The release this month of a description of Filipino immigrants in the United States by the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute is a reminder that the institute has some great backgrounders on immigrant groups. This portrait of a group of people may be particularly useful if you're an educator in California because almost half of the Filipino immigrants who come to this country live in that state. It was news to me that Filipino women living in the United States outnumber Filipino men by about three to two. Filipino women tend to work in health-care or related occupations. Nearly half of ...


Roger Prosise, the superintendent of the Diamond Lake School District 76 in Mundelein, Ill., makes a compelling case for why Illinois shouldn't mandate bilingual education in schools. And he doesn't give the reasons that are usually given. He writes in a paper released by the Lexington Institute, a conservative think tank that generally opposes bilingual education, that "bilingual education did not work in District 76." Mr. Prosise says the method didn't work because of a shortage of bilingual classroom teachers, a lack of good bilingual reading teachers, and a lack of high-quality bilingual instructional curriculum materials. For four years District ...


For years, many state education agencies have been telling educators they can't ask students about their immigration status because the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court case, Plyler v. Doe, gives all children the right to a free K-12 education in this country regardless of their immigration status. School officials can ask parents or students for proof of residency in a school district but not for a Social Security number. Still, some school staff and educators flub up on this and ask for immigration information when parents try to register their children for school. See my Education Week article from April ...


U.S. Rep. Mike Castle, a Republican from Delaware, asked a question at a congressional hearing on Indian Education yesterday that I was dying to ask: Is English as a second language an issue in education of American Indian students today? Stanley R. Holder, the chief of the division of performance and accountability for the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Education, responded with a plug for the maintenance and revitalization of indigenous languages. (See edweek.org's selection of articles about language revitalization). He explained what he's learned through the implementation of the federal Reading First program in ...


I'm making good on my promise to skim a review copy of Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age and tell you what it says about schooling in New York City. I've featured the study already for how it concludes that children of immigrants in New York City now in their 20s are generally doing very well work-wise and education-wise. The book has a fascinating chapter reporting on how some immigrant groups tend to figure out how to enroll children in magnet schools and other top-of-the-line public schools in New York City while other immigrant groups do ...


The Ladies Professional Golf Association has backtracked on its policy that it would suspend golfers in the LPGA Tour who can't speak English well enough to be understood in interviews and making acceptance speeches, according to a Sept. 6 article posted at globeandmail.com (and another article published the same day in the Los Angeles Times). The tour commissioner says the policy will be revised by the end of the year. Fines for players unable to speak English could still be an option, however. (ImmigrationProf blog was on top of this before me.) Critics viewed the policy as discriminatory against ...


In a commentary published Friday at edweek.org, Joanne Jacobs, an education writer and blogger, draws attention to how long-term English-language learners can end up being shut out of a challenging curriculum. If he’s not reclassified by middle school, José may sit through the same English-language-development classes he took in elementary school, classes designed for newcomers. He may leave the mainstream to take classes taught in simplified English. Expectations are low. Performance is lower. The dropout rate is astronomical for long-term English-learners, sometimes known as “lifers.” There's that word "lifers," again, which I really hate to hear anyone use ...


Arizona papers have reported recently on state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne's claims that the state's new method of educating English-language learners is working (here and here.) The state is enforcing a mandate this school year that ELLs must be taught in separate classes for four hours a day to learn specific English skills, such as vocabulary and grammar. I reported and wrote a story about the new approach, "Arizona Still Grappling With Balance on Mandated ELL Instruction," for this week's Education Week. I didn't, however, report on Mr. Horne's press release because I received it as my story ...


While I try to place some calls to Republican Party leaders and see if I can find out what they mean when their party platform advocates an "English First approach" for schools, let me leave you to ponder these two very different opinions about what role English should have in this country. First, I excerpt a comment posted on this blog this morning by Juan D. Garcia, an educator in a K-12 school system in California: If "ALL English" were the solution, we [educators] would have succeeded long ago. Most "minority" students for the past 60 years have always been ...


The education scene for English-language learners in Arizona looks a whole lot different than it did in 1992, when a lawsuit about such students, Flores v. Arizona, was filed in a U.S. District Court in that state. For instance, the state now complies with accountability requirements for the education of ELLs under the federal No Child Left Behind Act that didn't even exist back then. And it has increased its spending on programs for such students. But the district court has been rigid in sticking by an eight-year-old ruling that the state doesn't provide adequate funds for ELLs. What's ...


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