High Expectations for New Esteban Torres High School Pilots

By EGP News Service

After two-years of grassroots organizing to create awareness and gather support for the Pilot School model, InnerCity Struggle and the East Los Angeles Education Collaborative—comprised of community-based organizations, civic leaders, parents and students—are likely still celebrating their victory Tuesday when the LAUSD School Board voted to approve all five pilots school applications for the new Esteban Torres High School, rather then just the three and two charter schools recommended by the district’s superintendent.

In preparation for the Public School Choice decision day, InnerCity Struggle in collaboration with retired U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres, the Los Angeles Education Partnership and East Los Angeles community leaders, gathered at the East LA Library to support the five pilot schools proposed. (EGP Photo by Fred Zermeno)

In preparation for the Public School Choice decision day, InnerCity Struggle in collaboration with retired U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres, the Los Angeles Education Partnership and East Los Angeles community leaders, gathered at the East LA Library to support the five pilot schools proposed. (EGP Photo by Fred Zermeno)

Former U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres, whose is the namesake of the high school, told EGP on Wednesday he was very encouraged by the outcome of the school board’s vote and believed it was due to community action.

“I have met with teachers, parents and students over the course of the last several months, and I credit the good work of InnerCity Struggle, the East LA Education Collaborative, Students United, and the teachers for their tremendous effort in the balloting polls that took place a couple of weeks ago,” Torres said. “They let their voices be heard. They told the Board they are ready for change in East LA Schools.”

Maria Brenes, executive director of InnerCity Struggle, told EGP that while they are very excited that under School Board President Monica Garcia’s leadership the rest of the school board granted East LA the opportunity to take in-district reform to a different level, the fight to improve eastside education has just begun.

“Now the real work begins, we expect a lot from these five schools,” Brenes said. “And we will be there to monitor, make sure that we create one of the best high schools in all of East LA, in all the district.”
Brenes said that in promoting the pilot model, they were simultaneously trying to get the Board to understand that the eastside has “quality, experienced teachers.” Through their cooperation, the soon-to-be pilot-school teachers at Torres High agreed to work under different terms in their contracts, she said

While parents, students and the community supported the pilot proposals, they will also be held accountable for the academic achievement at Torres; a community meeting will be coordinated sometime in the future to address this topic, Brenes said.

Based on the “Belmont Zone of Choice” in the Pico-Union area, the education activists aimed to create the “East Los Angeles Education Empowerment Zones of Choice,” along with Garfield High School, Despite Garfield’s focus team being ordered to revise their proposal by the end of March, undergo monitoring and reconsideration of its authority coming in three years, instead of five, East LA parents, students, faculty, and community members through the advisory vote have demonstrated overwhelming support for teachers at eastside schools and confidence in student academic potential.

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February 25, 2010  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


10 Responses to “High Expectations for New Esteban Torres High School Pilots”

  1. ernestine mansour on February 26th, 2010 12:03 pm

    Congratulations to all persons involved this new moventment of our New High School. I just hope that for near future to all persons that are involved including all Parents, Community, Administrators, BoardMembers Students. Elected Officials, Keep in mind stay in tone with up with New Mission of the Charter High School. REMENBER THAT NO PARENT SHOULD BE LEFT OUT OF ANY MEETINGS JUST BECAUSE YOUR CHILD IS NOT IN CHARTER SCHOOL. THERE SHOULD NOT BE ANY DISCRIMINATION TO ANY ONE. JUST LIKE TO CHILD SHOULD BE LEFT BEHIND! Remember we always want priority on our childre. This are my coments

  2. Jesse Torres on March 1st, 2010 6:31 am


    As a “community partner” in one of the five pilot schools at ETHS, Pan American Bank is eager to establish East L.A.’s first student-run branch at the new high school.

    Congratulations to ICS and everyone involved in this long process.

    Jesse Torres
    President and CEO
    Pan American Bank
    East Los Angeles, CA 90063
    “California’s Oldest Latino-Owned Bank”

  3. lisa on May 3rd, 2010 4:48 pm

    im 13 going on 14 im african american i was welcome to this school by this program from middle school i want to come to this school but alot of latinos and latinas say blacks arent aloud i wanted to no would i feel welcomed is this a multicultural school is this the high school for me if not what high school … the email is up above

  4. emilio g. on July 22nd, 2010 7:25 pm

    hey, you have no right to call them that! here in east la we are a diverse community…

  5. jasmine on September 16th, 2010 5:43 pm

    I Attend Torres High School and It Is Amazinq And Goinq Great !
    Its Purpose Inspiers Me To Continue Studinq 🙂

  6. J.C. McCormick, Jr. on September 26th, 2010 11:50 pm

    The naming of this school is an extraordinarily well-deserved act of recognition for one of California’s and America’s most respected and effective federal legislators. Esteban Torres has truly dedicated his life to public service as a trade unionist, a founder of TELECU, ambassador to UNESCO, Special Assistant to President Carter and member of the United States House of Representatives. His interest and patronage of the arts will be appropriately served by the arts curriculum planned for this new high school. No matter where we may reside, the Estaban Torres High School shall be an enduring source of enormous pride for all of us who are of Mexican ancrestry.

  7. Luis on October 25th, 2010 5:14 pm

    My Gf goes to that school,she says its great, and i think so to, which is why i am moving to that school, very soon

  8. evelyn m. on October 31st, 2010 4:39 pm

    hey people. i attend toress high school. i am in the acadamy sjla . you should switch to torres it is a good school.go torres

  9. Pablo on November 26th, 2010 3:09 pm

    Cause of this school me and my mom ended up having to move and had to rent a more expensive house that we could not afford and ended up having alot of trouble were we didnt sometime even had money to buy food to eat we ended up having to move to my aunts house and then to a diffrent state couldnt they have built it somewhere else that school just brought problems to my family.

  10. A Concerned parent on December 27th, 2010 1:00 pm

    I sent my kids down to their dads this semester because i had some financial difficulties to sort out and BOY do I regret it I live in Riverside County and our API scores out here are in the 800’s Garfield is in the 600’s wow this school is ass backwards right now and if Teachers dont start stading up and changing the wau kids are learning we are going to have a HUGE problem in the future! The kids have no respect for their teachers and whats worse id the teachers are so used to the lack of respect they dont even KNOW IT! They walk around calling teachers MISS and MR and have no one showing them direction my kids have even seen drugs at the school itself in the classroom and have been telling me the teachers call them drug adicts in the class rooms. They have brank new MAC computers and beat onthem and treat them like crap and no one tells them anything. Maybe the teachers need to take a vacation day and visit another high school and see the difference because these kids are destined to do nothing and the kids that do want to are trapped into that system and may or may not have the strength to pull themselves out of it. TEACHERS I SAY STAND AND DELIVER!!! Dont you guys remember anything! Where are all the Teachers that want to make a difference Please do it these kids lives depend on YOU!!

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