Mexican Studies in Lone Star Classrooms?

Roundup: Not letting Texas high school students study Mexican-American history and literature is racist, say activists pushing for inclusive curricula.

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 28: Hector Cruz and Miguel Miranda protest immigration policy in front of the Dallas City Hall on March 28, 2006 in Dallas Texas. High School students from all over the Dallas area left school for the second day to assembled on the front steps of City Hall to protest the U.S. immigration policy and bill HR-4437. (Photo by Jensen Walker/Getty Images)
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Jody Brannon and Sophie Quinton
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Jody Brannon Sophie Quinton
Nov. 24, 2013, midnight

Every week, The Next Amer­ica pro­duces a col­lec­tion of edu­ca­tion art­icles that catch our eye. These date from Nov. 18-25.

PUSH MADE TO AD­DRESS ‘IN­STI­TU­TION­AL­IZED RA­CISM’ IN TEXAS SCHOOLS. Latino act­iv­ists urge a pub­lic-school cur­riculum that re­flects the stu­dent body, call­ing on the State Board of Edu­ca­tion to au­thor­ize high school classes in Mex­ic­an-Amer­ic­an his­tory and lit­er­at­ure. Ad­voc­ates in the Lone Star State, where more than half of the 5 mil­lion pub­lic-school kids are Latino, ask that such courses be offered for col­lege cred­it and be ap­proved as spe­cial top­ics in the arts and hu­man­it­ies. Huff­ing­ton Post

$100 MIL­LION IN FED­ER­AL GRANTS DIR­EC­TED TO TECH-FO­CUSED SCHOOLS. Pres­id­ent Obama an­nounced a $100 mil­lion grant com­pet­i­tion for high schools that part­ner with post­sec­ond­ary in­sti­tu­tions and com­pan­ies. The pro­gram, called Youth Ca­reer­Con­nect, would pro­mote tech-fo­cused schools, like Brook­lyn’s Path­ways in Tech­no­logy Early Col­lege High School, that al­low stu­dents to earn col­lege and in­dustry cre­den­tials. The Labor De­part­ment will provide the fund­ing, and grant ap­plic­ants will be re­quired to of­fer match­ing funds of at least 25 per­cent. Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion and Wall Street Journ­al

STU­DENTS PROTEST CAN­CELED ‘CATCH AN IL­LEG­AL IM­MIG­RANT’ GAME. Some 500 Uni­versity of Texas stu­dents, in­clud­ing un­doc­u­mented im­mig­rants, par­ti­cip­ated in a rally to protest a con­tro­ver­sial game planned by the stu­dent group Young Con­ser­vat­ives of Texas. Mem­bers had planned to wear signs that said “il­leg­al im­mig­rant” and re­ward fel­low stu­dents with $25 gift cards for catch­ing them. “We were ex­pect­ing 100 people, and hun­dreds showed up,” says Di­ana Mor­ales, the pres­id­ent of the stu­dent im­mig­rants-rights group that or­gan­ized the protest. San Ant­o­nio Ex­press-News

AF­FIRM­AT­IVE AC­TION BANS CAN AF­FECT MINOR­IT­IES IN AD­JA­CENT STATES. A new study finds that minor­ity ap­plic­ants in Nevada and Ari­zona were ad­versely af­fected by Cali­for­nia’s ban on race-based af­firm­at­ive ac­tion. Nevada and Ari­zona lack highly se­lect­ive in­sti­tu­tions, so high-achiev­ing stu­dents there typ­ic­ally look to Cali­for­nia. In Ore­gon, however, minor­ity stu­dents didn’t ex­per­i­ence a loss, as the state has se­lect­ive private in­sti­tu­tions that do con­sider race in ad­mis­sions. In­side High­er Ed

IN ROCHESTER, COL­LEGES COULD DIR­ECT CITY SCHOOLS. Strug­gling city schools in Rochester, N.Y., could be turned over to area col­leges, if Su­per­in­tend­ent Bol­gen Var­gas has his way. As part of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Race to the Top ini­ti­at­ive, New York state gives dis­tricts the op­tion to turn fail­ing schools over to out­side or­gan­iz­a­tions — like non-profits or charter-school man­age­ment or­gan­iz­a­tions. Area col­leges re­main non­com­mit­tal on the pro­pos­al. Rochester Demo­crat and Chron­icle

TEACH TO ONE EARNS PROM­ISING MARKS IN MATH LEARN­ING. Per­son­al­ized-learn­ing mod­els powered by tech­no­logy fostered an av­er­age im­prove­ment of 20 per­cent more than the U.S. av­er­age in math as­sess­ment among stu­dents in sev­en tested schools, ac­cord­ing to a newly re­leased Columbia Teach­ers Col­lege study on the first-year im­pact of New Classrooms’ Teach to One blen­ded-learn­ing mod­el. All demo­graph­ic sub-groups — in­clud­ing those fo­cus­ing on lan­guage minor­ity, spe­cial edu­ca­tion, and low-in­come stu­dents — out­per­formed na­tion­al norms ex­cept for black stu­dents. Chistensen In­sti­tute for Dis­rupt­ive In­nov­a­tion

ARNE DUNCAN: ‘I RE­GRET’ IN­SULT TO COM­MON CORE CRIT­ICS. Edu­ca­tion Sec­ret­ary Arne Duncan has apo­lo­gized after try­ing to ex­plain away cri­ti­cism of his pro­posed Com­mon Core pro­gram to school su­per­in­tend­ents as “white sub­urb­an moms” com­plain­ing that their chil­dren were not as “bril­liant as they thought they were.” Duncan, try­ing to gen­er­ate en­thu­si­asm for the pro­gram and dis­pel cri­ti­cism, in­stead cre­ated a stir. Breit­bart

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