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Mr. DanaEscalante JordanHiehSchool 2265E. i03'dSt. LosAngeles,CA 90002

June2,2008

To WhomIt MayConcern:

My nameis DanaEscaiante,andasthe yearcloses,I approachthecompietionof

my

sixth yearof teachingwith LAUSD. For threeof thoseyears,I havebeenthe Lead

Teacherfor the StarrSmal1LearningCommunityatJordanHigh School

As LeadTeacherit is my obligationto ensurethe optimaleducationalenvironmentfor the studentswithin my academy.And thereis no teacherthat epitomizesthe spirit of culturallyrelevanteducationwith crirriculumandinstructionthatengagesandinvolves our StanstudentsmorethanKarenSalazar.

In Ms. Salazar'sroomI haveconsistentlyobservedimovative lessonsthat relate students'experiencesto masteryofELA Standards,content,conceptsandskills. In fact, it is my siricerebeliefthatMs. Sa.lazaris oneof the bestteachersatJordanHigh.

Ms. Salazarbasforgedextremeiypositiveandproductiverelationshipswith students, particularly"difficult" sfudentswho haveproven"challenging,'for otherteachers,but oftenproduceexcellentacademicresultsin herclass. Additionally, asLead Teacher.I havebeenworking with a StarrStudentsteeringcommitteeto developthe futureof the SLCtogetherwith students.In this group,I haveseenthatthe studentswho demonstrate themostexemplaryleadershipqualitiesandarethe mostarticulateandthoughtfrd.have comeoutof Ms.Salazar'sciass.

Ms. Salazaris a teamplayerhasmadetremendouscontributionsto the SLC. Shehas consistentlybeenpartofthe planningandimplementationofpracticallyall Stan activities,andhasvolunteeredhertimewithoutquestions.OverallKarenhasbeena steadysupporterof the SLCby hercontributionsto its stabilityandgrowth. And Karen hasalsocontributedto theschool-wideELA "workgroups"who collaborateto design instruction.

Karen'spersonalqualitiesareexemp1ary.Sheis apersonof unquestionabiecharacter, thoroughintegrity, andhasalwaysbeenkind" considerateandrespectfulin her interactionswith studentsandadultsalike.

I feel thatJordanHigh is forhrnateto haveKarenSalazarasaninstructor.

APAE

Dear LAUSD,

Australasian Association for Progressiveand Alternative Education

We were most disheartenedto hearthat the devotedprogressiveteacherKarenSalazar, from Jordan High, California has had her contract terminated. We have reports from her studentswho speakof her dedicationto the sfudent'srole in and responsibilityfor their educationand thus their lives.They speakof her ability to build rapport and her commilment to teaching the basictenets of critical thinking, such a core requisite for life in the 21stcentury.

We, membersof the AustralasiarLAssociationof Progressiveand Alternative Education (AAPAE), arepassionateaboutthe iearner'scentralrole in their learning.Without taking responsibilitv for their learning, learners are uaable to make the critical decisions that arerequiredin thedaily lifeof a democracl.

We fail to understand how a progressive democracy like the United States,in a state that prides itseif on being a beaconof the country'spolitical freedom,candisbara comrnitted professionalwho is engagingthe studentsmost teachersfear to iearnwith. IArhatis the schobldistrict cohcernedabout?Arr educatedstudentbodv?A citizenri- . ' with a voice?

The processthrough which Ms Salazarpassedis alsoof concern.Mark Gonzales,a fellou' teacherhasreportedthat teachersareusualll' evaluatedtwice a year andthat Ms. Salazarwas not only evaluatedon seventeenoccasionsbut that inspectors interrupted her classes,disturbing students'learning.\zVhywould this actionhappen?

we askyou to reconsideryour decision.we suggestvou considera topical scenarioon the American agenda-\Arhichstudentsaremore likely to befodder asfuture terrorists? Those who foliow teachersobediently without question or challenge,,or the students of Salazarwho usetheir minds to analyse,evaluateand make their own decisions?

Hopeful Regards,

Juli Gassneron behalfof AAPAE AustralasianAssociationof Progressiveand Alternative Education

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