Effective Programs for Latino Students

Effective Programs for Latino Students

Effective Programs for Latino Students

Effective Programs for Latino Students

Synopsis

Latino (or Hispanic) children are one of the fastest-growing groups in U.S. schools today. On average, these students perform worse than Anglo students on measures of academic achievement and other measures of academic success, and their drop-out rate is high. There are schools of excellence among those serving Latino children, but the majority of these children are placed "at risk" by schools and community institutions unable to build on the cultural, personal, and linguistic strengths these children are likely to bring with them to school. Schools serving Latino students need programs based on high-quality research, capable of being replicated and adapted to local circumstances and needs. The purpose of this book is to present the current state of the art with respect to research on effective instructional programs for Latino students in elementary and secondary grades. Surprisingly, this has not been done before; there are many books on the situation of Latino students in U.S. schools, but none so far have reviewed research on the outcomes of programs designed to enhance the academic achievement of these students. The chapters represent a broad range of methodologies, from experimental to correlational to descriptive, and the solutions they propose are extremely diverse. Each examines, in its own way, programs and practices that are showing success. Together, they present a rich array of research-based effective programs that are practical, widely available, and likely to make a profound difference. What binds the chapters together is a shared belief that Latino students can succeed at the highest levels if they receive the quality of instruction they deserve, and a shared belief that reform of schools serving many Latino students is both possible and essential. This is a book filled with statistics, description, and reviews of research--but even more, it is filled with optimism about what schools for Latino students can be, and what these students will achieve. It is a highly relevant and useful resource for educators, policymakers, and researchers who want to use research to inform the decisions they make about how to help Latino students succeed in elementary and secondary schools, and beyond.

Excerpt

At the very heart of the American ethos is the idea that immigrants to the United States are able to build a better life for their children and grandchildren, by means of their own hard work and sacrifice and with the help of a public school system dedicated to helping every child, regardless of home background, language, or culture, achieve his or her full potential. Although the ethos of the common school contains as much myth as reality, it is nevertheless the case that the great majority of middle-class Americans whose families came to the United States in the past century can tell a story of parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents who came to the United States with nothing, struggled with linguistic and cultural barriers, but saw their children or grandchildren succeed in school and thereby achieve economic security. The school is the ladder by which the children of immigrants climb out of poverty into the mainstream. This is precisely the story of one of the editors of this book, whose grandfather came to New York from Argentina with no money, no English, and no trade. The other editor is herself a first-generation immigrant from Mexico.

Today, the descendents of the Italians, Poles, Greeks, Jews, and other immigrants of the early 20th century have long since achieved the American dream. At the turn of the 21st century, it is now immigrants from Asia and, especially, from the Americas who are enriching the United States with their energies, their cultural strengths, and their determination to build a better life for their children.

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