Garcetti Hires Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana As Education Aide
At The Schools With Audrey Linden
Eric Garcetti hired Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana as his Aide for Education, it was reported in the L A Times today. Lausd teachers thought they had an ally with Garcetti. That remains to be seen. De Santa Ana was from Eli Broad’s ‘Superintendent’s Academy” and also worked under U. S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan from 2009-2011 as assistant secretary for elementary and secondary schooling in the U. S. Department of Education.
She recently headed Orange County’s School District and retired to come back to Los Angeles. De Santa Ana will be hired through LAUSD so she can accrue her STRS but will be paid through the city. She will be Director of Education and Workforce Development. She accepted a lower salary of $139,000 an dhad requested the pension arrangements. Those arrangements are not unusual and others have made the same arrangements but she is the first who has not worked through LAUSD to so so.
UTLA President, Warren Fletcher is withholding comments until he speaks to the Santa Ana union leadership. The Times quoted Susan Mercer, President of the Santa Ana Educator’s Association. “When you listen to her, it’s wonderful, but when you start expecting action, she can’t do it.” The union said de Santa Ana had instituted a new discipline program which “led to disruption of the classroom.”
This appointment may prove to be a disappointment to LAUSD teachers because of the “corporatizing" background” de Santa Ana has UTLA had endorsed Garcetti because they thought he was a departure from Villaraigiosa who had strong ties to corporate led reform which included evaluations based on test scores, and led to developing more charter schools.
LAUSD’s School Board will have to vote on her acceptance at today’s School Board meeting.