Sunday, July 20, 2014

Please distribute widely.

The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Mexican American Studies

Tenure-Track Professor/Associate Professor in Social Sciences

Location: University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies invites applications for a tenured position at the rank of Associate or Full Professor to begin Fall 2015. We seek a Social Scientist with a heavy focus on the U.S. Latino/a populations and whose research agenda offers critical and comparative approaches to Central American, Caribbean, and South American Diasporas in the U.S. The successful candidate will provide intellectual leadership and vision within the proposed department, bridging the core concentrations in Language and Cognition, Policy, Cultural, and Borderlands Studies.
The successful candidate will have a strong research agenda with specialization in one, or more of the following areas: mental health, immigration, youth cultures, demography, public health, language in contact, language ideologies, urban planning for interdisciplinary approaches to social justice issues in Latina/o Studies.  The successful candidate will be expected to teach at all levels of our curriculum, to direct dissertations, MA reports, and honors theses, publish actively, and offer service to the Department, College and University.

Applicants must hold a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Geography, Linguistics, Social Psychology, Sociology, Urban Planning, or a related field and must have demonstrated record of excellence in research and teaching.
Application Instructions

To apply, send letter of interest, curriculum vitae, writing sample, and a list of three professional references to Dr. Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández at http://apply.interfolio.com/25175.  Electronic submissions only, please.  Review of applications will begin on October 1, 2014. Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled, however applications received after this date may not receive full consideration.

The University of Texas is an AA/EEO employer. A background check will be conducted on the successful candidate. Position funding is pending budgetary approval.

Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández
Associate Professor of American Studies
Associate Director, Center for Mexican American Studies
LLILAS and CWGS, Faculty Affiliate
University of Texas at Austin
2505 University Ave Stop B7100
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 232-6313

U.S. Students from Educated Families Lag in International Tests : Education Next

This piece authored by , and deserves a close read. -Angela

U.S. Students from Educated Families Lag in International Tests : Education Next

Name-calling turns nasty in education world - Stephanie Simon - POLITICO.com

This is a worthwhile read because it provides a sense of how the lines are getting drawn in education politics.  I agree that name calling is not/should not be acceptable at the same time that I agree with several of the comments within that we are indeed at war with the neoliberal agenda over what the majority of people adhere to in the U.S., namely, the democratic purposes of education—as opposed to corporate control. (Note: Time to read Benito Mussolini's writings on the ostensible virtues of the corporate state.)

What will it be?  Control by the corporations with our hard-earned taxpayer dollars—or to the state to which we all have access as long as public schools remain truly public?


Name-calling turns nasty in education world

Illustration by Matt Wuerker.

“Everyone rushes to their own corners,” Rotherham said. “It’s exasperating.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has noticed. He opened a September
speech to the National Press Club by decrying “all the noise and
manufactured drama” of the education policy world. It was, he said, “an
alternative universe” — one pumped very full of hubris.

Each side, naturally, blames the other for starting the name calling. Few activists seem to see their own rhetoric as a problem.
“I don’t know that the tone is sharp — for me,” said Steve Perry, a
charter school principal in Connecticut who is a prominent voice in the
reform movement. “I can’t necessarily own that.”

Ten seconds further into the interview, Perry was blasting Ravitch
and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten for
promoting “racist” policies. Vanquishing them would be simple, he said,
“like throwing water on a witch.”

Ravitch, for her part, said she doesn’t consider herself a
“flamethrower” but added that she would not apologize for strong words.
“You can call it polarization, but it needs to happen,” Ravitch said.
“Otherwise, they will destroy public education.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/education-debates-rhetoric-99556_Page2.html#ixzz381r2w3ve

For the G.O.P., Fine Line Seen on Migration

Interesting commentary by Rand Paul:

“From a conservative point of view, you can’t have forms of forgiveness without a secure border,” Mr. Paul said. “It doesn’t mean that we can’t bring a lot of those people to our country, that we don’t have room for them,” he added. “I think we frankly do need many of these people for workers. But you can’t have a beacon of hope and you can’t have a forgiveness plan without a secure border.”
Hoping against hope for the sake of the children that legislation gets passed through Congress before its recess in less than two weeks.



Senator John Cornyn of Texas: “We have a political imperative as Republicans to deal with this.” Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — In 1996, when a surge in illegal immigration collided with the overheated politics of a presidential election, Republicans demanded a strict crackdown.
They passed a measure in the House that would have allowed states to bar children who were in the country illegally from public schools. Senator Bob Dole, Republican of Kansas, the party’s nominee for president, called for limiting social services to immigrants in the country illegally. Patrick J. Buchanan, one of Mr. Dole’s rivals, had promised to build an electric fence along the border with Mexico.
When Mr. Dole lost to Bill Clinton that year, he received just 21 percent of the Hispanic vote — a record low for a Republican nominee — and the party has never really recovered, even as the Hispanic vote has come to represent 10 percent of the presidential electorate, doubling from 1996.

Today, as a wave of unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America poses a new crisis for Congress and the White House, Republicans are struggling to calibrate a response that is both tough and humane, mindful of the need to reconcile their freighted history with Hispanic voters and the passions of a conservative base that sees any easing of immigration rules as heresy.


Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky: “You can’t have a forgiveness plan without a secure border.” Credit Drew Angerer/European Pressphoto Agency

Some senior Republicans are warning that the party cannot rebuild its reputation with Hispanics if it is drawn into another emotional fight over cracking down on migrants — especially when so many are young children who are escaping extreme poverty and violence. But pleas for compassion and even modest proposals for change are dividing the party, and setting off intense resistance among conservative Republicans who have resisted a broader overhaul of immigration.
Gestures of sympathy, like a trip to the border by Glenn Beck, the conservative radio and television personality who has raised more than $2 million to buy teddy bears, shoes and food for migrant children, were met with scorn and derision. Some anti-immigrant activists responded to news that the government was buying new clothing for the detainees by organizing a campaign to mail them dirty underwear.
“We can’t elect another Republican president in 2016 who gets 27 percent of the Hispanic vote,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, referring to the percentage Mitt Romney won in 2012.
Mr. Cornyn voted against the broad immigration overhaul last year but introduced a compromise measure this week with a Texas Democrat from the House, Representative Henry Cuellar, that would speed the deportation of some children while allowing those who request asylum to stay as they await a hearing.
Noting the demographic shifts in his own state — where he observed, “It’s not just people that look like me” — Mr. Cornyn added: “This is a challenge for the country, and we need to solve it. And we have a political imperative as Republicans to deal with this or else we will find ourselves in a permanent minority status.”
The cycle of failing to win over Hispanics can be traced in many respects to 1994, when Gov. Pete Wilson of California, a Republican, faced a difficult re-election fight and backed Proposition 187, which prohibited the state from providing health care, public education or other social services to immigrants in the country illegally, a measure that so angered Hispanics it all but delivered the state to Democrats in presidential elections ever since. In comparison, President Ronald Reagan won 45 percent of Latino voters in California in 1984.
Looking toward the next presidential election, other Republicans who once opposed immigration overhaul are now talking about the need to deal with the current crisis in a compassionate way. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who is considering a run for president and voted against the immigration bill last year, said this week that he considered himself “a moderate conservative who’s for immigration reform” but wants to see border security improved.
“From a conservative point of view, you can’t have forms of forgiveness without a secure border,” Mr. Paul said. “It doesn’t mean that we can’t bring a lot of those people to our country, that we don’t have room for them,” he added. “I think we frankly do need many of these people for workers. But you can’t have a beacon of hope and you can’t have a forgiveness plan without a secure border.”
With so many Republicans still opposed to sweeping policy changes, the compromise they are proposing now is more a move to do no further harm to their image with Hispanics than it is an effort to court votes. And a split within the Democratic Party over how to handle deportations poses a threat similar to the Republican schism. Many liberals are outraged that Republicans are demanding to scale back a 2008 law that granted more leniency to migrant children from Central America in an effort to combat human trafficking. And if enough Democrats refuse to go along with those changes, President Obama’s request for almost $4 billion to address the crisis could fall apart.
A critical question hanging over the Republican Party, and indeed over any hopes of passing legislation through Congress before its recess in two weeks, is whether even incremental immigration changes can advance when many on the right are so opposed.
Mr. Cornyn’s compromise already has drawn the ire of conservative activists who want to see deportations accelerated. Some Republicans in Congress, like his junior colleague from Texas, Senator Ted Cruz, say the compromise does not go far enough. Mr. Cruz has tried to persuade Republicans to nullify a directive handed down from Mr. Obama to halt deportation proceedings against certain unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children.
Other Republicans have said that while Congress needs to revisit that directive, doing so would stymie the chances of getting something meaningful done now. “We need reform,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine. But doing so now, she added, “that’s a difficult expectation.”
Republicans have the chance to step in, Ms. Collins added, where the president’s policies have failed. “It’s frustrating to me that the administration has been so slow to respond,” she said, noting how apprehensions along the border first doubled last year. “His answer, which is so often the case, is more money, more money, more money.”
With polls showing that large majorities of Americans disapprove of the way Mr. Obama is handling the border crisis, Republicans say the opportunity is theirs to squander.
Some Republicans noted that the one time in the last six presidential elections when their nominee won the popular vote was 2004, when George W. Bush carried an estimated 40 percent of the Hispanic vote.
Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee who ran for president in 1996, said that if Republicans are to win back the Senate and the White House, they have to start passing more laws. Immigration overhaul, he said, would be a start.
“In order to have a Republican president, we have to demonstrate that we can govern,” he said, adding that he was pleased to see how conservative members of his party like Mr. Paul and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida have been speaking out on immigration overhaul. “Showing that we can fix the immigration system is an essential part of showing we can govern.”

Update on Mexican American Studies in Texas by Juan Tejeda 7.19.14

This piece by Juan Tejeda, should be read in tandem with the preceding post by Dr. Lydia French. Note, in particular, the link within to the Mexican-American studies high school curriculum that was developed by folks at the University of Texas Pan American.


Colleagues & Camaradas:

I would like to thank all of you who sent an e-mail, or called in, to the Texas State Board of Education (TXSBOE) within the last couple of days in support of Mexican American and other Ethnic Studies for Texas schools. The TXSBOE pulled a fast one and voted yesterday, 12-1 (Board member Ruben Cortez from the Valley was the only one to vote against this) to "postpone" Proclamation 2016, which called for the development of textbooks and instructional materials for Mexican American, Native, African, and Asian American Studies for high school students and courses in Texas. This is a minor setback. We were never completely relying on the Republican-dominated TXSBOE to integrate Mexican American and other Ethnic Studies into Texas schools, even though it would behoove them and the state to do so. Of course we will hold all of the TXSBOE elected representatives accountable and they will not be able to "postpone" the inevitable: that all of our children deserve a quality education that reflects them positively and accurately in the textbooks and in the curriculum. Chicana/o children, who comprise more than half of all students in Texas schools, have a basic human and civil right to be taught and learn about their own history, literature, language, arts and culture. This will help them succeed in school and in life.

By the way, Mexican American Studies is not just for Mexican Americans, it is for all students. Our students need to learn about all of the different ethnic groups in the U.S., as well as the different nations, cultures, languages, religions, etc., from throughout the world, if they are going to be truly educated and become responsible citizens of the new world economy and global community. Maybe then we will be able to create a more just society and move towards peace amongst individuals, as amongst nations.

Our work continues and their have been many victories in integrating Mexican American/Chicana/o Studies into schools in Texas and across the U.S. A coalition of educators from the Rio Grande Valley at U.T. Pan Am, U.T. Brownsville, South Texas College with Trinidad Gonzales, along with representatives from various high schools, have developed a curriculum for a high school course in Mexican American History (see http://www.utpa.edu/mas-curriculum) and currently there are about 20 high schools across Texas that will be implementing a Mexican American History and/or a Humanities course this coming Fall, 2014. Educators and activists Tony Diaz in Houston, and Georgina Cecilia Perez in El Paso are working in the schools and their communities to integrate Mexican American Studies programs and courses.

The Puente Program has implemented Mexican American Studies at various colleges across Texas. Mexican American Studies, for the first time in Texas history, will be implemented into the Dual Credit Program for high school students this Fall, 2014 at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas, and other colleges, and I will be teaching a Humanities 1311/Mexican American Fine Arts Appreciation course at McCollum and KIPP College Preparatory High Schools. Other high schools are already expressing interest for the Spring, 2015 semester. We will also be integrating Mex Am Studies into the Early College Program for high school students in Spring, 2015; and this past March we established a Center for Mexican American Studies at Palo Alto College, the first in the Alamo Colleges district. There are many other individuals and organizations who are working for a more diverse, inclusive, and multicultural education for our students, and many victories across the state and the nation which the Texas State Board of Education cannot "postpone." Pa'lante.

Juan Tejeda
Chair/National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies Tejas Foco
Committee for Mexican American Studies Pre-K-12

Somos MAS/Mexican American Studies San Antonio, Tejas