« More School Districts May Have a Chance to Apply for Innovation Grants | Main | The Challenge of Keeping Latino Kids in High School »

Arne Duncan: 'We Need More Parents Like Sonia Sotomayor's Mother'

| 3 Comments

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged Latino parents to help create more of a college-going culture among Latino students in a speech he gave this week at a conference of the National Council of La Raza in Chicago.

In the July 28 speech, he said, "We need more parents like Sonia Sotomayor's mother, who said, 'You will study hard and you will succeed at college and you will graduate—even if I have to work six days a week to make it happen.' " He commended Sotomayor, who may soon be confirmed as the first Hispanic woman to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice, for her hard work as a student.

Duncan made a plug for bilingualism and stated his support for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or "DREAM Act," which if enacted would provide a path to legalization for undocumented students who graduate from U.S. high schools and serve in the military or go to college.

Otherwise, Duncan didn't provide proposals for how education policy can be improved for Hispanics, or English-language learners, other than what he's already said publicly should happen for all students.

Forty-five percent of Latino students are English-language learners, as I've noted before on this blog, but Duncan didn't talk specifically about how education could be improved for ELLs.

He noted that Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, a former ELL teacher and the superintendent of the Pomona Unified School District, has been confirmed as the Education Department's assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education.

Duncan mentioned that Melendez was an ELL student herself while growing up in California.

I wonder if the Education Department will provide more specific plans for how it will support the education of ELLs now that Melendez is on board. President Barack Obama's campaign platform endorsed "transitional bilingual education" before his election, but I haven't heard of Duncan or anyone else on his staff mentioning the phrase since Obama got elected.

In transitional bilingual education, students receive instruction in their native language in some subjects while they are learning English.

3 Comments

I AM LISTENING OF DREAM ACT SINCE 2003. I LOST MY ONE SON WHO WAS TO GRADUATE FROM UCI IN JUNE THIS YEAR. I DID NOT GET A PENNY HELP FROM ANY ONE. I SPENT MONEY FROM MY OWN POCKET, BUT I LOST MY SON JUST 3 MONTHS BEFORE GRADUATION. MY ELDER SON GRADUATED FROM UCI. I SPENT MONEY FROM OWN POCKET. MY TWO REMAINING KIDS ARE UNDERGRADAUES AND NOT GETTING A PENNY HELP. MR. SECRETARY HOW MANY PARENTS CAN AFFORD THIS? MILLIONS OF CHILDREN ARE DROPPING OUT. WE ARE PLAYING WITH THE FUTURE GENERATION OF THE COUNTRY. WE ARE 30TH NOW IN EDUCATION STANDARD. IF THIS DREAM ACT DOES NOT PASS NOW, IT WILL NEVER PASS AND FUTRE OF OUR CHILDREN IS DESTROYED. COULD YOU PLEASE AS SECRETARY EDUCATION GO TO THE PRESIDENT, BEG HIM TO USE HIS EXECUTIVE POWERS TO ENACT THIS LAW AND SAVE THE FUTURE OF OUR FUTURE GENERATION. I HAVE WRITTEN TO MANY SENATORS, CONGRESSMEN. THEY ALL ARE WORRIED ABOUT THEIR REELECTION AND NOT THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN. HISTORY WILL NOT EXCUSE ANYONE THANKS

WE CAME HERE LEGALLY BUT STILL NOT GETTING ANY FINANCIAL HELP. MY PARENTS ARE POOR. I WANT TO DO PHD. I NEED DREAM ACT TO PASS TO SAVE MY DREAM AND THE DREAMS OF MILLIOMS

THANKS

MY SON DIED WAITING FOR THE DREAM ACT TO PASS. COULD SOMEONE SAVE ONE MORE LIFE

THANKS

Comments are now closed for this post.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments