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SAUSD Trustee Ceci Inglesias declares war on Teachers

ceci Igelsias-Paul Ryan

We’ve been trying to get to this story for a while and it just keeps getting better. Santa Ana Unified Trustee Ceci Iglesias, who is a staffer for Republican State Senator Bob Huff, has decided it’s the fault of SAUSD teachers that Santa Ana’s school kids do poorly on standardized tests. She’s taken to social media to criticize teachers and has called for a Parent’s “Union” to advance her cause. The idea of Iglesias, an anti-union right wing conservative, calling for a union of parents to demand teachers teach better is pretty laughable.

Last month, Santa Ana Educator’s Association president Susan Mercer turned in this column at the Voice of OC which we believe is pretty spot on.

Santa Ana Unified School District teachers are furious at School Board Vice President Cecilia Iglesias, for her recent postings on social media, scapegoating them. Her offensive posts on Facebook stated that teachers only work 5-hours a day, six months a year, are greedy and are in it solely for the money. Furthermore, she blames teachers for what she mischaracterizes as low achievement. Her disregard of the major factors that affect Santa Ana students, such as a 94-percent poverty rate and second-language learners clearly indicates her inability to grasp the complexities of teaching in a highly urbanized setting such as Santa Ana.

In order to gather support for her political agenda she needs to discredit teachers, schools and the district with the community. While the Santa Ana standardized test scores are the lowest in the county, students are achieving and improving at higher rates than similar student populations and the majority of parents see that their children are learning and succeeding in school. Hence, Ms. Iglesias has a problem. To further her Parent Trigger agenda and curry favor with her political benefactors, she needs to convince parents that their students are not achieving and schools are failing. She attempted to do so when she posted on Facebook portraying teachers as lazy, greedy and underperforming.

Ms. Iglesias has started a campaign blaming educators for the 68 percent of students who did not score proficient in a third-grade assessment developed for the practitioner to guide instruction. She has chosen to misuse this single measure to portray the education in Santa Ana as a failure.

There are other districts in Orange County with challenges but none as daunting as Santa Ana’s. There is a lot that needs be done, but as Cecilia Iglesias finishes her third year on the school board, she has yet to propose one single policy, program, or initiative to improve the education in Santa Ana. Her only contributions are to question, delay and criticize the hard-working employees of Santa Ana.
Iglesias went to Facebook to respond:

Attention Santa Ana parents and community community members:

 Attached is An article forwarded to me by a community member. This article written by Susan Mercer. The union president. This is a tactic to put fear in us so I won’t stand up for ALL students.. BUT I AM NOT AFRAID AND WON’T BACK DOWN!!!!!

Teachers I appreciate all you do and am sad that Susan Mercer is trying to divide us. ALL those negative comments are “her”words. I invite you to reach out to me at

And there is this comment:
Attention Santa Ana parents and community members:

I want to thank all the parents and students that showed up to speak on behalf of STUDENTS. I am energized more than ever to fight for STUDENTS rights..

Thank you to the teacher that worked well with Ms. Bernaudo. CSEA for advocating for STUDENTS. Truly the reason why the District exists.. the 68% needs our support.. parents need our support and a union to advocate on our behalf. Teacher’s and classified have a union, why don’t WE as parents have a UNION. We need a UNION to advocate for US the Parents. A union that will demand academic raises for our students and advocate for parents rights.

Many claim to be for better education in Santa Ana, now let’s hold everyone accountable. Please parents, teachers, classified staff continue to come to our board meetings and advocate for our students. They need US. Students continue telling us what you need to be successful in school.

While, I was being interviewed by Telemundo Today, Jose Hernandez announced he is not running for reelection in 2016. We need another champion for students. I am calling on Angie Rosario Cano. Reyna Orozco and Marilyn Bernaudo-Delgado to join me on that Board to advocate for ALL students. Not just the 32%. Because the 68% also deserves to succeed.

Clearly, Ms. Iglesias could benefit from some basic writing classes herself. After reading these pitches to her supporters, it’s clear Ms. Iglesias doesn’t seem to understand she holds a position as SAUSD trustee to make the changes she calls for actually happen. She wants to hold everyone accountable – except SAUSD trustees like herself.

Iglesias doesn’t seem interested in helping teachers.

Iglesias starred in a YouTube video that was anti-Sharon Quirk-Silva, a long time teacher in Fullerton who was then in the State Assembly, suggesting that schoolchildren shouldn’t be used as pawns in political games while advocated against transgender students using restrooms in the gender they associate themselves with. Remember this video and match it with her rhetoric. That’s a lesson Iglesias seems to have forgotten as she gears up for a re-election bid.

What’s happening in Santa Ana is actually part of a national trend. From the New York Times:
About a quarter of public school students are Hispanic, compared with fewer than 10 percent in 1990. As a group, the scores of Hispanic students trail those of white students; this year, for example, 21 percent of Hispanic fourth graders scored at a level deemed proficient or above on reading tests, compared with 46 percent of white students.

The proportion of African-American students in public schools has remained fairly stable, but an achievement gap with white students remains. On the fourth-grade reading tests this year, just 18 percent of black students were deemed proficient.

America’s schoolchildren are also increasingly poor. Students from poor families often arrive at school with smaller vocabularies than students from middle-class or more affluent households, and are faced with challenges like hunger, homelessness and parents working several jobs, all of which can interfere with their learning in school and the academic support they receive at home — and ultimately their test scores.

Arne Duncan, the departing secretary of education, said schools should embrace the challenges of growing diversity. A study this week showed that student demographics can affect test scores. “We should be learning from each other and schools who are doing the best job with students with disabilities and English language learners and students living below the poverty line,” Mr. Duncan said.

Perhaps, instead of worrying about transgendered kids being right and wrong about which restroom they use in school, Iglesias could do her job to see what other school districts are doing to help students who speak mostly Spanish at home and resident in poor communities.

We remain unconvinced that Ms. Iglesias cares more about students, parents or teachers more that she does her own political aspirations — as evidenced by her failed assembly run in 2014 shortly after getting elected.   What is clear is that three years into the job, she has no accomplishments of note to warrant her re-election to her current position or any other office.


  1. Ltpar Ltpar November 6, 2015

    I am not big on standardized test scores as a measuring stick for students. That said, I would be more interested in kids doing the same as I did when in elementary, middle and high school. How about teachers focus attention in teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Forget the Common Core crap which many teachers don’t like. Let’s get back to the basics and stop dumbing down our future generations. Don’t agree either on teachers only working five hour days. My daughter is a 2nd grade teacher in Costa Mesa and I see the long days and some nights she puts in and have great respect for the vast majority of teachers.

    • RHackett RHackett November 7, 2015

      I agree. I have two educators in the family.

      My observation is those who seem to have all the solutions to education haven’t spent one day in a classroom.

  2. Guillermo Guillermo November 7, 2015

    This iglesias is everything thats wrong with our government.
    How the hell did she get elected????

    • Ltpar Ltpar November 9, 2015

      Ms. Iglesias is focusing attention on the wrong group. Instead of blaming teachers for all the ills of the system, more focus should be on the unions controlling the teachers. Many teachers don’t agree with what unions do, but are helpless to buck the system. She could start by making the Santa Ana Schools and “open shop” where union membership would be optional. She could then campaign against School Board members who take political donations from the school unions. Teachers need to wake up, smell the java and understand their unions are in it not for the benefit of teachers, but for money and power.

      • RHackett RHackett November 9, 2015

        Does that apply to police unions as well?

        Or just teachers?

        • Ltpar Ltpar November 10, 2015

          To your question I would reply, “If the shoe fits, wear it.” Police Unions are no different than any other, they supposedly represent interests of their members. Unions generally support Democrat candidates, because those are the bread and butter people. It took me a number of years in the the early days of my 17 year tenure as Association President in Irvine to grasp that concept. Law Enforcement Unions are not as powerful as their larger and better financed brother, Teachers Unions. In addition, Law Enforcement groups, with a few exceptions do not get their fingers into trying to manage the organization and work product as do Teachers Unions. Unions have their role to play in the workplace, but when they represent themselves rather than their members, the line needs to be drawn.

          • RHackett RHackett November 11, 2015

            You must live in a parallel universe. I see police unions as being just as influential if not more so.

            I’m sure your claim about police unions not trying to manage the organization is anecdotal varies from group to group.

  3. Daniel Daniel November 7, 2015

    The deification of teachers has gone overboard. Not all teachers are the best. Not all teachers do a good job. Not all teachers care. Just because one is a teacher does not give one a free pass to criticism. My performance standards at work must be met for me to keep my job, why should teachers be the exception. I’m not stating that standardized testing is the way to judge teachers however, there should be some methodology in place. Just stating that teachers are overworked and underpaid is a gross misrepresentation. Some teachers are overworked and underpaid as are many, many working class people. I am so tired of people vilifying any criticism of teachers as ‘anti-teacher, anti-child’. The teacher’s union has created a horrible situation wherein bad teachers are protected and outstanding performers are buried within. It’s no wonder our children are suffering as a result. This article, a gross simplification of the views of this individual , is just a political piece of crapola. Just as in any other profession, standards should be met. No one deserves a free pass in this world, no one.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | November 7, 2015

      That includes Ceci. Three years in office and not a single meaningful policy passed. She is good at organizing people to make signs echoing her words. But she uses kids as props. Shameless.

      • junior junior November 7, 2015

        Can you name policies brought forward and passed by your favored trustees Dan? I doubt it.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | November 11, 2015

      Does this include parents too — some of whom work two or three jobs to pay bills? Parental involvement is a major deal behind kids getting better grades. Should the effort of parents be included?

  4. Aleece Hanson Aleece Hanson November 7, 2015

    This article is spot on! My parents, both teachers in SAUSD, and I applaud the author of this article! We loved it!

  5. SanTana SanTana November 7, 2015

    “teachers only work 5-hours a day, six months a year, are greedy and are in it solely for the money”…sounds about right to me…especially since they can’t get fired.

    • Ltpar Ltpar November 10, 2015

      Clearly, you don’t know “jack schit” about what a teacher does or doesn’t do.

  6. junior junior November 7, 2015

    I don’t trust statements, like Ms. Mercer’s, that do not provide, of their target, direct quotes in context.

  7. David Vasquez David Vasquez November 7, 2015

    I neither live, vote or have children in this district, while, I have a close relative who lives and teaches in Santa Ana, I can not claim to know what is going on there, other than what I observe and can research.

    Having said that, with it’s non-English household count among the biggest in the nation, poverty far exceeding the national average and other indicators (transitional enrollment, single parent, non parent, homeless, disabled……etc) it is no wonder the district is an abysmal failure.

    THIS MEANS clearly, they need experts and stakeholders, not politico’s on the board. Consider this: Roman Reyna, a childless twenty something, laking any formal education twice elected to the SAUSD board. Rob Richardson, GOP county insider, with NO CHILDREN three times elected, Audrey Noji Ph.d: wife of NOTORIOUS Woodbridge High School (Irvine) Football Coach Gene Noji, but again it’s been twenty years since the Noji’s were active in Santa Ana. Valerie Amezcua, who has championed Prison reform and prop 47 to dangerous results, My favorite John Palacio, advocating for his handicapped son, turned activism into a career.

    Maybe it’s time we let “Non-Citizens” vote for things like school board,like they do in New York City. I doubt you’d get people like this OR people like RACE-BAITERS, Jose Moreno in Anaheim.

    The SCORES ARE A MESS. As soon as board members realize NOT ALL KIDS need to go to college, the sooner society becomes a better place.

  8. Junior Junior November 8, 2015

    Susan Mercer’s statements re. Iglesias are false. Mercer said of CI – “Her offensive posts on Facebook stated that teachers only work 5-hours a day, six months a year, are greedy and are in it solely for the money.”

    Iglesias did not post any statement even close to those words. Mercer has a problem with “truthiness.”

    • Commenting Gnome Commenting Gnome November 8, 2015

      Actually Mike Tardiff, she did post it and took it down when called out on it. You even liked the post.

      • junior junior November 8, 2015

        I don’t think so – got proof?

      • junior junior November 8, 2015

        I highly doubt that, as I only just friended CI on FB today.

  9. Rintrah Rintrah November 8, 2015

    Ceci removed her FB post and was publicly called on it by Hernandez, fellow board member. I am sad that so many manly men need to pick on teachers. The profession is 80% female. The real teachers union threat is to phallocracy. Organized well paid women are a danger.

  10. Justin Case Justin Case November 9, 2015

    Why anyone would trust this woman to be honest is lost on me. Back in 2010 this blog posted a revealing story about this woman’s ethics. Anyone who is willing to use a disabled parking place to park her pickup truck with a campaign sign in the back, when she isn’t disabled, is just slime.

  11. junior junior November 9, 2015

    Dan himself cleared CI of your false accusation –

    Dan Chmielewski
    October 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm
    Elizabeth —
    I did stick around and watched the Iglesias entourage leave the event. No one was limping, using a cane or otherwise having any problem walking. Ceci left in a different vehicle. I don’t know who was driving the truck but nobody had any visible means to show why the handicapped placard was required other than to secure primo parking slots for their movable advertisement.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski November 9, 2015

      There’s that word — entourage– Ceci might have told them to move the truck somewhere but didn’t….

      • junior junior November 9, 2015

        Or just as likely – NOT!!

    • Justin Case Justin Case November 9, 2015


      The comment you reference is from a different incident. The first time this was discovered and the photo attached to the article clearly shows Ceci getting out of the driver’s seat.
      Ceci Parking at Walmart 09/10/2010

      • junior junior November 9, 2015

        Nothing looks clear in that photo & your statement does not comport with Dan’s reportage.

        • Justin Case Justin Case November 10, 2015


          One more time, there are two incidents of a vehicle with a campaign sign parked in a Disabled Person’s Parking place. The one referenced by me was at the Walmart in Santa Ana. The one where Dan was at the event was related to this story That event was more than a month after the original report, Here is a link to the story that mentions both events.

          I like search engines, they are helpful in clearing things up.

          • junior junior November 10, 2015

            yaawwwnnnn …..

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski November 10, 2015

          That’s Ceci in the driver’s seat. More troubling tn this event, is Ceci’s whining about her carpetbagging assembly opponent while Ceci was working with Mimi Walter’s state senate office when Mimi had an apartment in Irvine while living in a mansion in Laguna Niguel. Notice Ceci didn’t make the move to Mimi’s congressional staff. Ceci’s going to need a new job in December 2016

  12. David Vasquez David Vasquez November 9, 2015

    Here is the problem, NOBODY (well most people) in Santa Ana simply don’t care. Certainly not the parents of SAUSD students, they are STRUGGLING to make ends meet. They (generally) could care less about Ceci. They are looking at overtime, rent and whether to pay Ford Motor Credit (at 12%) or Edison.

    The reality is, Santa Ana has decided to let people fight for them. This is a SCARY prospect.

  13. Cynthia mae Curran Cynthia mae Curran November 10, 2015

    Well, it isn’t easy in Santa Ana, the US census stills shows only 53 percent of Santa Ana has finished high school and only 11 percent finished college. What is interesting is Mexican kids in Mexico learn better than they do in the US. Its that in Mexico a lot of the rural areas don’t finished high school which ads to the problems of Santa Ana since most kids parents came from the rural areas. There is a Latino drop out culture that is somewhat changing also. Gang Problems as well make it hard for kids at the high school level as well.

  14. Cynthia mae Curran Cynthia mae Curran November 10, 2015

    Recently, I think Republicans were wrong on Mexicans. Reading the LA Times there are many conservative Mexicans and Latinos unlike Asians Latinos advanced more by getting into the construction trades or becoming a plumber even some cleaning jobs pay better than in the past since there is a high demand in OC for maids and Janitors. Asians advance mainly through small business and college while Latinos advance more through the trades or being a sales person without college. I think in the long term Republicans would make picked Latinos if they can effectively deal with the immigration situation without saying many people that come here are rapists and so forth.

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