US now has more Spanish speakers than Spain – only Mexico has more

June 30, 2015

06/30/15 The Guardian

dictionary_spanish_englishThe United States is now the world’s second largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, according to a new study published by the prestigious Instituto Cervantes.

The report says there are 41 million native Spanish speakers in the US plus a further 11.6 million who are bilingual, mainly the children of Spanish-speaking immigrants. This puts the US ahead of Colombia (48 million) and Spain (46 million) and second only to Mexico (121 million).

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Thousands of Mexican Teachers Protest Against Education Reform

June 26, 2015

6/24/15 teleSUR

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP - Getty Images

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP – Getty Images

Thousands of dissident teachers took to the streets of Mexico City Wednesday, declaring a 24-hour strike to protest against the education reform promoted by President Enrique Peña Nieto. The protest follows a decision taken recently by the country’s Supreme Court which declared the reform and the controversial teacher evaluation tests to be constitutional. The evaluation is the main source of anger from the CNTE teachers’ union, which is an alternative to the mainstream national union SNTE. The teleSUR Correspondent in Mexico, Eduardo Matinez, reported that at least 10,000 teachers have joined the strike, adding that other sections of the country have taken part in the protest for the first time. Today’s march started in the capital’s Revolution Monument, before going to the Senate and concluding at a rally in the Secretariat for Public Education (SEP) headquarters.

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Mexico Education Reform: Serious Setback

June 25, 2015

6/24/15 Latinvex

education - classroomGabriel Sánchez Zinny, president of Kuepa.com: While the Mexican government and the teachers’ unions keep fighting over proposed education reforms, students’ ability to find a good job and develop a competitive skillset to prosper in their careers is being irrevocably damaged. Students from Oaxaca, where some of the main union resistance is located, and other states, will finish only 80 days of classes, compared with more than the 180 days in other countries. In an increasingly automated, on-demand sharing economy, the competition for talent in the 21st century is global, and Mexican youth will be at a clear disadvantage with respect to the their peers in other countries. Teachers’ unions and political leaders should care. As Martin Ford states in his recent book, ‘The Rise of the Robots,’ ‘as more and more routine white-collar jobs fall to automation in countries throughout the world, it seems inevitable that competition will intensify to land one of the dwindling number of positions that remain beyond the reach of the machines.’ Today, more than 70 percent of jobs require some use of technology, the contract between employer and employee is broken, and learning to adapt and change is a critical skill for moving up in an increasingly mobile labor force. In this context, Mexico, where less than 15 percent of young people graduate from university, more than 50 percent drop out of high school, and the quality of education is low, the debate between the teachers unions’ and political leaders over halting education reform sounds flawed and outdated.

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Mexico Temporarily Cancels Teacher Testing in Oaxaca, Michoacan

June 22, 2015

06/22/15 Telesur

oaxacaThe Mexican Secretariat for Public Education (SEP) announced Sunday it has suspended the teacher evaluations in the states of Oaxaca and Michoacan, saying “the necessary conditions” were not in place for the process to go ahead. The decision follows a series of protests and boycott threats by the teacher’s of the CNTE union, which staunchly opposes the proposed evaluation process. Authorities said the evaluations were conducted as planned in other states of Mexico like Chiapas and Guerrero, where dissident teachers also advised they would attempt to disrupt the process.

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Mexico drops certification requirement for US-schooled kids

June 16, 2015

06/16/15 Associated Press

— Mexico on Monday enacted a measure meant to help hundreds of thousands of young migrants who have returned from the United States, dropping a requirement that they provide government-certified, translated copies of foreign school records in order to study in Mexico.

Mexico had required records be certified with a seal known as an apostille and be translated by a certified translator in Mexico.

The costly and cumbersome process had discouraged hundreds of thousands of returning migrant children from going to school in Mexico, or meant they could only audit courses without official recognition. Hundreds of thousands of children have returned to Mexico, mainly from the United States, after their parents were deported or chose to return.

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Juan Felipe Herrera, From Farm Fields to Poet Laureate

June 10, 2015

06/10/15 NY Times

http://litquake.org/events/barbary-coast_ferlinghetti Litquake continues through Oct 9th http://litquake.org http://www.citylights.com/ferlinghetti/ http://www.citylights.com

The Library of Congress is to announce on Wednesday that Juan Felipe Herrera, a son of migrant farmworkers whose writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity, will be the next poet laureate.

The appointment is the nation’s highest honor in poetry and also something of a direct promotion for Mr. Herrera, who was poet laureate of California from 2012 to 2014.

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Why It’s So Hard To Get Migrant Kids In Rural Minnesota Through Immigration Court

June 8, 2015

6/8/15 Think Progress

immigrant mother and boyAbout 438 children who crossed the southern U.S. border alone, fleeing poverty and gang violence from Latin America were placed with sponsors in Minnesota in the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. At least 59 of those children have already been given deportation orders, “usually after skipping their court hearings,” the Star Tribune recently reported. And an undetermined number of additional kids are facing fundamental barriers to making their legal case that are exacerbated in the small rural towns where many migrants live: a lack of transportation to the Bloomington immigration court located three hours away in Minneapolis, a critical shortage of legal representatives, and few court interpreters who speak the appropriate language.

Immigration courts were overloaded last summer as President Obama called on immigration judges to expedite the cases of more than 68,000 Latin American children, most from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The so-called “rocket docket” focused on fast adjudication, a process that advocates criticized as they scrambled to find legal representation for the children nationwide.

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