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Users Vote Logan Principal Patch Person of the Year

Luis Ochoa led the school as it initiated a dual-language education program.

Echo Park Patch users have selected Luis Ochoa, the principal at Logan Street Elementary School, their 2011 Person of the Year.

Ochoa worked with community members and parents to initiate a dual-language instruction track that is now being explored by other local schools including Micheltorena.

UTLA activist and educator Cheryl Ortega nominated Ochoa. Here is her statement:

He arrived at Logan three years ago in the wake of dismal morale. He has rallied parents, students and teachers. Mr. Ochoa faces daily challenges in dealing with two schools on a single campus. He is admired and respected by the Logan family for always going to bat for them.

Echo Park Timebank co-founder Autumn Rooney was also a strong contender for the award, garnering about 37 percent of the vote.

Ochoa will receive his award this Friday at a Logan Parents Committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. 

He will also be honored at the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council meeting on Jan. 24.

Look back here for a profile of Ochoa.

Lisa Baca-Sigala January 19, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Principal Ochoa has been a BRILLIANT Principal for Logan Elementary. API test scores have consistently risen since his arrival (plus over 35 points) and student enrollment is up with the dual language arts program and The Harmony Project's music arts program. Principal Ochoa's ongoing daily struggles with Gabriella Charter school over much needed space and resources for Logan students should earn Principal Ochoa a purple heart for his bravery facing a LAUSD Collocation that was doomed from the start. Over 70% of the students at Gabriella do NOT come from 90026 Echo Park areas, yet Logan Elementary students who DO come from 90026 have to share what limited resources they have on campus. As the photo taken by Cheryl Ortega that the ECHO PARK PATCH is posting for the Micheltorena Elementary proposed colocation demonstrats, Gabriella Charter Administration with the blessing of founder and President, Liza Bercovici, has illegally squatted in the Logan school's auditorium and consistently disrespected Principal Ochoa, the Logan parents and the Logan children since thier arrival to the campus four years ago. Principal Ochoa will always be remembered as the ONE MAN who organized the parents, students, community and saved the oldest Echo Park LAUSD District Elementary School (Logan founded in 1888) from being taken over by a ballet dance charter named Gabriella. CONGRATULATIONS PRINCIPAL OCHOA! Lisa Baca, CIO GEPENC
Robert D. Skeels January 20, 2012 at 07:52 AM
This is wonderful news. Principal Ochoa's tenure has seen marked improvements to a school that's part of the fabric of our community. Long time community members also realize that he has done this under duress of the forced colocation (read occupation) of the Gabriella Charter Corporation and the poaching by the CNCA Charter Corporation. To be able to maintain the dignity of the Logan PUBLIC school in the midst of the dual assualt of private charter corporations speaks volumes to the courage of the Logan community! For more on these incidents http://echopark.patch.com/blog_posts/gabriella-charter-corporation-further-encroaches-logan-street-public-elementary-school http://echopark.patch.com/blog_posts/occupation-of-logan-street-school-rooms-by-a-corporate-charter-continues http://echopark.patch.com/blog_posts/is-cnca-charter-corporation-poaching-parents-and-pillaging-privacy
Erica April 04, 2012 at 01:57 PM
This is A travesty! Do your homework people. Logan is one of the lowest performing school in the district. http://www.greatschools.org/modperl/achievement/ca/2202#toc Principal Ochoa is more concerned about making people feel good rather than what he is paid to do and that is to raise student achievement. Terrible choice this year. Our children suffers at the hands of incompetent leadership.
Cheryl Ortega April 04, 2012 at 04:32 PM
The great improvement that Logan has experienced in due, in large part, to the efforts of Luis Ochoa. Of course the staff and parents, working hand in hand, were indepensible to the cause. Mr. Ochoa's predecessor had driven morale so far into the ground that recovery seemed almost impossible, but it happened and continues to happen. Here's something to keep in mind when refering to "low achieving" schools. Logan, like many other inner city schools has a very high percentage of non or limited English-speaking children. These children are required by LAUSD to take the same tests, in English, as native English speakers, The scores are compared to those of kids in Pacific Palisades, Los Feliz, or even Elysian Heights, all of which have vastly different demographics. Scores are misleading. Good educators know this. There are many indicators of academic success and we need to stop only considering graphs and charts and look at what children are actually producing.
lulu wilson April 04, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Congratulations to Mr. Ochoa! He has my gratitude and my respect. I know what an important (and difficult) job Mr Ochoa is performing on the part of all children, especially those that have limited resources.
Robert D. Skeels April 04, 2012 at 06:32 PM
[continued from previous] GreatSchools, Inc., the right-wing organization cited above by anonymous troll Erica, is funded by some of the most fringe-right foundations in existence. For example, in 2011, they received nearly five million dollars from the reactionary troglodytes of the Walton Family Foundation. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/who-won-millions-in-walton-foundation-grants-in-2011/2012/03/07/gIQAPMwwxR_blog.html GreatSchools, Inc. is run by narrow-minded teabagger Bill Jackson, who has made himself a small fortune piloting his plutocrat funded outfit. Jackson's biggest claim to fame is his constant insistence that parents of certain ethnic groups are "culturally inferior," and that those parents need to learn from "Asian parenting examples." He's also been know to condescend to poor people by repeating the Ayn Rand nonsense about "Success Requires Hard Work," somewhat ironic given that his organization's biggest funders "succeeded" by inheriting their family fortune. He also supports the ALEC written Parent Trigger legislation that originated out of the bowels of The Heartland Institute. Most likely explanation is that anonymous troll Erica is one of the well paid CCSA or FTC employees trying to undermine the hard work of our community's public schools and trying to trick people into supporting their lucrative privately managed alternatives. We're not fooled by your lies or thinly veiled attacks "Erica."
Robert D. Skeels April 04, 2012 at 06:32 PM
What's really a "travesty" is cowardly anonymous trolls like "Erica" posting outrageous lies and promoting right-wing reactionary businesses like GreatSchools, Inc. "lowest performing school in the district." really? Logan's very respectable 2011 732 API is quite an accomplishment given that more than half Logan's students are impoverished children entitled to free and reduced-price lunch programs. Lowest performing? Hundreds and hundreds of schools score well below a 732 API. For the first hundred, see: http://projects.latimes.com/schools/custom-ranking/county/los-angeles/statistic/api-scores/order/lowest/ How do you dispute that anonymous troll Erica? Facts getting in the way of your right-wing propaganda? Can't back up your slanderous and outrageous lies? Perhaps you should do "your homework," or at the very least learn how to read. The funny thing is that even using the statistics from vile GreatSchools posted by anonymous troll Erica, we see that Logan 2010 API Statewide Rank is exactly the same as the 2010 API Similar Schools Rank. In other words, Logan is in the median of schools with similar student populations. Not only does this disprove the mendaciousness of "Erica's" statement, it establishes that they were just making a mean spirited and unwarranted attack on one of our community's best principals. How utterly despicable! What kind of "person" does that? [continues]
Erica April 05, 2012 at 01:47 AM
It doesn't matter where the source comes from, the bottom line is that this school is one of the least effective schools. http://projects.latimes.com/value-added/school/los-angeles/logan-street-elementary/ There has to be accountability for not doing the right thing for the students at Logan. As a parent, I would never bring my children there.
Erica Troll April 05, 2012 at 05:11 AM
Good educators know not to blame students nor their challenging background for the poor job of schools. As pointed out by Mr. Skeels, schools are compared with similar schools through the "similar schools rank" and Logan is at the bottom with a score of 2 out of 10. http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2011/2010BaseSchSS.aspx?allcds=19-64733-6017917&c=R This means that there are plenty of schools throughout Los Angeles that are doing the hard work of raising student achievement despite of the challenges. Here's only one example: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/05/local/la-me-banks-20111105 Leaders need to understand that when we put children first, achievement will rise.
Robert D. Skeels April 05, 2012 at 05:40 AM
Erica the vile and uninformed troll is confused. Proficiency is an 800 API, Logan, with a significant number of IEPs and children in poverty is only slightly under that with 732. As discussed above, Logan's score is superior to hundreds of other schools in the district. You said it was on of the worst performing. You have been proven wrong, and haven't shown that you are nothing more than a lowly anonymous troll that doesn't have a clue about what they are talking about.
Robert D. Skeels April 05, 2012 at 05:48 AM
The vile anonymous troll Erica further demonstrates her/his ignorance by citing a school with only marginally better scores that Logan. What defines a good educator Erica Troll? Are you an expert in education? I would venture not, since you don't even have the courage to use your name in public forums. I on the other hand, write with the most distinguished names in the field of education. I know fakes, phonies, and frauds when I see them. Your Ms. Troll, are all three. Glad you won't be sending your children to Logan, the last thing parents in our neighborhood need is vile right-wing tools like you menacing the campus. Want to help student achievement? Volunteer at a soup kitchen instead of reading Ayn Rand, troll.
Robert D. Skeels April 05, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Erica Troll is a member of the lucrative privatization industry, he/she gets paid to advocate for school privatization, a profitable sector that currently outstrips all other growth markets. Far from a concern for children, Erica Troll, like every other member of the privatization junta, puts profits first. The distinguished Joanne Barkan recently wrote in Dissent: "The ed reform movement has turned itself into an industry" http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=4240 Concern trolls like Erica are paid to spread the false notion that our schools are failing, and hence must be privatized. The truth of course, is that our schools are not failing in any sense of the word. http://www.sdkrashen.com/articles/Our_schools_are_not_broken.pdf One would hope that trolls like Erica would crawl back under the rock they came from, but greedy people can't stay away from the privatizers' money, so we're stuck listening to their lies and innuendo.
Erica Troll April 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM
The API measures the academic performance and growth of schools. The state target is 800, and the federal target is 1,000 by 2014. If Logan, under the current leadership, keeps making gains at the snail pace its making, (17 points in 2011) it will take 4 more years to reach the interim state target of 800 and 15+years to reach 1,000, perhaps in the year 2026. Countless children (including economically disadvantaged and those with IEPs) will not receive adequate education by this persistently low-performing school. This is vastly inferior to thousands of schools in Los Angeles that also serve students with similar background (BTW, students with IEP are in every school in the district). As a matter of fact, the vast majority of the schools in LAUSD have similar background, the very few exceptions are the schools in Pacific Palisades, Los Feliz, or even Elysian Heights that are mentioned by Ms. Ortega. There are schools in tough neighborhoods such as South LA that are outperforming Logan. Yet the average growth of the entire LAUSD is 19points, 2 points ahead of Logan. Don't let the propaganda and the name-calling fool you. The patch even published the performance of every school in Echo Park and out of the 8 schools, Logan is at the bottom, along with Micheltorena Elementary. http://echopark.patch.com/articles/echo-park-schools-perform-well-on-new-api THIS, once again, is the TRAVESTY!
Erica Troll April 05, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I agree Mr. Skeels that Plummer with 862 API has only marginally better scores than Logan with 732API. Unfortunately, Logan with the current leadership, keeps making gains at a snail pace (17 points in 2011) and it will take more than 7 1/2 years to reach 862. I feel for the parents and the community at Logan. They need to start demanding as the effective leader at Plummer did. "You've got to give me 200% or find another school" What works at a school dealing with poverty and a lack of English fluency? Tough love, hard work and a laser focus on achievement and Principal Ochoa has none of these things.
Erica Troll April 05, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Providing comments like these is exactly the reason why people remain anonymous in public forums. They are discouraged to provide facts, truthful data, and even opposing views through name-calling and mischaracterizations. I am terrorized by you Mr. Skills and would avoid you by every means possible. No wonder the Logan school community just accept or even award the poor leadership provided them. They are afraid of the consequences of speaking up and voicing the truth.
Robert D. Skeels April 05, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Speaking what truth? Your abilities to copy and paste explanations of AYP/API from websites describing the abject NCLB program aren't much to be proud of. Truth is that the singular focus on standardized tests has narrowed curriculum, marginalized special education students, and turned children into commodity tests scores. That isn't how ruling class children are taught (cf. Sidwell Friends to any working class schools). Instead of opposing NCLB/RTTT and all the other dehumanizing testing regimes foisted on our communities, people like anonymous troll Erica cheerlead a system that exacerbates both class and racial segregation and makes the two tiered education system in our class stratified society ever more pronounced. Voicing the truth? You said "Logan is one of the lowest performing school in the district." Using CDE derived data, I proved that hundreds and hundreds of LAUSD schools underperform Logan. Yet you continued to make that assertion over and over. I taught Catechism for 14 years, 12 of those at St. Teresa of Avila. One of the things we taught the children is that when you say something you know isn't true, that it is a lie. Clearly terrorized troll Erica never learned that lesson. She has spewed hateful mendacious lies and misinformation about the hardworking Logan community. Vile elitists like anonymous troll Erica should fear educated working class people like myself. We will eventually create a fair and equitable system, and that is her greatest fear.
Robert D. Skeels April 05, 2012 at 04:52 PM
What kind of person would attack a hard working principal at a working class school?
Matilda April 07, 2012 at 02:46 PM
This is the evidence of the ranting rage by an overzealous, bullying, progress-blocker who don't understand that parents want alternatives to the incompetent leadership. As I posted before, at a Silverlake Neighborhood Council meeting, parents and children were encouraged to boo, hiss, and heckle anyone who presented opposing views. Very similar to the ranting rage posted above Mr. Skeels. This is truly an example of the dark side of human behavior ripe with discrimination and bullying. I feel the incredible hostility towards Erica. Being a parent and resident of Silverlake for over 10 years, I know that Mr. Skeels does not represent our community. His anger just creates animosity. These posts, and this way of thinking, stops innovation, progress, and open-mindedness cold in it's tracks.

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