From the Arizona Daily Star. The Tuscon USD governing board was supposed to vote on approving the "culturally-relevant" classes this month, but delayed the vote because the state took extra time in assembling its response to the (sort of) new classes. So now they will vote on August 13th. Trouble is...school starts on August 1 in Tuscon!
I missed this last week, so maybe old new to some, but I thought it was still worth posting. A federal court order is requiring that Tuscon reinstate the 2010 banning of Mexican-American studies at the high school. They had to change the name to "culturally-relevant classes", which seems just plain silly to have to do. Still, presumably a victory for the linguistic and cultural rights activists who have fought so tirelessly for this cause. Here is a link to the NPR story from July 24th. Will post more as information becomes available.
The Foundation for Child Development released a report authored by Don Hernandez and Jeffery Napierala in which the authors analyzed the Child Well-Being Index with a focus on: Family economic resources; health; educational attainments; and demographic indicators. They find that children of immigration "are equally or more likely to have a securely employed parent and less likely to live in a one-parent family. They are also less likely to be born at a low birthweight, to die as an infant, to have an impairment that limits physical activity, or to be neither enrolled in school nor working as 16- to 19-year-olds". However, children of immigration are significantly less likely to attend pre-school and have health insurance. Black children with U.S. born parents and Latino children with immigrant parents were shown to be at greatest risk on virtually all indicators. The authors also make a series of policy-related recommendations.
The Migration Policy Institute has just released a new report on the size and distribution of people who report themselves as being limited in English proficiency. Some things stay the same: About half of all LEP individuals live in New York, Texas, and California (in CA, 20% of all residents are LEP). Most school-age kids who are reported as LEP were born in the U.S., which is always important to keep in mind. Spanish is, far and away, the most commonly spoken language. The LEP population has grown 81% since 1990, and this population is far more likely to live in poverty than English proficient residents of the U.S. Useful and timely report
Interesting article in EdWeek about how data collected on the National Assessment of Educational Progress are important in that they provide for the ability to make comparisons of kids across states, districts, and schools for reading and math. It's just that people with agendas keep misinterpreting what the data actually mean to conform with their own agendas. How many articles have you read lamenting that 69% of 4th grade English language learners performed at a "below basic" level on the NAEP reading as a call to action? The differences between states on how a student is classified as ELL are so erratic that these types of comparisons (not mentioned in the article) are yet another way NAEP data are exploited and misused on a regular basis.
Claude Goldenberg has come out with two syntheses of research in the Summer 2013 issue of American Educator. The first summarizes literature on general instruction as it relates to literacy outcomes in particular. The second focuses exclusively on English language development. They look pretty good, and are worth checking out.
Been doing a little bit of thinking about research that is deemed to have "worked", that is, was well designed and yielded reliable, and ideally, useable knowledge. Particularly in the context of bilingual education. Bob Slavin and colleagues at Johns Hopkins ran a randomized control trial where Spanish speaking kindergarteners were assigned to either bilingual education or English-only. The federal government posts an overview of the findings. Here is that overview:
"At the end of kindergarten and first grade, students in structured English immersion had significantly better English reading and language skills than students in transitional bilingual education. The WWC interprets these effects as corresponding roughly to the skill difference between the 50th and 66th percentiles of English reading and language achievement".
Slavin and his colleagues actually published the study in Education Policy Analysis Archives in 2011. Here is how they interpreted the outcomes (from the abstract):
On language and literacy indicators, "first graders in TBE performed significantly better in Spanish and worse in English than did their SEI counterparts. Differences diminished in second and third grades, and by fourth grade, when all students in TBE had transitioned to English-only instruction, there were no significant differences on English reading measures. These findings suggest that Spanish-dominant students learn to read in English equally well in TBE and SEI and that policy should therefore focus on the quality of instruction rather than on the language of instruction for English-language learners".