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On Fronteras: Border Town Safety, Texas-Mexico Relations, Teaching Language Through Rap

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Lorne Matalon
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Marfa Public Radio

This week on Fronteras:

-- Despite travel warnings, a U.S. Congressman visits Ojinaga, Mexico to back up his claim that the town is no more dangerous than some major American cities. 

-- Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos says the state's relationship with Mexico is improving. He offers details of a recent visit with top Mexican officials. 

-- Students of color are vastly under-represented in the Houston Indepedent School District's gifted and talented classes. 

-- In New Mexico, rapper Guero Loco is using his music to try to teach students language skills. 

Congressman asks US State Department to Revisit Border Warning

An ideological battle is taking place over the State Department’s travel warnings to certain parts of Mexico’s border regions.

Washington tells US citizens to avoid certain areas that residents in both Mexico and the U.S. claim are no riskier than a nighttime trip to partos of any major American city. Fronteras reporter Lorne Matalon of Marfa Public Radio has more. 

Here's the story.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott took a delegation of officials and business leaders to Mexico this week.

Meetings were held with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and other top-level officials to discuss “strengthening cultural and economic ties.”

What does that mean and why does it matter?

Fronteras' Virginia Alvino spoke with Texas’ Secretary of State Carlos Cascos who joined the Governor for the trip to find out. 

Here's the interview.

In the Houston Independent School District, students of color are so under-represented in gifted classes, that one researcher has called it “a clear case of segregation.”  Laura Isensee of Houston Public Media reports on why some parents are worried about what this means for their kids. 

Here's the story. 

In New Mexico, hip hop is taking learning to a higher level.  Federal projections say that by 2025, one quarter of the nation’s K through 12 students will be learning English at school while speaking another language at home.  Many of these students are Latino and some find learning another language challenging.  KRWG’s Simon Thompson reports on how some of the southwest’s most diverse school districts are bridging the bilingual achievement gap – through rap.

Here's the story.