Education Vital Signs: Immigration & Diversity
By 2042, minorities will make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This growing diversity is already having a profound impact on the public schools, and this effect will only increase as the United States approaches “majority minority” status. The fastest growing group is Hispanics, whose numbers are expected to account for 30 percent of the population by 2050. Issues such as how best to teach English to non-English speaking students (English immersion, dual immersion, bilingual education, etc.) will continue to be important as schools move into the mid-21st Century. Issues involving African Americans, including the achievement gap (something that impacts other minorities as well), the reemergence of racially identifiable schools, and the crisis in urban education also will receive considerable attention. Another kind of diversity – economic – is also in the news today, especially in light of increasing economic disparity.
How young men of color experience education
New data based on a study from the College Board revealed that almost 50 percent of the young men of color who graduate high school end up incarcerated or unemployed. Just 18 percent of Hispanic Americans, 24 percent of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, and 26 percent of black Americans receive an associate degree or better. An interactive website based on the study, The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color, features 92 videos of in-depth student interviews, lists legal implications that should guide the development of policy, and makes recommendations to effect change.
Opportunity gap persists
Despite our best efforts, disparities in educational resources and opportunities continue to exist in U.S. public schools. Within 7,000 school districts sampled for the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection, 3,000 individual schools do not offer algebra II classes and 7,300 schools do not offer calculus. Schools that serve large numbers of black students are twice as likely to be staffed by inexperienced teachers as are schools serving white students. Only 22 percent of the districts operate pre-K programs for low-income children.
America’s Diverse Future
A new report, America’s Diverse Future, says that a nationwide minority white child population is “quite likely” before 2020. Minority white child populations already exist in 10 states and 35 large metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando, and Phoenix. The overall child population declined during the 2000s in half of states and one-third of large cities. In the areas where the child population grew, Hispanics, Asians, and other groups accounted for almost all of that growth, with Hispanics making the largest contribution to the child population.
Few Preschool Slots for Latino Children
Preschool enrollment in heavily Latino Illinois neighborhoods is half that of enrollment for non-Latino neighborhoods, leading to wide gaps in early learning. While this disparity is due in part to low levels of Latino maternal education and poor early-learning home practices, the central problem seems to be one of simple access: Just one in three Latino parents can find a spot in a neighborhood preschool for their child. Read Few Preschool Slots for Latino Children for more information.
Yes We Can
Twice as many white boys are “Gifted and Talented” as black boys, while black boys are twice as likely to be classified as “Mentally Retarded.” Black boys receive out-of-school suspensions twice as often, and expulsion three times as often, as white boys. The Schott Foundation’s 2010 report on public education and black males, Yes We Can
, says that school discipline disparities like these may account for the large number of black males who don’t graduate.
The State of Public Schools in Post-Katrina New Orleans
New Orleans public schools constitute the nation’s most extensive charter school experiment, but it has not been an unqualified success. A new report from the Institute on Race and Policy, The State of Public Schools in Post-Katrina New Orleans, says that charter schools have helped create a “separate and unequal tiered system of schools,” where white students are steered into selective, higher-performing schools, and students of color are steered into lower-performing schools.
Children of Immigrants
Half of all children of immigrants live with two foreign-born parents, and more than 60 percent of these children have at least one parent with limited English proficiency. Children of Immigrants: Family and Parental Characteristics, a recent report from the Urban Institute, also reveals that 25 percent of children of immigrants have parents that are not high school graduates, but they are also likely to live with both parents and in extended families, and that 92 percent of immigrant families exhibit high work effort.
The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare
Seventy-three percent of the children of undocumented immigrant parents are U.S. citizens, and many of them attend public schools. A new report from First Focus examines the impact of immigration enforcement on these children’s lives and the child welfare agencies serving them. The report recommends avoiding placing children in the child welfare system whenever possible: Detained or deported parents cannot participate in child welfare proceedings, creating a risk for the permanent separation of the child and parent.
Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement
U.S. citizen children of illegal immigrants experience deeply damaging consequences when their parents are arrested, detained, or deported. A new report from the Urban Institute, Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement, analyzes 190 children of arrested parents in 85 families across the country. Most of the families in the study were from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Haiti. The study found that these children suffered family separation (two-parent families became single-parent families), economic hardship and insecurity, and widespread behavior changes, including changes in eating and sleeping habits, anger, and withdrawal. Behavioral changes were more common and most severe when parental arrests occurred in the home. During a very stressful time, school provided stability and a safe haven for many of the children.
Schools Without Diversity: Education Management Organizations, Charter Schools and the Demographic Stratification of the American School System
Do charter schools increase or decrease segregation? A study of 968 schools from the Education and the Public Interest Center and the Education Policy Research Unit, Schools Without Diversity: Education Management Organizations, Charter Schools and the Demographic Stratification of the American School System, concludes that charter schools are substantially more segregated by race, income, ability, and English language fluency than their home public school districts.
America’s Future: Latino Child Well-Being in Numbers and Trends
A new data book from the National Council of La Raza and the Population Reference Bureau offers an overview of state and national trends for Latino children relative to non-Hispanic white and black children since 2000. Fifty-nine percent of Latino children live in low-income families in high-poverty neighborhoods, despite the efforts of their hardworking parents. While 92 percent of these children are U.S. citizens, 58 percent of them live in immigrant families, which limits their access to education and health services.
Just the Facts: A Snapshot of Incarcerated Latino Youth
Latino youth face disproportionate incarceration rates when compared to those of whites and blacks, according to a new fact sheet from the National Council of La Raza. Latinos make up only 19 percent of America’s 10- to 17-year-olds, but comprise 25 percent of all incarcerated youth in the U.S. Moreover, the number of these youths in adult prisons rose from 12 to 20 percent from 2000 to 2008, while rates for black and white youth declined in the same period.
Halting African-American Boys’ Progression from Pre-K to Prison: What Families, Schools, and Communities Can Do!
African-American boys enter school with less general knowledge of the world and less well-developed capacities for self-regulation and behavior, says a new study appearing in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Schools and communities respond to these difficulties with an ever-escalating system of sanctions that becomes a school-to-prison pipeline. Increasing access to high-quality early childhood education for young African-American boys and hiring teachers who understand the context from which their students come are keys to reform.
Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America
Hispanics make up 1 in 5 schoolchildren and 1 in 4 newborns, making them the largest and youngest minority group in the United States. Demography is destiny, and these young people will be a strong and shaping force on American society in the 21st century. How do these young Latinos view themselves? A new report from the Pew Research Center, Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America, shows that young Latinos are satisfied with their lives; value education, hard work, and success highly; and are optimistic about their future. The report also shows that 52 percent of Latinos ages 16 to 25 identify themselves first by their family’s country of origin. Twenty percent use the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” when describing themselves. Only 24 percent describe themselves as “American” first.
Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap
Nearly 89 percent of Latino young adults ages 16 to 25 think a college education is important for success in life, yet only about 48 percent plan to obtain one, according to the Pew Hispanic Center report, Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap. A second report by the center, The Changing Pathways of Hispanic Youths Into Adulthood, finds that young Latino adults in the United States are more likely to be in school or the work force now than their counterparts were in previous generations, yet their participation still lags behind that of their white peers.
A Place to Call Home
Seventy-one percent of immigrants would still come to the U.S. if they had the chance again, reports Public Agenda’s A Place to Call Home. They have found the U.S. to be a good place to earn a living (88 percent), and find our legal system trustworthy (70 percent). But while 87 percent say they are happy here, only 34 percent are “extremely happy.” Eighty-four percent favor “guest worker” programs to draw undocumented immigrants into the mainstream.
Acculturation and Adjustment in Latino Adolescents: How Cultural Risk Factors and Assets Influence Multiple Domains of Adolescent Mental Health
Latino adolescents are happier and healthier if both they and their parents embrace a bicultural lifestyle, according to a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Students whose families assimilate into U.S. culture while staying involved in their culture of heritage are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
Prevalence of Obesity Among US Preschool Children in Different Racial and Ethnic Groups
Almost one in five American 4-year-olds is obese, and the rate is alarmingly higher among American Indian children. More than 500,000 children are obese at this age; among American Indian children, where one third is severely overweight, the rate is almost double that of whites.
Student Demographics, Teacher Sorting, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from the End of School Desegregation
The best teachers -- both black and white -- tend to leave a school district when it experiences a large influx of black students, according to a recent study by a Cornell University researcher. The study followed patterns of teacher movement in North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District between 2002 and 2003, when the district stopped busing students to keep schools racially integrated.
Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century Challenge
A report from the Civil Rights Project, Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century Challenge, says the U.S. is continuing to move backward toward increasing minority segregation in highly unequal schools; the job situation remains especially bleak for American blacks, and Latinos have a college completion rate that is shockingly low. At the same time, the report says, little is being done to address large scale challenges such as continuing discrimination in the housing and home finance markets, among other differences across racial lines.
Young Hispanic Children: Boosting Opportunities for Learning
Hispanic students currently trail white and Asian-American students in reading and math. The authors of a new report from the Society for Research in Child Development believe more educational opportunities for 3- to 8-year-old Hispanics, more bilingual preschool and early-elementary teachers, and more Spanish speakers to work as classroom language specialists will help close the gap.
The Hispanic-White Achievement Gap in Oregon
Data collected by the Oregon Department of Education show an early and persistent achievement gap between that state’s Hispanic and white students, which appears by the third grade and remains fairly consistent throughout students’ school careers. A new study of this data from The Chalkboard Project, The Hispanic-White Achievement Gap in Oregon, indicates that Oregon’s Hispanic students are twice as likely to be economically disadvantaged and tend to start school far behind their white peers. On the bright side, data also indicate that English as a Second Language programs may have accelerated student learning for those students enrolled.
Children of Immigrants Data Tool
The Urban Institute’s comprehensive Children of Immigrants Data Tool allows users to create custom charts from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data. National and state-by-state statistics are available on 21 features, including child and parent citizenship and immigrant status; parent education and English proficiency; child race, ethnicity, and school enrollment; and family composition, income, and work effort.
The National Indian Education Study 2007: Part II
The National Indian Education Study 2007: Part II presents information about the educational, home, and community experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native fourth- and eighth-grade students that was collected during the National Indian Education Study of 2007. Among the findings: A higher percentage of American Indian students (about 58 percent) were eligible for free school lunch compared to their non-Indian peers (about 34 percent). A lower percentage of Indian students (about 75 percent) than non-Indian students (about 89 percent) said they had access to a computer in their homes.
Muslim Youth in New York City Public Schools: Religiosity, Education and Civic Belonging
Muslim youths generally have felt comfortable, safe, and fairly content in New York City public schools, but these youngsters have been made hyper-conscious of their religious identity since 9/11, a new study by Teachers College at Columbia University says. According to the report, 17 percent of Muslim public school students report having been the object of bigotry, often in the shape of teasing or taunting about Islam or being a “terrorist.” And nearly all youths surveyed felt that discrimination against Muslim Americans has increased since 9/11.
Building Tomorrow’s Workforce: Promoting the Education and Advancement of Hispanic Immigrant Workers in America
Strategic partnerships between industry and community colleges that engage younger Hispanic immigrants can boost our economy by training an important proportion of U.S. workers for future jobs, according to the new report, Building Tomorrow’s Workforce: Promoting the Education and Advancement of Hispanic Immigrant Workers in America. The report looks at six innovative partnerships now being used around the country.
The Last Have Become First: Rural and Small Town America Lead the Way on Desegregation, and Are Teachers Prepared for Racially Changing Schools?
The Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, has released two studies examining social integration in American public schools. The Last Have Become First: Rural and Small Town America Lead the Way on Desegregation analyzes regional, ethnic, and housing patterns and how they relate to school segregation. Are Teachers Prepared for Racially Changing Schools? explores how well teachers ready themselves to work in an environment with diverse faculty and students.
Invisible, Ignored: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Parents and Their Children in Our Nation’s K-12 Schools
Parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender are more likely to be involved in their children’s education than the general parent population, but they often face harassment because of their family structure, according to a report published by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) and the Family Equality Council. The report, Invisible, Ignored: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Parents and Their Children in Our Nation’s K-12 Schools, says more than 7 million children of LGBT parents attend the nation’s schools.
Economic Mobility of Black and White Families
Blacks born into the middle class in the late 1960’s are far more likely than whites to earn less than their parents, according to a study published by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project. Economic Mobility of Black and White Families determined that two-thirds of adult children earned more in the late 1990s and early 2000s, adjusted for inflation, than their parents did at the same age in the late 1960s. But when the study examined families by race and their rank by income, the data showed stark differences between black and white families.