Texas board of education approves a Mexican-American studies course, in all but name

04/11/2018 Dallas News

classroom-2093744_1280.jpgHigh school students in Texas will likely soon be able to take a state-approved Mexican-American studies course — but it won’t be called that.

The state’s board of education gave preliminary approval Wednesday for the creation of the course, the culmination of a four-year fight by advocates and educators to add it as an elective. A final vote will happen Friday.

“This should have happened four years ago, but we’re pleased to see the board move forward on this today,” said Kathy Miller, the president of the left-leaning nonprofit Texas Freedom Network. “It’s important for students to learn that the story of Texas and our nation includes the experiences and contributions of Mexican Americans and other people from diverse backgrounds.”

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Will more education increase growth in Mexico?

03/22/2018 Brookings

pexels-photo-256468.jpegEducation tops the to-do list for development experts, and with good reason. A broad understanding that education is central to people’s welfare has led governments to devote considerable resources to increase the coverage and quality of their education systems. While these efforts are certainly welcome, and will undoubtedly increase social welfare, the tacit assumption has been that they will contribute to growth everywhere. In other words, if only the supply of human capital could be enhanced and increased, then growth would accelerate.

Figure 1 depicts the financial returns from education in Mexico from 1996 to 2015. These are measured as the percentage difference in average wages of workers who completed primary education, junior high, senior high, and university education, relative to workers who did not complete primary education.

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UPCOMING EVENT | The Impact of Immigration Enforcement Policies on Teaching and Learning in America’s Public Schools

education2WHEN: Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 11:30am-1:30pm

WHERE: 5th Floor, Wilson Center

Click to RSVP


There has been considerable discussion in news outlets about the impact of immigration enforcement policies on children and families. Recent incidents across the country and reported in the press have raised alarm throughout immigrant communities. Clearly there is great fear in this hyper-sensitized environment. To what extent is this ramped up immigration enforcement impacting our nation’s public schools? How does it vary by region and what is the “collateral” fallout for non-immigrant students? How are educators reacting and to what extent is this affecting them? What rights do students have and what happens to U.S.-citizen children when they are sent to a country and school system they do not know? To address these questions, four new research papers will be presented with brief highlights. There will be ample time for Q&A and discussion. The studies include:

•         A new national survey of the impact of immigration enforcement on teaching and learning in the nation’s schools
•         The impact of immigration enforcement on educators
•         Federal and state policy affecting the children of immigrants and their schooling
•         What happens to U.S. citizen students caught up in deportation of family members


A light lunch will be served at 11:30am. The program will begin at 12:00pm.

Co-sponsored by:


Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Patricia Gándara, Co-Director, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, UCLA

Bryant Jensen, Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University

Shena Sanchez, Research Associate, University of California, Los Angeles

Julie Sugarman, Senior Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute

Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President, National Education Association

Claudio Sanchez, Education Correspondent, National Public Radio

Click to RSVP

Mexico Struggles To Integrate Foreign Students, Including U.S.-Born Children

11/28/2017 NPR 

education - school children.jpgMore American youth are moving to Mexico than there are Mexican youth coming to the U.S. More than half a million American children have moved to Mexico since 2008, and are studying in schools there.

Mexico is absorbing an influx of American youth. In fact, recently, more kids have been crossing the border going south rather than north. This often happens when parents are deported. And for children who have just arrived, it can be a difficult adjustment.

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New Publication | Building on Early Success: Next Steps in U.S.-Mexico Educational Cooperation

By Angela Robertson and Duncan Wood

USA and MexicoLaunched in 2014, the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research (FOBESII) seeks to “expand opportunities for educational exchanges, scientific research partnerships, and cross-border innovation to help both countries develop a 21st century workforce for both our mutual economic prosperity and sustainable social development.” It aims to promote binational cooperation in higher education and research, especially regarding important areas for innovation in the United States and Mexico, by promoting programs for student mobility, academic exchange, research, and innovation in areas of common interest to contribute to the competitiveness of the region.

Cultural and educational exchanges help to create connections between the people and institutions of the United States and Mexico via exchange programs, scholarships, grants, and joint research.  Increasing educational exchanges and strengthening workforce development and innovation, particularly in STEM areas, will allow the United States and Mexico, and North America as a whole, to compete in global markets. Thus, FOBESII has the potential to build a more prosperous future for both the United States and Mexico.

Nonetheless, this short paper argues that, while FOBESII has done much to expand educational exchanges, increase joint research, and promote innovation, it has yet to achieve its stated goals and continues to face serious challenges. We argue that to overcome these challenges, future initiatives must focus on advancing private sector engagement, workforce development, and improving public communication and outreach. FOBESII continues to be a relevant and important initiative, but it is in urgent need of restructuring and redirection if it is to make a significant contribution to bilateral affairs and regional competitiveness.

Read the paper…

Tucson’s Mexican Studies Program Was a Victim of ‘Racial Animus,’ Judge Says via@nytimes

8/23/2017 New York Times By Maggie Astor 

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Arizona school officials were motivated by racial animus when they acted to shut down a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson’s public schools, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

In a 42-page ruling, Judge A. Wallace Tashima concluded that the elimination of the program in 2012, on the premise that it violated a state statute enacted two years earlier, infringed on students’ First and 14th Amendment rights. The court has not yet scheduled a hearing on what to do next.

“The court is convinced that decisions regarding the MAS program were motivated by a desire to advance a political agenda by capitalizing on race-based fears,” wrote Judge Tashima, of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

The ruling focuses primarily on the actions of Tom Horne and John Huppenthal, two former Arizona schools superintendents who concluded that the Mexican-American studies program for middle and high schools, sometimes referred to as La Raza, violated a statute known as A.R.S. 15-112. Passed in 2010, it bans public and charter schools in Arizona from offering courses that “promote the overthrow of the United States government,” “promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group” or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

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‘The help never lasts’: why has Mexico’s education revolution failed?

8/15/2017 The Guardian 

Education was meant to be president Enrique Peña Nieto’s flagship policy. Yet salaries are still being paid to ‘ghost teachers’ who never enter a classroom, while children lack the tools – and even the food – they need to learn.

It’s almost four in the afternoon, and a quarter of the fifth-grade pupils at Ángel Albino Corzo primary school in Buena Vista haven’t eaten all day. The children are fidgety and distracted as their teacher explains decimals on the white board.

They are counting down the minutes until break time, when they will be given a small portion of beans with tortillas – for some, the only meal they will eat today (Mexico’s schooling is split into two distinct shifts; these children study from 1.30-6pm).

“How can they learn if they’ve not eaten and we haven’t got the right tools?” their teacher, Juan Carlos, asks later. He would like to use interactive online worksheets, but the computer lab is closed and there’s no internet. “There’s only so much we can do.”

Buena Vista is a bleak hillside community constructed on industrial wasteland in the sprawling State of Mexico, which wraps around the capital, Mexico City. Crime rates are so high here that in winter months, the school closes early as many children walk home alone. Police do not patrol the neighbourhood.

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