It may not be evident, if you live in a community that is a popular location for refugee resettlement, but compared with the 1980s and 1990s, the United States has not received a lot of refugees in the first decade of the 21st century. Admission rates to the United States decreased after stricter security measures were put in place in 2002, in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to Michael Fix, the vice president and director of studies at the Migration Policy Institute. I asked Mr. Fix to analyze patterns in the numbers of refugees admitted ...


I couldn't help noticing that the impact on children of a program in Spain that legalized 600,000 African, Latin American, and eastern European workers, which is the subject of an article published today in The New York Times, contrasts sharply with the effects on children in the United States of their parents' detention described in a June 8 article in the Los Angeles Times. I'm wondering: Are policymakers in the United States thinking about what kind of society we want to be in the long run? Enough said....


Research shows that bilingual reading instruction helps English-language learners to read in English, but it isn't conclusive in telling educators how long students should receive such instruction, according to Claude Goldenberg, an education professor at Stanford University, who has written an article about research on ELLs soon to be published in the American Educator. That's the magazine of the American Federation of Teachers. In "Teaching English Language Learners: What the Research Does—and Does Not—Say," Mr. Goldenberg explains (for the most part, in plain English) what guidance can and can't be gleaned from research on ELLs. He bases his...


The Dallas Morning News is running a thoughtful, five-part series based on observations by reporters of older immigrant teens at Adamson High School in Dallas. (The story I posted yesterday about the Mexico-U.S. connection was part of that same series.) "Their first year is always the hardest," says one of the reporters in an overview video."They feel homesick and struggle with the allure to quit and go to work. Then there is the language barrier. ..." Does this sound familiar? I'd like to hear from readers some of the ways that educators can convince immigrant students who arrive in ...


"Education a challenge in small Mexican community with strong ties to Dallas," an article that ran in The Dallas Morning News today, provides rich insight into the connections between the Mexican and U.S. education systems. The article tells how students literally move back and forth between the town of Ocampo in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, and Dallas. Some of the Dallas teachers see the Mexican children as lagging behind their U.S. peers academically. The Mexican teachers see that some of the students who have been to school in Dallas and then moved back to Ocampo have picked ...


The Economist marks the 10-year anniversary of Proposition 227, a ballot measure approved by voters in California that curtailed bilingual education, with a June 5 article reported from Santa Ana, Calif. "Before 1998 many poor immigrant children in California received a dismal education informed by wrong-headed principles," the article says. "They now just suffer from a dismal education." But, in my view, the examples that are given in the article about how English-learners received a poor-quality education when bilingual education was the default method in California have more to do with implementation of the method than its "principles." For example, ...


South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, a Republican, signed a bill yesterday that will ban undocumented students from attending, or receiving financial aid to attend, public colleges or universities in the state. This means that South Carolina has joined Arkansas and North Carolina in enacting a law or implementing policies that make it much harder for undocumented students to get a postsecondary education at public institutions. Joel Sawyer, the communications director for the governor, told me over the phone this morning that Mr. Sanford signed the immigration bill primarily because it will require private employers in the state to use a ...


The voices of state education officials are strongly present in the comments that have been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education regarding its proposed "interpretation" of Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act, which was published in the Federal Register on May 2. And many of them don't like one of the proposed requirements in particular: that states be required to use the same criteria to decide if students have attained proficiency in English as they do to determine when students should leave special programs. Education officials and educators in California raised a bigger outcry than ...


I can't say I've noticed that the United States is facing an identity crisis, but some people over at the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation think this is so. They put out a report this week, "E Pluribus Unum," ("From Many, One") that makes the argument that immigrants in the past assimilated into American society more than is the case now. The first statement in the report is: "America is facing an identity crisis." The Milwaukee, Wis.-based Bradley Foundation, by the way, "is devoted to strengthening democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles, and values that sustain and nurture it," ...


The number of blogs focused on the education of English-language learners is slowly growing. You can become familiar with some of them by reading the fifth edition of the bi-monthly ELL/ESL/EFL Blog Carnival, hosted by Larry Ferlazzo over at Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day. And if you know what all those acronyms in the name of the carnival stand for—English-Language Learner/English as a Second Language/English as a Foreign Language—I wager you might find the entries useful. I thought the entry offering a primer on "how to teach speaking" was interesting. I contributed...


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