20 Facts on How the U.S. Resettles Syrian Refugees

November 19th, 2015

Syrian refugees in Belgrade, Serbia, are waiting for an opportunity to travel north to cross the border with Hungary, entering the EU [Source: AP]

The on-going conflict in Syria and the recent refugee crisis has given rise to anti-refugee sentiments in the U.S. with more than half of the nation’s governors calling for a ban on admitting refugees into the country.  Entry to the U.S. as a refugee is an arduous process and requires months and even years of screening before a decision regarding admissibility to the country is granted.

In her November 17, 2015 piece for the Washington Post, Carol Morello,  the diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, covering the State Department highlighted 3 important facts about how the U.S. resettles Syrian refugees.  In this blog, we have broken down these facts even further for your perusal:

  1. # of people who died since the violence broke out in Syria in 2011? More than 250,000
  2. # of people who have fled their homes? At least 11 million people in the country of 22 million have fled their homes. Syrians are now the world’s largest refugee population, according to the United Nations. Most are struggling to find safe haven in Europe.
  3. # of Syrian refugees accepted for resettlement in the U.S. since the conflict began in 2011: 2,200
  4. Rate of Syrian refugees arriving in U.S. per week: 45
  5. # of refugees to be accepted by the U.S.: 10,000
  6. # of Vietnamese refugees accepted each year during the height of the Vietnam War: 200,000
  7. # of months required to vet and screen a Syrian refugee before being admitted to the U.S.: 18 – 24 months
  8. % of refugees who are single males of combat age: 2%
  9. What is one factor for considering a refugee’s admissibility to U.S.? Whether they already have family in the U.S.
  10. How does the U.S. prioritize refugees? The vulnerable: women and children, the elderly, those who’ve been tortured, those who require modern medical treatment.
  11. Children represent half the refugees accepted to the U.S.
  12. Adults over 60 represent a quarter of the refugees accepted.
  13. How does the U.S. government screen and conduct background checks of refugees? Names, birthdates and fingerprints are run through databases, information is double checked against classified and unclassified records for consistency, face-to-face interviews with applicants are held at regional centers in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Egypt. If need be, refugee specialists with U.S. departments of State, Homeland Security and the National Terrorism Center, will travel to refugee camps to conduct the interviews.
  14. Who makes the final decision of whether a refugee’s case is approved or rejected? The U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  15. Do governors determine where a refugee settles once admitted to the U.S.? No.
  16. Who determines where a refugee settles once admitted to the U.S.? Faith-based and non-profit groups.
  17. How do faith-based and nonprofit groups help the refugees? Through federal funds allocated to these groups, they are able to welcome the arrive refugees and assist them with their relocation by finding them housing, enrolling them in English classes, and job search.
  18. What other services and benefits do refugees receive once admitted to the U.S.? They are eligible for Medicaid and become permanent residents which permits them to work.
  19. How long does it take for refugees admitted to the U.S. to be eligible for a green card? One year.
  20. How long does it take for refugees admitted to the U.S. to apply for U.S. citizens? Five years.

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Six Great Music Educators

November 12th, 2015

A good music teacher can infuse inspiration and instill a lifelong love of music. I couldn’t relate at all to my super straight, rigid piano teacher when I was seven or eight, plus there was simply no great music to be had in the Schnabel household, save for the 45 rpm 7″ R&B sides my older brother brought home. So I stopped taking lessons. I resumed piano lessons in the late 1960s but lost inspiration.

I bought a cheap flute in a pawn shop near USC where I was in school and had several teachers, but none worked out. One was classical only so I couldn’t relate. Another teacher later on just wanted to get high and blow. The next one left town. Four years ago, however, I found a great teacher, a multi-reed player who has taught me a lot and I’ve studied with him ever since.

So, here is my humble tribute to honor six great teachers who not only taught well but inspired many great musicians onto greatness:

Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979):

Based in Paris and living a long and productive life, she taught such a wide range of young musicians: classic titans such as Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Walter Piston, but also young turks like Philip Glass, Leonard Bernstein, and Astor Piazzolla, who studied with her and once told me “she taught me how to be Astor Piazzolla”. She also was a fine conductor, leading the Boston Symphony and New York Philharmonic Orchestras. She taught the basics to musicians and composers who were puzzled at first because they thought this was beneath their talents. Philip Glass told me that Boulanger told him to “play a C scale for the next week, and perfectly”. Her students came to realize that she knew what she was talking about.

Walter Dyett (1901-1969):

Many prominent jazz musicians I’ve interviewed credit this Chicago Public Schools music educator as starting their careers as musicians. His name was Walter Dyett, and they called him Captain Walter Dyett. He taught at DuSable High School, where he was known for being a strict disciplinarian but, more importantly, he encouraged his students to open their ears and minds to all kinds of music. Like other great teachers, he was a great motivator. He also helped students find private instructors at low cost. Among his students were Gene Ammons, Johnny Hartman, Milt Hinton, Richard Davis, Bo Diddley, Wilbur Ware, Pat Patrick, and Oscar Brashear. Quite a stable of greats, indeed.

Gerald Wilson (1918-2014):

Gerald Wilson was a jazz trumpeter and band leader, arranger, composer, host and teacher. He took over arranging duties for the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra, replacing Sy Oliver when just out of his teens in 1939. He also arranged for Nancy Wilson, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, and many other top jazz stars.

He was host of an informative jazz radio show on KBCA in the early 1970s at 12 noon every weekday, and I listened and learned from him. He became the most popular teacher at Cal State Northridge, later duplicating this feat at UCLA. He taught thousands of students about jazz music and history, and mentored countless young musicians during his long career. He had a mind and memory like a steel trap, and could remember the set list of a Dunbar Hotel show on Central Avenue in the 1940s. He taught and inspired so many musicians who rose through his ranks and played in his orchestras: Buddy Collette, Eric Dolphy, Oscar Brashear, and many others. I would always attend his Pilgrimage Theater (now John Anson Ford Theater ) show back in the day. He lived a long and productive life teaching, arranging and conducting for Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, Lorez Alexandria, and others. He was truly one of my heroes. I helped arrange Mayor Garcetti’s tribute to him and presented a plaque and commendation to him at the Angel City Jazz Festival in September, 2014. He died just two days later at the ripe old age of 96.

Samuel Browne (1906-1991):

This great teacher and mentor taught many great jazz musicians during his long tenure at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles from 1936-1961, and a who’s who of great jazz musicians have sung his praises: Dexter Gordon, Don Cherry, Eric Dolphy, Wardell Gray, Hampton Hawes, Frank Morgan, Chico Hamilton, Buddy Collette, Charles Mingus and Horace Tapscott are just a few who got there chops and careers together at Jefferson High during his long tenure. Browne would scout around LA during Central Avenue’s heyday during the 1940s and early 1950′s recruiting talent from other local schools for his crack jazz orchestra. Everybody gave him the honorific title “Count” Browne à la Count Basie. Browne was one of only three black high school teachers in the LAUSD when he was hired at Jefferson in 1936, after earning a master’s degree in music from USC.

Joe Allard (1910-1991):

Joe Allard is probably the least-known of this sextet of music educators, but ask any professional saxophonist and you’ll hear plenty about him. Based in New York City, where he taught at the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, he also taught at Boston’s New England Conservatory. He played sax and clarinet for the NBC Symphony Orchestra as well as doing radio and TV shows. HIs importance came not only in teaching technique but also in the range of styles he taught. Among his students were Michael Brecker, Eddie Daniels, Dave Liebman, Bob Berg, Eric Dolphy, and Dave Tofani. Again, a who’s who of great reed players were inspired by him.

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990):

Perhaps the greatest polymath of all, Bernstein did so many things well, and was obviously at home in both musicals (Westside Story, Candide, etc), the New York, Philharmonic, and jazz. He was a prolific writer and speaker (The Unanswered Question / The Harvard Lectures), and a champion of the new music of Charles Ives as well as Mahler’s great symphonies. His series Young People’s Concerts / Jazz in the Concert Hall brought jazz, classical, and music education to thousands of people young and old. Here is an excerpt where he is teaching the difference between classical music and jazz.

Tom Schnabel, M.A.


Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Blogs for Rhythm Planet
Author & Music educator, UCLA, SCIARC, currently doing music salons

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5 Highlights of Events in Education from ACEI and Around the Globe

November 5th, 2015


Since our last blog a week ago, a great deal has happened in the world of education, both on the national and international level. We’d like to share a few of the events that have occurred this week that we will continue to report on through our blog Academic Exchange and our monthly newsletter, The Report. Here are a few highlights of what just occurred:

The Colorado Board of Education Ousted

If you recall, last year students and their parents in Colorado protested the decision by the members of the Colorado Board of Education that was set to revise the Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum so that it reflects “the positive aspects of the United States.” The protests drew national attention and this week we learned that Coloradans in a recall election ousted the members of the Colorado Board of Education. For more on this story click here: http://goo.gl/JeBVom

Diploma Mills and Fake Degrees: A Global Problem and Threat

Last week at the NAFSA Region XII Conference in Honolulu, HI, ACEI’s President and Founder, Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, presented an engaging and informative talk on Diploma Mills; a billion dollar criminal industry with hubs not only in the United States but around the world. She shared examples of bogus diploma mill providers and those who had intentionally purchased such degrees to secure high level positions at the state and federal level in the U.S. and officials in government positions in other parts of the world. She demonstrated that the problem is not unique to the U.S. but is a global underground network which continues to survive because of lack of enforcement and lax laws. Jasmin will be offering a webinar on this topic on December 5, 2015. For more information, please sign up here: http://www.acei-global.org/homepage-webinars-presentations/

Brazil Faces Challenges with its National Entrance Examination
There are about 8 million students this year preparing to participate in the ENEM (Exame Nacional do Ensino Medio), Brazil’s National High School Examination which is organization by the Ministry of Education. These 8 million students are competing for approximately 250 thousand places in the federal higher education system. Though, the ENEM was originally set up to assess the quality of secondary-level education in Brazil, it has now evolved into an admissions test to the main federal universities and other public institutions. The limited number of places available as compared to the number of students competing for them is predicted to be the cause serious challenges for the country. For more on this story click here: https://goo.gl/fRjpn9

Defending Affirmative Actions

Colleges are arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in defense of Affirmative Action. November 2, 2015 was the last day to submit briefs to the Supreme Court on a key affirmative action case. The following groups have filed briefs in support of protecting Affirmative Action: American Council on Education, accreditation boards, faculty groups, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, the College Board, the Law School Admission Council, and the National Association for College Admission Counseling. For more on this story click here: https://goo.gl/ZBzchi

The Virtual Classroom and Future of Higher Education

As part of an on-going series of webinars, ACEI recently provided a one-hour webinar on on-line education. The ever changing landscape of education requires a closer look at the present state of our education system so we can explore new strategies to increase student engagement and lower student attrition. Our guest presenter, Melanie Bryant, an accomplished educator with a passion for technology, shared her own personal experiences as a young student in the public school system and then as a teacher in public schools, and now as an on-line instructor and Director of the Professional Business Program at Laurus College. In the webinar, Melanie touched on several topics such as the traditional classrooms, expanding e-learning for education, training, informing, coaching, training learners to learn, teaching strategies that work and engaging learners in meaningful work. To stay abreast of our upcoming webinars, please sign up here: http://www.acei-global.org/homepage-webinars-presentations/

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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10 Takeaways from the 2015 NAFSA Region XII Conference in Honolulu, HI.

October 30th, 2015


The annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region XII Conference this year was held in Honolulu, HI and like years past, ACEI demonstrated its presence by having a booth at the Exhibit Hall and presented a conference session. Here are a few interesting facts about Oahu, NAFSA’s Region XII, the 2015 conference and our overall takeaway.

1. Oahu is an island in the mid-Pacific, part of the Hawaiian island chain and home to the state capital, Honolulu. Highlights of the city include historic Chinatown; the Punchbowl, a crater-turned-cemetery; and Waikiki, the iconic beach, dining and nightlife area. West of Honolulu is Pearl Harbor, site of the 1941 bombing attack and home to the USS Arizona Memorial

2. NAFSA is a professional association with a national and international membership for those working as international student advisors at U.S. public and private schools and institutions of higher education, as well as credential evaluation companies, international student recruiters, study abroad program providers, ESL schools, insurance companies, immigration lawyers and organizations offering services to international students.

3. Region XII of NAFSA convers the following States in the U.S.: California, Hawaii, and Nevada.

4. Over 500 members had registered and were in attendance at this year’s Region XII Conference. This is a healthy number, since a few years ago, barely 120 people had attended the conference held in San Diego.

5. Tuesday, October 27th, our Director of Communications, Yolinisse Moreno and I joined colleagues, Perry Akins Chairman of ITEP , Sharif Ossayran of President of Ascension Zepur Solakian of CGACC and Judy Judd Price, Deputy Executive Director of NAFSA, for dinner. Our conversation quickly veered into current events, politics, history and related books. We may not have solved world’s problems, but we each left with a list of must-read books!

6. My session “Diploma Mills & Fake Degrees: A Global Problem and Threat,” was scheduled on the program for Thursday, October 29th. I learned that a topic exactly like mine on Diploma Mills was being presented by another person a day earlier. Needless to say, having the same topic presented by two different presenters is something I’ve never experienced or witnessed before. Having served on NAFSA’s Southern District Region XII Committee and on its national conference planning team, I can say with confidence that programming two identical sessions was an absolute no-no. In fact, in such cases, conference programmers either choose between duplicate sessions on a first come, first served basis or invite both presenters to consider collaborating and presenting jointly.

7. Despite the duplicate programming issue, my presentation on Thursday was a success and those who attended, though not the large number that would have been expected had there not been a similar session presented the day before, found the talk highly informative and entertaining.

Session on Diploma Mills & Fake Degrees presented by Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, President & CEO, ACEI

8. ACEI’s booth was also quite a hit with all of our fun island-themed swag intermingled with our serious literature on our evaluation, translation, and training services as well as our calendar of upcoming webinars. (To stay updated on our services and upcoming webinars, please click here.)

Yolinisse Moreno, Director of Communications, ACEI

View of the exhibit hall

9. Everyone’s favorite ACEI giveaway was our stress ball shaped like a pineapple. We had brought a couple hundred of them and they disappeared in less than 2 days!

A parade of pineapples to relieve you of your stress!

10. Having Honolulu, HI as a conference destination was a great draw, though at times, dressed in our “casual” business attire, I felt like I was crashing someone’s family vacation! It was difficult to not stray from the conference hall. The warm breeze and our senses being bombarded by aromas of coconut infused sunscreens wafting by as we made our between hotel buildings to our meeting rooms were seductive temptations! However, despite the temptations of paradise, meetings and conference sessions were very well attended as was the exhibit hall where we reconnected with colleagues and regular clients of ACEI and made new connections. We look forward to next year’s Region XII conference in Palm Spring, CA.

Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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25 Facts on the United States Department of Education

October 22nd, 2015


The Presidential candidates running for 2016 elections from both parties continue to offer statements that lend themselves to material for our blog. This week we’ll concentrate on a statement made by Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who in an interview on October 18, 2015 on “Fox news Sunday,” said he would eliminate the Department of Education if he becomes President.

Here’s what Trump said: “No, I’m not cutting services, but I’m cutting spending. But I may cut Department of Education. I believe Common Core is a very bad thing. I believe that we should be — you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education…so the Department of Education is one.”

In light of the above, we thought we turn the spotlight on the Department of Education and share with you a few facts about its history, function, and how it spends allocated funds.

1. The United States has no federal Ministry of Education or other centralized authority exercising single national control over postsecondary educational institutions in this country.

2. The U.S. Department of Education is referred to as ED, DoED, or as the ED for (the) Education.

3. The Department of Education is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. It assists the president in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress.

4. The current Secretary of Education is Arne Duncan who recently announced that he will be resigning from his position in December 2015 and in his stead, John King will serve as Acting Secretary.

5. The U.S. Department of Education is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers and coordinates most federal assistance to education.

6. The Department’s mission is to “serve America’s students-to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”

7. Unlike the systems of most other countries, education in the U.S. is highly decentralized, and the federal government and Department of Education are not involved in determining curricular or educational standards (with the exception of the recent No Child Left Behind Act).

8. According to the USDE: “Education is primarily a State and local responsibility in the United States. It is States and communities, as well as public and private organizations of all kinds, that establish schools and colleges, develop curricula, and determine requirements for enrollment and graduation.”

9. The U.S. Department of Education has no direct public jurisdictional control over quality of educational institutions and their degrees which is maintained through an informal private process known as accreditation.

10. The original Department of Education was created in 1867, when President Andrew Johnson signed it into legislation. The main purpose of the Department of Education was to collect information on schools and teaching that would help the States establish effective school systems.

11. In the 1860s, a budget of $15,000 and four employees handled education fact-finding.

12. In 1868, the new Department was demoted to an Office of Education due to concerns that the Department would exercise too much control over local schools. Congress created the Department in 1979.

13. The passage of the Second Morrill Act in 1890 gave the then-named Office of Education responsibility for administering support for the original system of land-grant colleges and universities.

14. Vocational education became the next major area of Federal aid to schools, with the 1917 Smith-Hughes Act and the 1946 George-Barden Act, focus was directed to vocational education by dedicating Federal aid to agricultural, industrial, and home economics training for high school students.

15. The Lanham Act in 1941 and the Impact Aid laws of 1950 allowed for Federal aid to be directed toward education by making payments to school districts and easing the burden on communities affected by the presence of military and other Federal installations.

16. In 1944, the “GI Bill” authorized postsecondary education assistance that would ultimately send nearly 8 million World War II veterans to college.

17. The Cold War set the stage for the first example of comprehensive Federal education legislation, when in 1958 Congress passed the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik. The NDEA included support for loans to college students, the improvement of science, mathematics, and foreign language instruction in elementary and secondary schools, graduate fellowships, foreign language and area studies, and vocational-technical training. The goal was to help ensure that highly trained individuals would be available to help America compete with the Soviet Union in scientific and technical fields

18. The passage of laws such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibited discrimination based on race, sex, and disability, respectively made civil rights enforcement a fundamental and long-lasting focus of the Department of Education.

19. In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act launched a comprehensive set of programs, including the Title I program of Federal aid to disadvantaged children to address the problems of poor urban and rural areas. And in that same year, the Higher Education Act authorized assistance for postsecondary education, including financial aid programs for needy college students.

20. By 1965, the Office of Education had more than 2,100 employees and a budget of $1.5 billion.

21. Congress created the Department in 1979.

22. The Department has the smallest staff of the 15 Cabinet agencies, even though its discretionary budget alone is the third largest, behind only the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services.

23. The Department makes over $120 billion in new loans annually.

24. As of mid-2010, the Department has nearly 4,300 employees and a budget of about $60 billion.

25. The Department limits administrative costs to approximately 2% of its discretionary budget and only about 1% of all grants and loans made by the Department. This means that ED delivers about 99 cents on the dollar in education assistance to States, school districts, postsecondary institutions, and students.

In our humble opinion, it doesn’t look like the ED has mismanaged its budget or is spending allocated funds frivolously. The Department delivers 99 cents on the dollar in education assistance to States and their schools districts and students. So, why is Donald Trump targeting the Department of Education and threatening to cut its spending?

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Data from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey for the 2007-08 school year; the 2007-08 Private School Universe Survey; and the 2007-08 National Postsecondary Aid Study. For the most current data visit http://nces.ed.gov.

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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20 Facts on Denmark

October 15th, 2015


In the recent U.S. democratic presidential debate on October 13, 2015, candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont mentioned Denmark as the bastion of healthy social programs for its people. According to Sanders: “We should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.” In this week’s blog, we’ve decided to put the spotlight on Denmark and share a few facts on this Scandinavian country.

1. The Danes are a homogenous Gothic-Germanic People who have inhabited Denmark since prehistoric times.

2. Denmark is the smallest of the Scandinavian countries (half the size of Maine). It is in northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany (Jutland); also includes several major islands (Sjaelland, Fyn, and Bornholm).


3. Denmark is a Constitutional Monarchy. The Danish royal family is probably the oldest uninterrupted European monarchy. It traces back its roots to legendary kings in the Antiquity. Gorm the Old, the first king of the “official line”, ruled from 934 C.E.


4. The population of Denmark is 5,581,503 (July 2015 est.) which include Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian, and Somali.

5. The capital of Denmark is Copenhagen with a population of 1.206.million (2011 est.)

6. The flag of Denmark, Dannebrog, is the oldest state flag in the world still in use by an independent nation. It was adopted in 1219.


7. The principal language in Denmark is Danish but English is a required subject in school and fluency in English is high.

8. Education is compulsory from ages 7 to 16 and is free through the university level.

9. Denmark has had no less than 14 Nobel laureates, including 4 in Literature, 5 in Physiology or Medicine, and one Peace prize. With its population of about 5 million, it is one of the highest per capita ratio of any country in the world.

10. Denmark boasts a literacy rate of 99%.

11. The Danish company Bang & Olufsen (B&O) manufactures some of the most upscale audio products, television sets, and telephones in the world.

12. Denmark guarantees religious freedom and 95% of Danes claim religious affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Islam is the second-largest religion in Denmark.

13. In 1989, Denmark became the first country to legalize same-sex unions (although same-sex marriage was not granted until 2012).

14. Denmark’s Industries include: iron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, shipbuilding and refurbishment, windmills, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment.


15. Denmark’s Natural resources include: petroleum, natural gas, fish, salt, limestone, stone, gravel and sand.


16. Denmark has the highest employment rate in Europe (75%).

17. In 2012 Denmark enjoyed the 2nd highest nominal GDP per capita in the European Union, after Luxembourg. At purchasing power parity (PPP), Denmark was ranked in 8th position within the EU.

18. Separate studies have ranked Danish people as the happiest in the EU (2007 Cambridge University study), and happiest people in the world (2006 Leicester University study) or 2nd happiest in the world (World Database of Happiness 2000-2009).

19. The Danish prince Hamlet, the fictional character of William Shakespeare’s famous play, was inspired by an old Danish myth of the Viking Prince Amled of Jutland.

20. The world famous building toys Lego are from Denmark.


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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Revisionist History in Texas Geography Textbooks

October 8th, 2015

The page in a McGraw-Hill Education geography textbook that refers to Africans brought to American plantations as “workers,” rather
than slaves. Credit Coby Burren, NYT.

If I told you that text books were recently published in the U.S. and distributed to school districts in Texas that had the word “slave” replaced with “workers” and “immigrants,” you’d probably think it was a sick joke, called me a few choice names (deservedly so), or wondered if it was just a prank or one of those satirical pieces in The Onion. Unfortunately, it’s not a joke, a prank or satire. It’s 100% the truth and it just happened in Texas where Geography textbooks printed by the Texas publisher McGraw-Hill Education referred to slaves as “workers” brought to America to work on plantations and referred to their passage as a migration. Yes, you are not mistaken; your eyes haven’t played tricks on you. Hopefully, you are just as aghast and completely dumbfounded as I am by this blatant and brazen act of altering history.

I am not even going to give the publisher the benefit of the doubt that somehow it must have been the victim of a mind freeze or had a momentary lapse of judgment otherwise who in their right mind would describe a population of people who were brought to this country against their freewill, bought and sold, treated as subhuman and without any rights and kept as chattel as ‘workers.’ The text even refers to many Europeans who were brought to America as ‘migrants’ when in fact they were indentured servants with little or no pay. Referring to the people forced into slavery and indentured servitude as a migration of workers insinuates that they came to this country voluntarily and perhaps even eagerly at their own freewill. This is ignorance at its best and coming from a known publisher of school textbooks it is downright disgraceful and a blatant attempt at revising history. Frankly, it’s despicable.

Thanks to Roni Dean-Burren, the mother of a 15-year old high school freshman from Pearlman, Texas, whose son had pointed out the wording in his world geography textbook, we wouldn’t have had the outrage on social media that ignited last week after she posted her disbelief. Thanks to Ms. Dean-Burren and the national attention generated as a result of her post, McGraw-Hill has issued an apology and agreed to revise and reissue the textbooks.

Even though this story has somewhat of a bittersweet ending, it isn’t the first time textbooks used in Texas have come under scrutiny. Texas has a chronic habit of diluting historic facts in its textbooks by downplaying racial inequality and slavery. If we don’t face our past and accept accountability, how do we ever grow, move forward and evolve as a people?

To read more about the Texas textbook fiasco, click here:
Texas textbook calling slaves ‘immigrants’ to be changed, after mom’s complaint

Textbook Company Apologizes for Calling Slaves ‘Workers’

Frustrated Evaluator

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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