tell that to Rachel Maddow and the Democrats, they still think Trump is a Russian agent...LOL

Maybe or maybe not, the investigation on the contracts on the department of education in the island is a nothing burger or there is something there but why would she resign effective immediately with no notice. Usually when there is nothing wrong they give notice with plenty of time for the Governor to search for a replacement because it needs Senate confirmation. She was forced out by either the investigations or disagreements with the governor or both.


I don't think the xenophobic/racist campaign against her forced her out. She knew from day #1 she would get resistance and battles from the other side when she took the job and she seems to me like a tough cookie that doesn't take cr@p from anybody.

or maybe she got tired of the politics and B.S. on the island and got a job offer in the states and left.....that doesn't explain why she quit without a noticed effective immediately.


We both agree on the rest.
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