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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
School

Oceanside Unified School DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area 1

Photo of Oscar "Oscarin" Ortega

Oscar "Oscarin" Ortega

Parent/Small Businessman
591 votes (8.5%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Maintaining a open line of communication by collaborating amongst educators, school district and community members
  • Champion for academic excellence, life studies and vocational programs
  • Ensuring school safety and the safety of our communities by centering on needs of our students

Experience

Experience

Profession:Small Businessman, Logistics Manager
Owner, Casa Limpia Co. (2017–current)

Biography

At a very young age, I experienced childhood abused, harassment, infidelity between my parents and abandonment. At 13, I started experimenting with methamphetamine which evolved into marijuana and alcohol. I hit rock bottom at the age of 21 when I lost everybody and everything. My daughter Khloe came into my life 2 years later and inadvertently saved me from a life of addiction. Ever since I wake up every day looking to better myself. 

For the past 10 years, I've obtained my GED then enrolled in community college and accumulated an impressive Logistics Management career all while staying sober. I'm asking voters to judge me by how far I've come in my life to become a role model for my community. I'm a testimony to the idea of nothing being impossible. I'm not the perfect candidate but I do have a good heart and an incredible story one that resonates deeply in my communities. 

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters North County San Diego (4)

What are the pressing problems of this school district, in your opinion, and what experience do you bring to the Board that will help address these problems?
Answer from Oscar "Oscarin" Ortega:

I bring a unique perspective to the conversation one highly important to understand as it represents the issue we still see today in our school district. At the age of 21, I hit rock bottom. I've seen first hand the damage drugs and violence causes to a family. Oceanside's school vision is on higher learning while not everybody attends college, what happens to the students who don't enroll in post-secondary education. my focus will be on preparing students for life after graduation by centering in core academics, life studies & vocational programs. The achievement gap should not limit one's hopes of becoming successful rather celebrated by one's ability to accomplish goals and dreams.

 

 

What is your view of charter schools?
Answer from Oscar "Oscarin" Ortega:

Charter schools are not the answer. 

When a student leaves a neighborhood school for a charter school, their pro-rated share of funding leaves with them, while the district remains responsible for many costs those funds had supported. This intensifies fiscal pressure to cut core services like counseling, libraries, and special education, and increase class sizes in public schools. The idea charter schools of smaller classes size more one on one studies is very attractive. I believe we can do better and bring that vision into our public system. 

Should the district curb its school choice initiatives (for students who are not in charter schools), so that more students stay in their neighborhood schools? Why or why not?
Answer from Oscar "Oscarin" Ortega:

School choice should not be part of the conversation for a solution in increasing our districts popularity. We need to entice our parents by changing the atmosphere of our traditional schools. By making schools safe, resourceful and enjoyable, I believe we can increase enrollment and ADA in our school district. OUSD caters to demographic needs more than focusing on diversity strengths which charter schools take advantage of an opportunity to introduce alternative learning as an option to our parents. Lets not run away from public schools and let us work on fixing the issue for all students.

Are there school discipline strategies or behavioral support programs that you find appealing alternatives to exclusionary or punitive discipline? If so, which ones, and why?
Answer from Oscar "Oscarin" Ortega:

Discipline measures should be in place and supported by programs that rehabilitate students back into our schools. I'm a testament to the idea of an individual's ability to change for the better. My goal of implementing Mental Health courses into the curriculum is a critical piece to a solution in preventing any act of frustration towards a classmate, teacher or school staff member. Educating students on how to respond to emotion is the first step. We're missing an opportunity to empower our youth with invaluable tools. let's help them become influential leaders amongst their peers and within their communities. 

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Politics should stay away from education! Classrooms are not divided by color nor by political or religious beliefs and let's keep it that way! 

As a father of 2 and a community member who sees violence first hand on a regular basis, I will focus on emphasizing college preparation by doubling down on what's working and evaluating resources less beneficial to our students. Taking the risk by implementing invaluable life courses into our curriculum will help develop a healthy, safe atmosphere that will enhance our scholar's creativity to become influential leaders amongst their classmates. The achievement gap shouldn't limit a student’s success, rather celebrated by once capability to accomplish goals and dreams. Collaboration between students, staff, and community is my path to success. Together as a team, we can win championships.

Team Oceanside!

Position Papers

Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools

Summary

The importance of vocational training. 

Not everybody goes to college, so what’s the harm in prepping kids for college? Won’t all students benefit from a high-level, four-year academic degree program? As it turns out, not really. For one thing, people have a huge and diverse range of different skills and learning styles. Not everyone is good at math, biology, history and other traditional subjects that characterize college-level work. Not everyone is fascinated by Greek mythology, or enamored with Victorian literature, or enraptured by classical music. Some students are mechanical; others are artistic. Some focus best in a lecture hall or classroom; still, others learn best by doing and would thrive in the studio, workshop or shop floor.

It is true that earnings studies show college graduates earn more over a lifetime than high school graduates. However, these studies have some weaknesses. For example, over 53% of recent college graduates are unemployed or under-employed. And income for college graduates varies widely by major – philosophy graduates don’t nearly earn what business studies graduates do. Finally, earnings studies compare college graduates to all high school graduates. But the subset of high school students who graduate with vocational training – those who go into well-paying, skilled jobs – the picture for non-college graduates looks much rosier.

The U.S. economy has changed. The manufacturing sector is growing and modernizing, creating a wealth of challenging, well-paying, highly skilled jobs for those with the skills to do them. The demise of vocational education at the high school level has bred a skills shortage in manufacturing today and with it a wealth of career opportunities for both under-employed college grads and high school students looking for direct pathways to interesting, lucrative careers. Many of the jobs in manufacturing are attainable through apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and vocational programs offered at community colleges. They don’t require expensive, four-year degrees for which many students are not suited.

And contrary to what many parents believe, students who get job-specific skills in high school and choose vocational careers often go on to get additional education. The modern workplace favors those with solid, transferable skills who are open to continued learning. Most young people today will have many jobs over the course of their lifetime, and a good number will have multiple careers that require new and more sophisticated skills.

Just a few decades ago, our public education system provided ample opportunities for young people to learn about careers in manufacturing and other vocational trades. Yet, today, high-schoolers hear barely a whisper about the many doors that the vocational education path can open. The “college-for-everyone” mentality has pushed awareness of other possible career paths to the margins. The cost to the individuals and the economy as a whole is high. If we want everyone’s kid to succeed, we need to bring vocational education back to the core of high school learning.

Why Collaboration Is Vital To Creating Effective Schools

Summary

Collaboration over the competition. 

1. A coherent instructional guidance system, in which the curriculum, study materials, pedagogical strategies, and assessments are coordinated within and across grades with meaningful teacher input.

2. An effective system to improve professional capacity, including making teachers’ classroom work public for examination by colleagues and external consultants to enable ongoing support and guidance to teachers.

3. Strong parent-community-school ties, which closely integrate the network of people focused on enabling each student to learn.

4. A student-centered learning climate that identifies and responds to particular difficulties any child may be encountering. 

5. Leadership focused on cultivating a growing cadre of stakeholders (teachers, parents, and community members) who become invested in sharing overall responsibility for the school’s improvement.

For example, the National Center for Educational Achievement sent teams of researchers to 26 public schools with a high proportion of low-income students in five states, where students were beating the odds on math and science tests over a three-year period. Among the common practices they found in those schools: teachers are actively involved in developing and selecting instructional materials, assessments and pedagogical strategies; collaboration time among teachers focused on sharing ideas for improving instruction is embedded in the workweek, with  a broad recognition of the importance of breaking out of self-contained classes;  teachers are open to being observed and advised; administrators and teachers focus closely on monitoring testing data, not as a cudgel to evoke fear, but as a diagnostic tool to identify areas where students are struggling so they can receive additional support; and schools conduct unusually extensive and systematic outreach to parents and community groups. It is important to note that research in other institutional settings has also shown that high degrees of collaboration focused on responding to problems identified by data produces improved outcomes, such as higher productivity and better quality output.

Self Defense Classes In Public Schools

Summary

Violence prevention. 

Did you know that over 750,000 students in the U.S. aged from 12-18 years have directly experienced violent crimes? In addition, statistics show that 67% of all sexual assault victims are underage. After experiencing physical altercations at a young age, some of these youth go on to develop profound psychological problems including low self-esteem and aggression.

Self-defense classes are designed to tackle this problem head-on, by addressing every aspect of violent confrontation including the mentality of violent criminals. It is meant to educate students and prepare them physically and psychologically to protect themselves should they ever be caught up in a physical confrontation.

Students will not only learn how to physically defend themselves but more importantly how to recognize and avoid potential violence through environmental and situational awareness.  The students will be introduced to the tools to defuse and de-escalate a physical assault.  These verbal strategies will also carry over to other areas of their life, not just self-defense scenarios. They will also be exposed to the legalities of self-defense and its use in a legal, ethical and moral manner.  Time will be spent learning defenses against the most common attacks they may face using proven concepts and principles that do not require memorization, but rather an understanding of how violence may unfold.  Students will leave with an enhanced chance of survivability in the event of a conflict, confrontation, bullying, or harassment.

Videos (1)

— October 13, 2018 Oscarin Ortega

Candidate 4 Oceanside Unified School District area 1

https://youtu.be/BQ2c-1XAPt4

1. Mental Health Resources. 2. Self-Defense Classes. 3. Dual language. 4. 4-year vocational training. 5. Family Instruction. 6. Early Child Development. 7. CrossFit/Bootcamp/P90X/Zumba/Yoga Classes.

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