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Mexico: The Power of Early Education

Al Jazeera – Staff Writer

“According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Mexico is the country in the organisation with the third-largest number of young people who do not study nor work. Eight out of 100 Mexican children who enrol in elementary school do not show up for classes. While barely 50 complete middle school, only 20 graduate from high school, and only two become graduate students. Mexico spends only 3.7 percent of its GDP on schools – the result is a very traditional system and falling standards. Elisa Guerra was concerned about her children’s education and came up with an alternative. She founded Colegio Valle de Filadelfia, where children as young as three or four are taught to read, as well as how to play the violin using the Suzuki method.”(more)

Senator Pushes For Mandatory Cursive Curriculum, Again

WFYI – Megan Powell

“Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, continues the fight to place cursive writing back into the curriculum after the Indiana Department of Education made cursive optional in 2011. Wednesday afternoon, the Education and Career Development committee met to discuss Senate Bill 73. If passed, this bill would add cursive writing back into the elementary curriculum for third and fourth grade as well as mandating reading cursive…As Indiana keeps debating SB 73, about half dozen states have made the move already to make cursive writing mandatory. “It’s very important for children to write in cursive because they won’t be able to read historic documents,” Amanda Krause, elementary student teacher, said. Leising asked members of the committee to look at the issue, not only looking at the issue on a state level, but on a global platform. She said Mexico recently reinstated cursive writing in their curriculum.”(more)

Mexico to reinstate teacher evaluations in restart of education reform

Reuters – Staff Writer

” Mexico’s government will restart a key component of an education reform aimed at improving standards that it had suspended in the run-up to the weekend’s mid-term election, the country’s education minister said on Monday. President Enrique Pena Nieto came under heavy fire after the education ministry said on May 29 that its timetable for teacher evaluations, a cornerstone of the government’s overhaul of the troubled education system, had been suspended indefinitely. But on Monday, the day after a mid-term vote that looked likely to give Pena Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and its allies a slim congressional majority, Emilio Chuayffet, the education minister, said the teacher evaluations would be reinstated. “There is no detention of the reform, nor, even worse, any desire to cancel teacher evaluations, because without them, there wouldn’t be an education reform,” Chuayffet told reporters in Mexico City, adding that the evaluations would go ahead as planned on June 20, 21 and 22.”(more)

Mexico and U.S. join in educating students ‘to compete with the world’

The Dallas Morning News – Alfredo Corchado and Jasmine Aguilera

“Inside a cafeteria at the University of North Texas, Erwin Guillermo Fernández downs a turkey sandwich before class, talking excitedly about how his education here will open doors back in his native Mexico. At least that’s the plan. “My goal is to finish here this year, return to Mexico and try to make a difference,” said Fernández, 32, a graduate student in computer science. “This university has helped guide me toward that dream.” Fernández is one of about 14,800 Mexican students studying in the U.S. They are part of a widening effort by the U.S. and Mexico to share educational resources to push an increasingly integrated North America to be even more competitive. The task of educational institutions is to train a new workforce on both sides of the border to meet growing demands in energy, telecommunications, technological innovation and other areas. There is an emphasis on the so-called STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — and many of the Mexican students attending North Texas universities are on scholarships from the Mexican government to study in related fields.”(more)

Life expectancy lowered by ten years in obese children

Medical Xpress – Staff Writer

“In Mexico, overweight or obese children could suffer a step back in life expectancy by up to 10 years…Arturo Perea Martínez, member of the International Pediatrics Association said that obese children can develop early diabetes by the time they turn 30 and, depending on whether they take care of themselves or not, reduce their life expectancy.”(more)