New America Media (NAM), an ethnic media coalition, recently hosted community meetings in five cities across the U.S. In the third community meeting on Wednesday, pollster Sergio Bendixen presented NAM's newly released report on women immigrants, and six panelists discussed the report. The report, titled "Women Immigrants: Stewards of the 21st Century Family," is based on a poll conducted in 2008, in which approximately 1,000 female immigrants from 44 countries were interviewed in ten languages.
A new report, "State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009," finds that more than half of the 101 million children currently out of school are from minority or indigenous groups. UNICEF experts contributed to the report, which was published by a non-governmental organization, the Minority Rights Group International (MRG), and released yesterday.
California school districts have been reacting today to the proposed state budget deal with a combination of confusion and measured, qualified relief. They are relieved that the settlement does not include a suspension of Proposition 98, which guarantees about 40% of the state budget to grade schools and community colleges. "But the devil is in the details," said Ken Shelton, an assistant superintendent with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, which oversees budgets for school systems in the county.
In metro Atlanta, six Title I schools — schools in which at least 35 percent of students are from low-income families — had a 100 percent passing rate for some grades on Georgia's Criterion-Reference Competency Tests this year. Their secret? School administrators and teachers point to fostering a family-like atmosphere in which they hold one another accountable for what students know and don't know.
Noe Avalos came to this country with a second grade education. He didn't speak English and hadn't learned to read or write in his native Spanish. It didn't pose too big a problem at his first packing house and production jobs, but now Avalos has his own business and feels inadequate when he can't fully communicate with a customer. So at age 47, he's going back to school. He and his wife, Angela Meza, will be among the first participants in a program the local Mexican Consulate and United Methodist Church are launching in Omaha, Nebraska.
In California, the governor and legislative leaders finally have a tentative budget deal. If lawmakers approve it, the plan will use massive spending cuts to erase the state's $26 billion deficit. But many Californians have grown weary of these regular budget stalemates. And they're saying that now is the time to fundamentally change the way the state does business.
Efforts to open the first public dual-language charter school in Austin failed after advocates proposed their program to the State Board of Education in a hearing last Tuesday. The Austin Community School was competing with five other proposed schools. Austin Community School is a proposed public charter school that would incorporate dual language programs and an International Baccalaureate curriculum for both elementary and middle school students.
As a result of Gilbert Town Council's $300,000 cut in support, the Maricopa County Library District has eliminated all adult programs and almost all the programs for youth at Southeast Regional Library. Programs that have been cut include adult ESL classes and computer classes.
In little more than two weeks, demolition at Atlanta's Cross Keys High School will begin. It will erase decades of decline at the DeKalb County campus, transforming brick and mortar literally coming apart at the seams into a newly modern school building. But the renovation seems unlikely to address a deeper concern among some advocates about Cross Keys' future as a traditional neighborhood high school, which now serves many Latino families and English language learners.
It's a new style of teaching and reaching out to English-language learners. It uses charts and chants and turns students into "super scientists" and "experts," putting them in control of their education, proponents say. The teaching style is known as Guided Language Acquisition Development, or "GLAD," and California's Newhall School District employed the program for the first time this summer with about 500 summer school students in 19 classrooms at Old Orchard Elementary School.