December 12, 2013
By Alejandro Chaufen
In his 2009 book, “The Next 100 Years,” George Friedman, the founder of Stratfor, wrote that by the end of the century Mexico will be the main power challenging the U.S. With $500 billion in trade with the U.S. (up from $75 billion two decades ago), with Mexicans spending twice as much on U.S. products as the Chinese, with over 33 million U.S. residents of Mexican origin, with the most frequently crossed international border in the world, it would be irresponsible to wait until the end of the century to pay attention to Mexico.
December 2, 2013
The New York Times, 12/1/2013
At a time when Latinos have surpassed whites to account for a majority of public school students in Texas, Ms. Garibay is taking an unusually direct approach to one of the most deeply entrenched challenges in education: the achievement gap in test scores and low graduation rates that are plaguing schools disproportionately populated by the children of immigrants.
By focusing her seminar on helping families and children navigate the bureaucracy of the immigration system, Ms. Garibay is hoping to help schools close their achievement gaps with others.
November 15, 2013
The Globe and Mail, 11/15/2013
Just about everything except the mouths of politicians seems to the paralyzed in the U.S. political system, especially Congress. Getting one big thing done seems next to impossible.
In Canada, the government can get things through the Commons and Senate, courtesy of its majority in both houses. But negotiate with the opposition parties? Are you crazy?
In Mexico, by contrast, something remarkable and controversial is unfolding. In less than a year, President Enrique Pena Nieto and his party are negotiating with both other parties in Congress on an array of reforms that would leave the legislatures of Canada and the United States breathless.
November 8, 2013
Miami Herald, 11/4/2013
In an ethnically themed shopping center called Plaza Mexico just south of Los Angeles, a public university from the Mexican state of Colima has planted its flag.
Alongside the shopping center’s stores and taquerias, the University of Colima offers mostly remedial education in reading, writing and math to about 100 Mexican immigrants. But a handful of students here are preparing to take their final exams for Mexican degrees, just one of several recent efforts by Mexican universities to branch into providing full-fledged university educations in the United States.
October 31, 2013
The Washington Post, 10/30/2013
University of California President Janet Napolitano said Wednesday she is devoting $5 million to provide special counseling and financial aid for students living in the U.S. illegally, a move aimed at disarming critics who worried she would be hostile to the small but vocal student population.
The former Homeland Security Secretary announced the initiative in her first public address since she became head of the 10-campus university system a month ago — an evening appearance in San Francisco organized by the Commonwealth Club. She also pledged $10 million for recruiting and training graduate students and post-doctoral research fellows.
October 21, 2013
José Urbina López Primary School sits next to a dump just across the US border in Mexico. The school serves residents of Matamoros, a dusty, sunbaked city of 489,000 that is a flash point in the war on drugs. There are regular shoot-outs, and it’s not uncommon for locals to find bodies scattered in the street in the morning. To get to the school, students walk along a white dirt road that parallels a fetid canal. On a recent morning there was a 1940s-era tractor, a decaying boat in a ditch, and a herd of goats nibbling gray strands of grass. A cinder-block barrier separates the school from a wasteland—the far end of which is a mound of trash that grew so big, it was finally closed down. On most days, a rotten smell drifts through the cement-walled classrooms. Some people here call the school un lugar de castigo—“a place of punishment.”
October 16, 2013
The Washington Post, 10/16/2013
No one is really sure who put up the first basketball hoop in Rio Venado. Big chutes of mud wash down the mountainsides when it rains, so it wouldn’t have been a good place for a soccer field anyway.
The town has five basketball courts today but only about 400 residents, most living in brown mud-brick huts along a steep dirt road. One court functions as Rio Venado’s town square, and it is where boys and girls learn the fundamentals of being an ethnic Triqui: speaking the Triqui language, wearing the elaborately woven huipil dress (for girls) and playing hoops, usually barefoot.
October 15, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 10/13/2013
Tens of thousands of teachers are scheduled to return to school on Monday after their nearly-two-month strike shut out almost 1.3 million children in Oaxaca, setting the stage for violent clashes with parents who pledged to block their return.
During the teachers’ absence, parents, with help from teachers from a nonstriking union, opened dozens of schools in the poor southern state of Oaxaca, including one here at Mitla, a town that draws many tourists to its imposing pre-Columbian ruins.
October 9, 2013
By Aaron Bell for the AULA Blog, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University
Regional educational exchange has become an important talking point for U.S. administrations in recent years, but data is still lacking to judge it a success or failure. In 2011, the Obama administration announced the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, intended to promote a north-south multilateral exchange of 100,000 students by 2020. The State Department casts it as a means for students in the hemisphere to develop the relationships and skills necessary to meet four contemporary challenges: citizen security, economic opportunity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. The organizations tasked with fulfilling the program’s goals include the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs, whose 60-plus years of advocacy on behalf of international education is based on the belief that “international education leads to a more peaceful world.”
Whether such lofty aspirations are possible is subject to some debate, but the more-easily measured effect of 100,000 Strong will become clearer when the Institute of International Education releases its report later this year on international study to and from the United States during the past academic year.
October 2, 2013
El Foro Binacional de Educación Superior, Innovación e Investigación, acordado entre los Gobiernos de México y Estados Unidos en mayo pasado, busca incrementar a 150 mil la cifra de intercambios estudiantiles entre ambos países.
Lo anterior implicará un gran esfuerzo, estimó Hazel Blackmore, directora ejecutiva de la Comisión México-EU para Intercambio Educativo y Cultural (Comexus), sobre todo si se toma en cuenta el bajo nivel de los intercambios en la actualidad.
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