Aswini Anburajan

Aswini Anburajan is a writer for Feet in 2 Worlds, an ethnic media reporting project supported by the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School.

Recent Articles

New Teachers Need Encouragement, not Just Evaluation

A new Florida bill would institute a merit-based system that ties teacher performance to student improvement, requiring half of a performance appraisal to come from improved test scores in the classroom. The other half of the evaluation would come from the school principal. Older teachers with tenure are exempt from the system. If three years go by without improvement, teachers can be subject to dismissal. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida says that teachers are the only profession that don't have some form of merit-based evaluation, a point that is fair and worthy of consideration. However, that may partly be because teaching is not like raising profits. The product, a child, is precocious, bratty, brilliant, or troubled and requires a management and skill that makes it incredibly difficult to capture just by measuring test results. The other issue raised by the bill is that it affects the newest teachers, who are often in need of the most support. Teaching has a high dropout rate, just...

One More Reason To Be Against King's Religious Hearings

The press around Peter King's hearings into the radicalization of the Muslim community is heating up. As I wrote on Monday, the hearings make us appear out of touch with the larger, worldwide conversation around Islam. But there's something far more disturbing about these hearings possibly stoking the fires of intolerance. This past weekend two elderly, retired Sikh men were gunned down in a suburban neighborhood in Sacramento. Nothing was stolen, and the men, in their late seventies and sixties, were taking a slow walk through their neighborhood as was their habit. The police in Sacramento have notified the FBI and say there's a possibility of investigating this as a hate crime since no other known motive exists for the killing. Sikhs with their beards and turbans have suffered prosecution since 9-11 as many mistake them for Taliban. Either way the act is shocking in its senseless violence and brutality. It's incidences like this that require our politicians to take stock of what...

An Issue of Human Rights

As a long time writer for a blog on immigration and immigrant issues, I've built a high level of skepticism when I hear calls for greater border enforcement in terms of illegal immigration, or calls to further fund ICE (the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.) Almost any speech that comes out of Mariposa County and the state of Arizona I assume comes from unbridled xenophobia. Which is why, when I saw this series by TheDaily on the violence against and trafficking of people on the border of the United States and Mexico, I needed to question my own judgments on the issue of immigration and border protection. The multi-part series is graphic and disturbing, showing the torture of hundreds of men and women who are smuggled across the border, locked in drop houses and then beaten. Their screams are recorded on cell phone cameras and played to their relatives back home in order to extort money from them. It's sickening and a debasement of human lives that has turned the need...

Who's Benefitting From the Boom in Tech Jobs?

There's a boom in the economy - specifically in the text sector - and with the long list of jobs listed on websites like Google and Facebook, it seems like a good time for the young, nerdy and tech-savvy. But who's really going to be filling those jobs? Last month minority groups picketed outside of Google's Mountain View headquarters, saying that tech companies in Silicon Valley needed to do a better job at hiring native born Blacks, Latinos and other minority groups. According to a press release by the protest groups which included the Black Economic Council, the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce and the National Asian American Coalition: The available data demonstrates that no industry may have a worse record in California in the hiring of Blacks, Latinos, Southeast Asian Americans and women than Google, Apple and Oracle. Based on data from the 12 Silicon Valley companies that [publicly] released their EEO-1 data, the minority groups' expert states that Google's Black...

There's a New Act in Town

There's a new dynamic duo in town. While the Tsunami of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina brought us the tag team of Presidents Bush and Clinton, deficit reduction brings us Mark Warner and Saxby Chambliss , who held a bipartisan meeting on the issue in Richmond, VA yesterday with a promise of one to follow in Atlanta. Deficit reduction as a cause celebre might be a harder task for Warner and Chambliss in the way that Bush and Clinton did for their humanitarian effort. (Just ask the original deficit duo Simpson and Bowles.) But there's more to it than that. Spending cuts and their inevitable impact on social welfare programs is so entrenched within the larger culture wars that having a sane and rational conversation on the issue is close to impossible. To single out a Democratic issue, Ann Friedman wrote that attacks on reproductive rights are a result of decades of compromise. The House's bill to defund Planned Parenthood is part and parcel of how federal spending is deeply tied to...

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