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Ruben Zacarias

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OPINION
August 22, 1999
Re "Fight Shapes Up as Zacarias Vows to Keep Job," Aug. 17: Cheers for Harold Williams, urging that the apparent "ugly confrontation . . . developing around [LAUSD Supt. Ruben Zacarias'] future . . . needs to be stopped." What is (really) going on when individuals, however well-intentioned, generate behind-the-scenes forces that are demonstrably diverting the school board and superintendent "from concentrating their attention on the education of our children and on the superintendent's accountability for improving student achievement"?
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 2012 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
More than 25 years after it was envisioned, a new South Gate high school is set to open this week on property that became known for toxic contamination, contributed to the downfall of the school district's top official and then slipped from public attention. South Region High School No. 9 sparkles these days, with compact, understated modern buildings atop tons of clean, imported soil. There's hardly a reminder of the toxic legacy - until one glances across the street to the south side of the 36-acre property.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 1997 | AMY PYLE, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
Finalists for Los Angeles' top public school post will face the community at three large open forums later this month, the school board decided Monday, adding them to eight smaller invitation-only events. The decision was unanimous, despite a rowdy protest at Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters by Latino activists and others who want to see Deputy Supt. Ruben Zacarias promoted. The job will become open at the end of June, when Supt. Sid Thompson retires.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2010 | By Jason Song
A former Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent pleaded no contest Thursday to unlawfully displaying a badge while allegedly trying to pull a woman over in Pomona. Ruben Zacarias, 81, waved a school district police badge at a woman driving on the 57 Freeway last July and said he was a cop, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Zacarias, who was superintendent for 2 1/2 years before being bought out of his contract by the school board in late 1999, was fined $250 and must pay a $100 restitution fee. Superior Court Judge David Brougham also ordered that the badge -- which was seized by the California Highway Patrol -- be returned to the school district, according to Deputy Dist.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 1996 | LUCILLE RENWICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Despite their protests that a Latino need not necessarily be the next superintendent of Los Angeles Unified schools, some San Fernando Valley residents are nonetheless rooting for Deputy Supt. Ruben Zacarias, the candidate of choice among Latino activists over the hill. It's not Zacarias' status as the district's highest ranking Latino that makes him attractive here. It's that he's a resident of Chatsworth, someone viewed as a potential advocate in the Valley's fight for equal recognition.
NEWS
November 4, 1999 | RICHARD LEE COLVIN and LOUIS SAHAGUN, TIMES EDUCATION WRITERS
A bid to negotiate an end to Los Angeles Unified's 3-week-old power struggle appears to have failed, leading Ramon C. Cortines to say Wednesday that he is no longer interested in temporarily filling the district's top job. "I have withdrawn my name from consideration as of this morning," said Cortines, 67, renowned for navigating school districts through troubled times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 17, 1997 | DOUG SMITH, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
A plan to give the top four Los Angeles school administrators their second pay increase this year--without any linkage to their performance--may have stalled under severe public opposition. The raises for Supt. Ruben Zacarias and his three top deputies, tipping the combined pay hikes they have won this year to an average of almost 36%, were tentatively approved two weeks ago by the Board of Education in a 4-3 vote taken behind closed doors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2010 | By Jason Song
A former Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent pleaded no contest Thursday to unlawfully displaying a badge while allegedly trying to pull a woman over in Pomona. Ruben Zacarias, 81, waved a school district police badge at a woman driving on the 57 Freeway last July and said he was a cop, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Zacarias, who was superintendent for 2 1/2 years before being bought out of his contract by the school board in late 1999, was fined $250 and must pay a $100 restitution fee. Superior Court Judge David Brougham also ordered that the badge -- which was seized by the California Highway Patrol -- be returned to the school district, according to Deputy Dist.
NEWS
October 28, 1999 | Louis Sahagun
Amid the ethnically tinged firestorm surrounding Supt. Ruben Zacarias and the school board, the Los Angeles Unified School District postponed a Multicultural Unity Day Celebration on Wednesday. Staff members were still blowing up balloons for the annual event when Human Relations Education Commission Director Edward Negrete issued an interoffice correspondence explaining that he had no choice given the "climate of uneasiness, uncertainty."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 1999
Re "Has the Time Come to Break Up the District?" by Les Birdsall, Opinion, Oct. 24: The Los Angeles Unified School District has shown time after time that it is grossly mismanaged and that the leadership at the downtown headquarters (including Ruben Zacarias) tends to be self-serving, politically and financially motivated and totally disconnected from all the communities they serve. The time has come to beak up the district. New districts and new ideas will bring new directions. JULIA ANSLEY Los Angeles
OPINION
January 13, 2002 | CAROL LYNN MITHERS
Last fall's announcement that the nightmarishly overcrowded Los Angeles Unified School District expects to complete 85 new schools and expand 75 others within six years should be cause for celebration. As a Times editorial wistfully noted, "We want to believe." But if the past offers any indication, the district is as likely to achieve that goal as its superintendent is to fly. My skepticism stems from having seen what happened when the district tried to build just one school--on a site it already owned with funds it had committed.
NEWS
January 15, 2000 | LOUIS SAHAGUN, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
Like a hero returning to his hometown, Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ruben Zacarias spent his last day on the job Friday reading to students and counseling teachers at the modest Boyle Heights school he attended as a boy 65 years ago. "This is where it all started, and this is where I want it to end," the 71-year-old veteran said before getting down to the business of reading "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss to a kindergarten class at Breed Street Elementary School.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2000
Los Angeles Unified Supt. Ruben Zacarias on Wednesday received the "Ohtli" award from Mexico's Foreign Ministry. The recognition goes to people whose work has had a positive impact on Mexican citizens living outside of Mexico. The award means "path" in Nahuatl, the language of a group of people in Mexico that included the Aztec. It is the third time the honor has been given by the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles, said Consul General Jose Luis Bernal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2000
About 250 people are expected to honor outgoing Los Angeles Schools Supt. Ruben Zacarias at a ceremony Wednesday in Huntington Park. The event, the first farewell gathering to honor the 33-year veteran of the district, is sponsored by a coalition of cities that are considering breaking away from the Los Angeles Unified School District. Zacarias, who was forced out by a new school board majority, is scheduled to leave office Jan. 15.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 1999 | DOUG SMITH
A cascade of events that kept the headlines blazing almost continuously finally brought down the bulwarks of the city's most impenetrable bureaucracy. It began with the February disclosure that Los Angeles Unified School District officials began construction of the $200-million Belmont Learning Complex atop a former oil field without adequately assessing the dangers. Aided by Belmont outrage, a slate backed by Mayor Richard Riordan replaced three Board of Education members in spring elections.
OPINION
November 14, 1999
Re Agustin Gurza's Nov. 9 column, " 'Racial Politics' to Some, Political Reality to Others": The reality is that L.A. schools Supt. Ruben Zacarias was incompetent for the job. In the two years that he has been at his post, what accomplishments has he achieved? Except being Latino. Children's test scores are still at rock bottom. No new schools have been built. And one that is being built (Belmont) and a site under consideration (South Gate) will probably never open because of toxic soil contamination.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 11, 1998
Anticipating walkouts at several Los Angeles schools today in protest of Proposition 227, Supt. Ruben Zacarias issued a statement Wednesday urging students not to participate in such demonstrations. "I want to appeal to students to stay in school," Zacarias said. "Proposition 227 has passed. There is nothing to be gained from walkouts and other demonstrations. Staying in school, studying hard and registering to vote is in their best interest."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 1999
Re "Board Buys Out Zacarias; Interim Chief Is Cortines," Nov. 5: After 26 years as a teacher/counselor with the Los Angeles Unified School District, I now know that you spell "dignity" with a $. Silly me. HELEN ARAGON San Fernando Seven hundred fifty thousand dollars! More money than I have earned in 18 years of teaching your children at the top of the wage scale, including every summer school and intersession they would give me as well as an extra period a day. For the first time in five years I'm on vacation.
NEWS
November 6, 1999 | RICHARD LEE COLVIN, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
In Pasadena, they still remember--and admire--the way Ramon C. Cortines stood up to the Board of Education in the aftermath of a bitter fight over court-ordered school desegregation in the late 1970s. With an archly conservative board majority attacking teachers as communists and banning books as blasphemous, meetings had to regularly be held in a junior high auditorium to accommodate crowds in the hundreds.
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