National School Choice Week was January 23-29, 2011 which aimed to highlight all the options parents and students have to educate children. The organization created a wrap up video highlighting clips and activities from the week:

Education continues to be the number one issue for the Latino community. Discussing school choice and education is an excellent opportunity for candidates and organizations to connect with Latino voters. The reality is that across the nation Hispanic children continue to underperformed academically, with high drop out rates and low levels of college completion. Educating Hispanic parents on school choice options is necessary and vital for the future of his country.

A MALDEF survey – “Listening to Latinas: Barriers to High School Graduation” – highlights the dropout crisis impacting Latina students and the alarming gap between aspiration and expectation contributing to the problem. Clearly there is something wrong with our nation’s education system when children don’t feel empowered enough to follow their aspirations.

Some disturbing facts:

  • 80% of Latina students aspire to go to college
  • 98% of Latinas aspire to get a high school diploma
  • 66% of Latinas expect to get a high school diploma
  • 41% of Latinas dropout before they acquire a standard HS diploma
  • 50% of Latino drop out before they acquire a standard HS diploma
  • 12% of Latinos graduate from college

There is no doubt that many Hispanic parents do not have enough information about the educational options for their children. Maybe if they did we wouldn’t see 50% of Latinos drop out of college.

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I recently decided to rebuild my relationship with snow…. You see we started on very shaky ground.

I first met snow in New York City during a high school field trip from my native home of Miami, Florida. I had always wanted to see snow. I had romantic visions of the way snow looked, felt, smelled from all the movies and television shows. Finally, on the one free day we had during the trip a friend and I decided to go to a tapping of the Today Show at Rockefeller Center, knowing that snow would show up that morning. And boy did snow show up, it was EVERYWHERE!! … What ended up happening is that this Miami Latina, who had never seen snow, somehow didn’t understand that snow was made up of water – horribly cold wet, icy, hurtful water. As a result I was frozen solid as my cloth gloves, sneakers and athletic socks were not made for winter weather. I had to seek shelter in St. Patrick Cathedral and resar for warmth. Since that day I hated snow.

Fast forward 11 years later, I am back in New York City. I have decided that for too long I have let my bad relationship with snow hurt my feelings about winter. (My boyfriends laughs that each time the weather report announces snow shower, I physically look ill.)

I decided to rebuild my relationship with snow, this time away from the busy streets of Manhattan, instead we decide to meet the snow in Central Park.

Below are the pictures… a much more joyful experience…

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was selected to give the Republican’s Spanish response to President Obama’s State of the Union. Her statements were carried on Univision, Telemundo or CNN en Español immediately following President Obama’s speech.

Download the audio here: http://gop.gov/sotu-spanish/Ileana-Ros-Lehtinen-republican-response-sotu.mp3

Read the full text after the jump.

The biggest story coming out of the Institute of Governmental Studies “The 2010 Governor’s Race: The Inside Story” Conference was the need for the California GOP to connect with non-traditional voters (i.e: Latinos, women, youth, etc).

In 2010 the state bucked the national political trend. The state got bluer during an election in which Republicans were gaining seats throughout the country. Many politicos were left asking what is in store for Republicans?

Here are some articles from the IGS conference:

On my way back to California to attend the Institute of Governmental Studies “The 2010 Governor’s Race: The Inside Story” Conference in Berkeley, California.

The event is meant to be a post-mortem on the California Governor’s race. The IGC describes the event as: “We bring together campaign pros, political journalists, pollsters, and others for a candid analysis of California’s most important political contest.”

Several members of Team Poizner will be speaking at the event. I’ll tweet up dates at @BettinaInclan

Growing up with a Mexican father in South Florida is a challenge – a gastronomical challenge. We were constantly on a quest to find authentic Mexican food in a town dominated by Caribbean and South American culture. Let’s just say my dad was excited when they opened a Baja Fresh by his house (yes, sad I know… no offense Baja Fresh.)

Living in California had the added blessing of finding great Mexican food in every corner. Now, during my funemployment I rejoice in finding great Mexican cuisine in different cities.

In New York City I went to La Esquina. The three in one restaurant is a gem of great authentic Mexican food. We were lucky enough to get reservations for the posh down stairs hidden restaurant which you enter through the “Employees Only” door in the back of the tacqueria/taco stand.

By far my favorite item was a somewhat simple dish – grilled corn (aka Elotes Callejeros). The cheesy, crunchy fire roasted corn on the cob was mouth-watering and made me want to call my father immediately to tell him about the hidden NYC hot spot.

Below a picture of the item thanks to the internet. Also according to the internet the Elotes Callejeros are made by brushing them with chipotle mayonnaise, rolling them in finely grated sheep’s cheese (cotija cheese), sprinkle with a dry mix of chilli, paprika, ground pepitas and lime zest, and lastly a generous squeeze of fresh lime. Yum.