Teachers' unions around the country have shifted into high gear in the countdown to the presidential election next week, and nowhere is the fervor more evident than in the battleground states. Affiliates of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have been campaigning with every tool at their disposal. The two national unions, which have both endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, have raised and spent large sums of money on this election.
One in five college-educated immigrants in the United States is unemployed or working in an unskilled job such as a dishwasher, fast-food restaurant cashier or security guard, depriving the U.S. economy of the full potential of more than 1.3 million foreign-born workers, according to a study released yesterday.
Parents, students, and officials at Massachusetts' Arnone Elementary School agree that an innovative bilingual language-immersion program called Two-Way Spanish, which is in its seventh year, has proven to be a success. The program integrates native Spanish-speaking students with native English-speaking students so that each can learn the languages, not only from teachers, but from each other. With Brockton's increasingly diverse population, the benefits can be seen in everyday life.
Pete Paukstelis, president of the Manhattan-Ogden Board of Education, isn't asking parents to accept all the responsibility for their child's academic success. But he is asking them to accept some of it. Paukstelis, who said parental involvement is "something (the board) has talked about on and off over the last few years," nominated the topic for discussion at a special board of education retreat Wednesday evening. The goal, he said: "To find out what we can do better'' to promote it.
Hispanic women are enrolling at higher rates than ever as full-time freshmen at four-year colleges and universities. They're more likely to aspire to doctoral degrees. Their self-rated drive to achieve is higher than any other group. Those are some of the findings in a report on Hispanic college freshmen released Thursday by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles' Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.
Nicole Marrero has attended Buffalo's alternative school for more than two years but says she can't understand her teachers, her classmates or her assignments. Nicole, who moved to Buffalo with her family from Puerto Rico six years ago, speaks fluent Spanish but very little English. And none of her teachers, including her English as a Second Language instructor, speak Spanish. So Nicole, 15, sits in class, unable to understand what is being said. She has been doing this for two years.
After a carefully scheduled day of math in large and small groups, reading, science, lunch and storytime, Campbell Elementary School teacher Peggy Nichols congratulated her kindergartners on a hard day's work. This year, Campbell received an "A+" under the state accountability system: the "exemplary" rating earned by only 12 percent of schools statewide in 2008. Campbell, which is attended almost entirely by African American and Hispanic students from poor families, is the Austin school district's first elementary school in East Austin to have received the rating since 2003.
Dallas schools superintendent Michael Hinojosa said today that bilingual teachers were largely protected from recent layoffs because of the district's student population. Students with limited proficiency in English now number 53,785 in the Dallas Independent School District, or 34 percent of total enrollment. Some teachers complained after the district's recent layoffs that bilingual teachers, and particular those recruited from other countries, were not impacted.
West Fargo and Fargo haven't seen such large numbers of refugee students entering their schools since before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The influx has created record English Language Learner enrollment. In West Fargo, the ELL enrollment has forced the district to look at expanding its Newcomer Center only two months after it opened. More refugees are flocking to the area — stabilizing resettlement numbers that were drastically affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Joseph Salmons has always been struck by the pervasiveness of the argument. As a professor of German who has extensively studied European immigrant languages in the Midwest, Salmons recently discovered there was little direct research available about whether this "learn English or bust" ethic really existed, and that in fact the German language often thrived in business and the community for two or three generations before the immigrants' descendents learned English.