Interview: Mexico Government Claims on Disappeared Students Exposed

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Interview: Mexico Government Claims on Disappeared Students Exposed

People hold pictures of missing students during a demonstration on the outskirts of Chilpancingo, in the Mexican state of Guerrero (Photo: REUTERS)
People hold pictures of missing students during a demonstration on the outskirts of Chilpancingo, in the Mexican state of Guerrero (Photo: REUTERS)
Published 16 December 2014
TeleSUR interviews the Mexican journalists whose explosive revelations show higher levels of official involvement in the disappearance of 43 students.

Explosive allegations were published in Proceso, one of Mexico’s leading news weeklies, this past Sunday, revealing strong evidence pointing to direct participation by federal authorities in the presumed killings of dozens of education students from the drug war-torn state of Guerrero.

The investigation also revealed that Mexican federal, state and municipal authorities were tracking the exact movements of the students on the same night of the massacre in question this past September 26 and that according to the government’s own documents, and in at least five clear instances, key testimony obtained by officials to sustain their…

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Posted by on December 16, 2014 in Uncategorized


My journey around the world in 16 days: A spiritual and academic venture

tomorrow i begin a spiritual academic journey around the world. in 16 days, i will have walked on los pedacitos de tierra boston, dublin, edinburg, london, shanghai, auckland, sydney, and hawai’i before i return to la saguara in phoenix.

the purpose of my trip is threefold: 1) to learn from others at two conferences, 2) to share my research on ancestral computing for sustainability, and 3) to exchange with the land, peoples, star nation…

at the university of edinburg, i will participate in the world education research association.

in shanghai, i will explore for a bit.

at the university of auckland, i will participate in the international indigenous development research conference.

and while i’m away, ethnic studies as a high school graduation requirement better pass in LAUSD!

i will return with a new set of spirit eyes no doubt, ones that have been humbly touched by little pieces of earth that i will thread together, the UK, China, NZ and the US. no need for magic titles, just presence, intention, hard work, understanding,… song in my heart liver.

and a journey it will be, to experience her voluptuousness, the full roundness of her body, Mother Earth.

so much gratitude inside of me, oozing out to one and all. ❤

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Posted by on November 16, 2014 in Uncategorized


My Xicana shaved head

After having her over for ten days, my precious little niece left me with two main gifts: lice and the inspiration to let go.

Photo on 7-29-14 at 8.13 PM #2At first the second of the gifts was not readily apparent; I had to dig deep for that one.

The first of the gifts presented themselves as a huge annoyance. I first realized I had piojos when I stared into the mirror and saw a liendre shining under the fluorescent light. I pulled it out with my fingers and popped it between my fingernails.

Oh hells nah.

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Linda Darling-Hammond: How to Close the Achievement Gap

Diane Ravitch's blog

Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University offers common-sense ideas about closing the achievement gap. She says that testing is less important than teaching. No surprise there.

She reviews an OECD study about teachers. What it shows is that teachers in the U.S. work longer hours under more difficult conditions than teachers in many other nations.

“Now we have international evidence about something that has a greater effect on learning than testing: Teaching. The results of the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), released last week by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), offer a stunning picture of the challenges experienced by American teachers, while providing provocative insights into what we might do to foster better teaching — and learning — in the United States.

“In short, the survey shows that American teachers today work harder under much more challenging conditions than teachers elsewhere in the industrialized world. They also…

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Posted by on July 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


Ancestral Computing for Sustainability

I had never seen my Pa cry more tears of joy than the day my parents surprised us with our first PC. With a combined annual income of $20,000 for a family of five, my Mexican immigrant parents sacrificed so much to give us the best chance at an academically successful future. Shooting stars darted above us with excitement as we unpacked the computer system from the back of my father’s 1978 Chevy truck. My older brother took the lead in setting up the mysterious digital box. We all watched as he wrote the first command on the MS-DOS screen. Fast-forward two decades. My brother is a computing professional. Somewhere along the way, my sister and I developed the fear of breaking the computer if we were to punch in the wrong code or click on the wrong application, so we resorted to word processing, practicing our typing skills and playing solitaire. Click here to read more

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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Ancestral Computing

We are the earth.

  • Do we see how we are living manifestations of our Mother Earth?
  • Do we feel our inseparability with Her?
  • Do we make decisions that consider our collective well-being?

This paper discusses ways in which we can turn to ancestral computing, a method of inquiry that lays out ancestral knowledge systems as a way to address our current complex societal problems, particularly in computer science education and production. Check it out and let me know what you think. Image

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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Uncategorized





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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


My mother’s spirit lives in me

“Tenía 16 años cuando pasé por el túnel, una niña sin conocer a nadie y con puros hombres… Primero cruzamos por todo el cerro y luego el túnel ya para pasar para Estados Unidos…El cerro sí era toda la noche porque parábamos para escondernos- mirábamos helicópteros y nos escondíamos debajo del los bushes y palos. Corrimos asi casi toda la noche y luego nos dijeron que teníamos que pasar por una pipa ancha- un túnel en donde teníamos que andar casi gatiando… yo pasaba por piedras sin hacer ruido porque arriba de nosotros había inmigración… no podíamos hacer ruido… Imagínate en lo oscurototote sin ver qué te esperaba.. una pared, spiders, ratas, un muerto… y no podías gritar ni decir algo… ¡era desesperante! Ya era la madrugada y me acuerdo que había un cerco… y ya cuando salimos del túnel sentía que podía respirar otra vez… ¡era desesperante! Nunca pensé que lo tendría que hacer otra vez contigo en mi vientre.”

My mother crossed the Mexican-U.S. border without documentation through the hills and sewer lines during a long, moonless night in December of 1975 and yet, she told me the story with such humor and dignity. Five years later, she would have to cross the border again, this time in the trunk of a car with me hanging tight in her womb as a four and a half month fetus.

Her spirit of strength and resistance has instilled in me a strong sense of hope and accomplishment, a belief in my ability to overcome obstacles and learn from difficult situations.

My mother is one of my greatest role models that has inspired me to continue my lifelong academic journey towards educational justice. As one of my teachers, she sets the stage for my path along a rocky uphill road towards educational justice with perseverance and passion.

Both my parents have instilled dedication and a strong work ethic in me. With my father’s devotion in providing the best for his family, starting off his days at 3:00 am every morning to search for recycled materials in the trash bins of local restaurants and bars to put food on the table and with my mother’s diligence in continuing to feed her children with support and encouragement, I am incredibly inspired. Although my parents only have a third grade education, they have provided me with a shining example of what it means to create patterns of persistence and determination.

I carried my parent’s dignity when I began to teach middle school. I could still hear my student’s call to maintain that same integral presence: “What? Do they think we’re criminals? Man, this ain’t fair!” screamed Juan, a student in my eighth grade Language Arts class, who sat, teary-eyed, while the PA echoed the voice of our principal. He pounded his fist onto his desk with a loud thud, responding to the announcements the Friday morning of March 29, 2006: “…If you need to use the restroom, you must wait for assigned times. You must stay inside your classroom. Teachers, ensure that your doors are locked and windows secured. This is a school lockdown…” There wasn’t a sniper at our school nor was there a local drive-by shooting. Instead, students had responded to an issue that directly affected them and their families, friends, neighbors, and communities. Hundreds of thousands of protestors filled the streets nationwide that week, denouncing the HR4437 bill that proposed to criminalize undocumented immigrants.
I reflected on my students’ responses to the events and immediately subscribed to a critical pedagogy beginning our research to initiate a letter campaign to our senators, create opposing persuasive arguments, hold an immigration debate, and make wrist bands to show solidarity. I reiterated the vitality of literacy to my students in their quest to liberate themselves and their communities from oppression by stating, “How will you understand your world if not through the spoken and written word? It is YOU who must give voice to our people, sit in the senator’s chair in Congress and make decisions for our communities in the future…”
The emotional reactions of those in power silenced our students, put a damper on their emotions, and demonstrated to them that it was not okay to protest, stripping away a fundamental practice of a true democratic society. The school did not organize an alternative outlet to the walkouts that allowed students to express themselves or to become politically engaged in their reality. Instead, on that Friday, ending the week of the most intense actions surrounding the immigration issue in the country, classroom doors were locked, squads of policemen in riot gear encircled our school and wristbands, flags and signs were confiscated.

When Juan and the other students in my class expressed their disappointment, I, too, felt my body retreat and creep into the place of fear that I felt as a child, “el closet,”–a pitch black, tiny closet of mothball stench where I was locked up for hours at home as a punishment for voicing my thoughts and challenging authority. Perhaps it was the triggering of that memory that lives in me as a four-and-a-half-month fetus inside my mother’s womb as she was crammed into the trunk of a car and smuggled into the United States without permissible documentation. Maybe the anger I felt was exacerbated by the 23 years of silence that my body experienced under the sexual violence of men. Nevertheless, surely these combined experiences helped to provoke my rage and despair on that Friday, as my students and I silently cried for our pain and the struggles of our communities.

​It was during these intense moments of disillusionment that allowed me to reflect on my own teaching practices and to use the power of my human experience to transform the feelings of pain, anger and disappointment into energies of action, hope, and empowerment, just as my parents did. I remembered the police station so vividly when I finally decided to end the cycle of sexual violence against women that has persisted in my family for generations. The marbled walls and wooden countertops read signs of defeat and powerlessness, loss. I was there to create long, over-due boundaries. ¡Ya basta! I was to scream at the top of my lungs, dispelling the disgust and letting go of the fear that lived in me for so long. I found my voice, buried deep inside the core of my being, far beyond the walls of guilt and self-hate. I, Cueponcaxochitl Dianna Moreno Sandoval, a Xicana indígena, descendant of the Caxcanes de Zacatecas, great-granddaughter to Cuquito the bracero, granddaughter of Danzante Antonio Sandoval and curandera Florencia Sifuentes, and daughter to laborers Rosa and Gilberto Moreno, will be silenced nevermore.

​I spent most of my years in college struggling with my identity as I began the process of self-actualization, becoming aware of worlds that gave meaning to my existence as I never imagined. I became literate to a world of injustice, I learned about the struggles of communities living in constant tribulation, so ingrained into the psyche, that the systems of power can seem indisputable. I experienced the difficulty of being among the handful of students who shared my experience socially, economically and culturally. I wanted to see more people of color in higher education, breaking the shackles of a vicious cycle that undermined our intellectual participation.

Fast-forward seven years and I continue to excavate ancestral knowledge systems that sharpen my ingenuity. My mother’s spirit lives in me. Her life, passion and support awakened in me a true love of learning and purpose. My experience through the academic pipeline as a learner and educator coupled with my ability to combine humor, commitment and determination has given me the utmost strength to continue with beauty in the struggle for educational justice for future generations.

Ometeotl : || :



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An Apology to Secretary Duncan By Jennifer Jennings, EdWeek

An Apology to Secretary Duncan

By Jennifer Jennings

I agree with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on just about nothing. I think Race to the Top is an evidence-free mess. I think the idea of a test worth teaching to is a willful misunderstanding of the science of testing. And I can’t agree with Duncan’s insistence that the cheating scandals that have garnered widespread attention in recent months are a parable about “rotten” school cultures and not a reflection on the incentives that we’ve forced upon teachers.

But as I sat on the floor of a packed ballroom in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association last week, I was embarrassed—no, humiliated—that some of my colleagues booed the secretary of education when he approached the microphone for his keynote speech. It is one thing to disagree with some of the Obama administration’s policies, to bring countervailing data to the table, and to engage in reasoned—and, one would hope, enlightened—conversation. It is another thing entirely to abdicate our most sacred responsibility as researchers—a commitment to ideas, to data, to truth, to real debate—at the altar of one-upmanship.

“I was embarrassed—no, humiliated—when some of my colleagues booed the secretary of education when he approached the microphone for his keynote speech.”
What saddens me is that the educational policy debate has become an overwhelming chorus of boos, of shout-downs, and of bitter personal insults, rather than a real debate about ideas and data and first principles. Unfortunately, this mirrors the direction that most American political debates have leaned in recent years. It is toxic. It is unnecessary. And it is not befitting of a community of researchers who stand in front of students on most days of the week and call ourselves educators.

I have no senior standing, official office, or public mandate with which to offer this apology, but nonetheless: I’m sorry. I’m sorry that a faceless minority of the educational research community lacked the courage to meet you with ideas rather than with the heckling that is so easy to deploy when you are sitting among hundreds of others, none of whom will ever be called personally to account for their actions.

You had the grace, the guts, and the patience not to reciprocate.

If there is one lesson from this conference, Secretary Duncan, you showed America’s educational researchers that we can have a different debate—one in which we rely on ideas and open disagreement and reason, and not on schoolyard bravado.

Jennifer Jennings is an assistant professor of sociology at New York University. She is the former author ofEducation Week’s eduwonkette blog.

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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


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