Blog: Latino Ed Beat
It’s been a month since a proposed textbook for Mexican-American studies courses in Texas spurred widespread controversy over allegations of racism and inaccuracy, and ethnic studies advocates who convened at a 200-person summit in San Antonio Saturday are prepared to fight the book’s presence in the state’s public schools.
It feels like we were just in Orlando at Valencia College, sharing a campus with seven students who lost their lives early Sunday morning in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights released its latest Civil Rights Data Collection, a comprehensive database with information from just about every public school in the nation from the 2013-14 school year. Most of the information is disaggregated by race and ethnicity, sex, English-language proficiency and disability.
Divisive dialogue erupted last year after students from the University of Missouri formed a wall to prevent reporters from entering a public space — an area that the students who were protesting racism on campus wanted to designate as a “safe space.” But for Mizzou student journalist Caroline Bauman, the incident revealed a disconnect between reporters and the communities they cover.
The issue of race and diversity in college admissions once again is front and center, as the U.S. Supreme Court will rule soon on the high-profile affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas.
Panelists during a discussion at the Education Writers Association’s national conference in May offered mixed predictions about how the court will rule on whether the use of race in admissions is constitutional and how far the effects of the ruling could reach.
“Diversity — (noun) the state of being diverse; variety”
Schools in New York City are being asked to consider voluntary diversity plans in an effort to combat widespread segregation in the city’s schools.
According to its online call for proposals under the Diversity in Admissions Initiative, the city’s education department ”seeks to empower schools to strengthen diversity among their students through targeted efforts to change their admissions process.”
This election season, it has become common to read about candidates’ anti-immigrant rhetoric trickling down into schools and, in many cases, being used to insult Latino students. Over the past several days, the polarizing phrase “build a wall” — presumed to be inspired by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s immigration plan to curb illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border — has been making headlines in Oregon, as it has inspired hundreds of studen
Texas advocates of ethnic studies in public schools celebrated two years ago when the State Board of Education voted to create instructional materials for classes like Mexican-American and African-American studies that school districts could choose to offer as electives in the state. The decision wasn’t exactly what proponents of Mexican-American studies had asked for — to establish a statewide curriculum — but it was something.
Hispanic-serving institutions should do more than just enroll large numbers of Latino students. As their title implies, they’re also supposed to serve them, according to experts on a panel Excelencia in Education hosted Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
“Immigrants get the job done,” Lin-Manuel Miranda told graduates at the University of Pennsylvania’s commencement ceremony Monday. After all, it was a “broke, orphan” immigrant who built this country’s financial system.