Friday, 17 October 2008

I'd better have plan B ready

If the networks are planning for an Obama blowout, I suppose I need to dump some notes on my PDA about key Senate and House contests so I have something intelligent to say on election night when 7 pm rolls around and the election is effectively over.

By way of explanation: I have been invited to speak at an election night gala being hosted by the U.S. Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo, which will be my first foray into real-time election night commentary (along with being my first foray into Mexico and, for that matter, the developing world). I never figured on being plunged into the deep end with an audience who probably understand about as much about U.S. politics as the average American understands about Mexican politics, but at least that keeps things exciting. And it gets me out of teaching my graduate public policy class that night, so there’s a small bonus there.


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[Permalink] 1. Alfie Sumrall wrote @ Sat, 18 Oct 2008, 6:00 am CDT:

Man that’s pretty cool (all but the lies about this being your first time across the border. Likely story!!). You might be surprised at their understanding. This is a pretty important election and being a border town, I bet it effects them much more than someone in Mexico City. I will say I was surprised at the abundance of Mexicans I was in line with to early vote at Berclair Church of Christ on Summer Ave a couple days ago. Obviously living a mile or so away, I know the demographics north of Summer around there, but I was still a bit surprised that they’d take the time to vote the second day voting was allowed.


Actually, I was about to post about the exact same thing. Many people in Latin America know much more about U.S. politics than Americans do. Sounds like a fun gig.


Slightly off topic: On the state of k-12 education in Mexico. I have 2 friends who are Mexican nationals. Friend #1 is in my graduate program of education—came north because she wants to work with dyslexic students (and other LDs)—there are no programs in Mexico that address remediating/educating students with LD. She plans to return to Mexico and open a school, probably in Mexico City. Friend #2 wanted to be a k-12 teacher in Mexico but reports that teaching jobs in Mexico are hereditary or sold; the family couldn’t afford to buy a position. (Appears to be true—see

I wonder how much of the Mexican presence in the US is from parents seeking better educational opportunities for their children?


It might be a consideration, but if the schools in Laredo are anything to judge by, the system they’re fleeing must be really bad.

Anecdotally people here in Laredo say the schools in Nuevo Laredo are better than on this side of the border, although I have a strong suspicion that there’s a selection effect at work—we simply don’t see the poorly-educated students from Mexico here, whereas we see a lot of the American-educated kids from across the ability spectrum.

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