Entries by Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

In Soda Tax Debate, Who Endorses Health?

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Sep 17, 2012 2:33 PM

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It is a guarantee that while watching television, a soda commercial featuring a celebrity, musician or athlete will run at least once. In fact, for many celebrities, having their likeness appear in soda commercials symbolizes the attainment of world-wide fame. Think of the Michael Jackson and Beyonce Pepsi commercials, or Coca-Cola’s commercials featuring Michael Jordan, and more recently athletes from the 2012 London Olympics.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Parent Trigger Reform: A New Age for Community Education?

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Aug 10, 2012 2:12 PM

When I attended public school, it was common to hear students, parents and school officials demanding more of each other, specifically parent involvement. In many cases, parent involvement and organizing were seen as the missing ingredients to a successful school. Never mind the poverty levels of the surrounding neighborhood, the budget cuts from the state, or the quality of teachers inside the classrooms -- all of that would be mitigated if only there were a higher level of parental involvement.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Study Claims Students Not Being Challenged

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Jul 24, 2012 12:28 PM

This year, reports of California’s budget cuts to its education system have dominated the education headlines. From districts having to cut art and music classes, to the cancellation of summer classes and tuition hikes in California’s public university system, it feels like our education system is imploding. And now, a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think-tank in Washington, DC, says that K-12 students across the nation are not being academically challenged in school.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Bill Proposes to Help Middle Class Students in Ca.

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Jun 4, 2012 4:08 PM

In early May, the Public Policy Institute of California released a report stating that an increasing number of California high school graduates are foregoing the state’s UC and CSU system in favor of other private and public universities in California, and even out-of-state universities.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Census Data, Education and the New Majority

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, May 21, 2012 3:20 PM

Last week, the U.S Census reported that July 1, 2010 marked the first time births of non-white babies (at 50.4 percent) eclipsed that of white babies (at 49.6 percent). The demographic shift forces a reconsideration of tomorrow’s faces, projecting that by 2042 whites will become the minority demographic nationwide (a yardstick long since surpassed in California).

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Stanford Grad Reflects on Year Since Graduating

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, May 18, 2012 11:18 AM

In the coming weeks, I will mark my first year since graduating from college. My recent conversations with friends about their final papers, graduation celebrations, and of course, the job search, reminds me of the anxiety I felt over my graduation hopes and fears in 2011. Not to mention, this year’s current statistics on unemployed college graduates makes me wonder at the amount of unprecedented stress this year’s graduates must be under.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Parties Agree, Sort Of, On Student Loan Debt

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, May 7, 2012 5:21 PM

Student loans became an election issue last week when President Obama said he supports the idea of maintaining a 3.4 percent rate on college loans. The President, speaking at a high school in Arlington, Virginia, urged Congress to extend a 2007 law that avoids a rate hike this summer. If Congress takes no action on the extension, the interest rate on college loans will automatically double to 6.4 percent on July 1, 2012.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Banned in the USA: Reflections on the Legacy of Arizona

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, May 3, 2012 5:00 PM

“Because memory is about history and history is about survival - mine, my family, my community’s, my peoples…”
-Horacio Roque Ramirez, Oral Testimonies

In crude, ironic fashion, Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB 1070 reached its two-year anniversary on April 23, the same day Cesar Chavez passed away 19 years ago. April also marked the 65th anniversary of the Mendez vs. Westminster case, which emerged in 1945 after the Mendez family and four other Mexican American families from southern California filed a lawsuit against their school districts for denying their children enrollment in white schools.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Criminalizing Students

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Apr 19, 2012 12:04 PM

There is a scene in “All She Can,” a new film about a Mexican American high school female weightlifter in Benavides, Texas that I hadn’t expected to be emotional over.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Continuing Support for School Discipline Reform

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Apr 13, 2012 10:49 AM

A recent California Statewide poll found that four out of five voters believe California’s school discipline policies need changing. The results of the 800 person-poll, administered by the research firm Fairank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, and commissioned by the California Endowment, contribute to an emerging school of thought regarding suspensions and expulsions.

The poll reports that the majority of voters recognize that a preventative approach rather than a punitive one is necessary in order to keep students in school and improve school safety. According to the U.S Department of Education, more than 400,00 California public school students were suspended during the 2009-2010 school year. Moreover, the backlash against suspensions and expulsions even led democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson from Sacramento to introduce a bill calling for the removal of “willful defiance” within school suspension and expulsion protocol.

As reported by the Sacramento Bee, “willful defiance” is a broad category that justifies suspension for any behavior that disrupts classes, and that it is disproportionately applied to male students of color.

The support for preventative measures for school discipline is not a surprise. If anything it should have come sooner. At my alma mater high school, Richmond High, the suspensions have been halved from 500 in January of 2011 to 290 in January 2012, due to a Restorative Justice Process, where students enter a mediation involving teachers, parents, school officials and other students.

With such success, its difficult to see why school districts don’t try processes like restorative justice or preventative measures and instead hold on to suspensions and expulsions. Suspensions have long lost their meaning. They are no longer a punishment or carry a stigma, but a day off from a school that already treats “troubled” and “difficult” students as pests needing to be gotten rid of.

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Trayvon Martin:A Symbol with Dual Edge

By Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Apr 3, 2012 10:35 AM

No one teenager ever lives wanting to be a martyr for an entire people and nation. But that’s what happened this past Sunday in a Florida church, where Jesse Jackson anointed Trayvon Martin as a martyr, and called for a movement in Trayvon’s name to alter the racist disenfranchisement of people of color within the American criminal justice system.