[OP-ED]: Documentary ‘Elián’ Brings Back Painful Memories for Cubans

 06/06/2017 - 16:28
Elián nació en Cárdenas, una tranquila ciudad costera tres horas al este de La Habana. Y yo también. Solo para sumar otro elemento de coincidencia, mi hermano menor, que vive en Miami y es médico, también se llama Elián. Foto: Cibercuba

“Elián,” a recently released documentary about the saga of Elián González, the little Cuban castaway that became a worldwide cause célèbre 17 years ago, is bringing back painful memories of the Cold War-induced bitter political battle between South Florida Cuban-Americans and Cubans on the island. At a time when President Trump seems poised to reverse Barack Obama’s measures and go back to a Cuba policy of hostility and irrationality, the film becomes even more distressing.


[OP-ED]: Our Education, Born from Swamps

 05/15/2017 - 15:27
In lower income neighborhoods, students can struggle without access to proper educational materials, exposure, and parental poverty. 

The story of education in lower income neighborhoods is an all too familiar one. The struggle to obtain a stable education is a story of overcoming conditions that are less than favorable, much like the swamp plant. What is causing these students, especially Latinos, to fall behind? How can they grow from these meager and impoverished conditions?  


[OP-ED]: The importance of minority teachers in our schools

 04/27/2017 - 14:30
According to a new statistical analysis by the U.S. Department of Education, even though minority teachers remain underrepresented, both the number and proportion of minority teachers in elementary and high schools grew by 104 percent between 1987-88 and 2011-12, compared with 38 percent growth in the number of white teachers.

Black teachers make a difference.

I know because I attended a prestigious college-preparatory public high school in the heart of Chicago where approximately half of the teachers were black. They included my AP Biology teacher and AP English teacher, several of my art teachers, one of my history teachers, a chemistry teacher -- and probably many more I’m forgetting in the haze of the past quarter-century.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

Who wants to study Spanish in Philadelphia?

 03/28/2017 - 16:30
María Paredes Fernández, profesora de español en Penn University, fue nominada el año pasado como “mejor profesora de español de EEUU”, por la Asociación Americana de Profesores de Español y Portugués (AATSP). Foto: Peter Fitzpatrick

The Hispanic immigrant community has played a fundamental role in the growth of the city in the last decade. In the streets it is more and more common to hear conversations held in Spanish. However, it seems that this important trend is not reflected in universities. Why? A general crisis in the study of the humanities would be the answer. AL DÍA News spoke with professors from three of the most prominent universities in the city.


10 Latina Warriors you should know

 02/28/2017 - 17:45
Latina activists. 

Suffragettes, protesters, speakers and leaders - from Ana Roqué Géigel de Duprey and Luisa Capetillo in the late 1800s to Mariposa Fernández and Monica Carrillo in our current times - since the beginning of the 20th century, women have had to fight for their place in society as equal individuals, in front of a oppressive masculine society and a convenient feminine one.

Plain Text Author: 
Jamila Johnson and Yamily Habib

[OP-ED]: Racism and the Trump effect at the high school where I teach

 02/28/2017 - 15:06
A small group of Mexicans and Americans demonstrated today in two parts of the Mexican capital for the visit to the country by US Secretaries of State, Rex Tillerson, and Interior Security, John Kelly, where they declared through banners "Persona non grata" to the secretaries, an official visit in Mexico, and urged them to stop the hatred, racism and ignorance shown so far by the policies of President Donald Trump. EFE

My two sons used to come home from a day at high school complaining that ludicrous accusations of racism were as common as the desks in the classrooms. I chalked it up to adolescent exaggeration.

After having spent the current academic year as a teacher surrounded by rowdy high-schoolers, I can attest that they were right.

In the hallways, at assemblies, in my classroom, “That’s racist!” was a common refrain for most of the early fall.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

[OP-ED]: Don’t tell your children that you’re not good at math

 02/09/2017 - 08:07
We carry emotional baggage about our own schooling, relationships with our parents and their expectations. This is layered over the hopes and dreams we have for our own kids, making it challenging to always be positive and constructive.

There is an emerging education trend I’ve noticed that will hopefully sweep the nation: Asking the adults in children’s lives to not bad-mouth themselves about math.

The first time I noticed it was several years ago at an orientation for parents at my younger son’s new middle school. The principal was trying to explain that the math standards on the statewide achievement test were going up and that it might be noticeable in work that was coming home at night.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

[OP-ED]: Helping kids handle the ‘Trump Effect’ in our nation’s schools

 01/24/2017 - 14:13

In North Carolina, a high school teacher said she has “Latino students who carry their birth certificates and Social Security cards to school because they are afraid they will be deported.”

A new study by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy organization, says that more than two-thirds of 2,000 teachers surveyed reported students -- mainly immigrants, children of immigrants and Muslims -- expressing concerns or fears about what might happen to them or their families during a Trump presidency.

Since the election, more than half of teachers have seen an increase in uncivil political discourse in their schools or classrooms, and more than one-third report having observed an increase in anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiment.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

Judging by ideology

 11/12/2015 - 16:42
Roque Pech (center), a DACA beneficiary, poses with the sixth-graders from PUC Community Charter in Lakeview Terrace, California

On Monday, the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court ruled to uphold the block on President Obama’s November 2014 executive action on immigration. The result of the ruling has long been a forgone conclusion, but the delay in issuing the ruling is raising eyebrows.

Plain Text Author: 
Sabrina Vourvoulias