Pittsburgh Public Schools has been faced with an increasing number of students who come into the school system lacking a formal or consistent education. In response, it has launched a pair of new pilot programs at Brashear and Pittsburgh Arsenal PreK-5 that offer "a much more focused approach [for] kids that have had interrupted school or no formal school," said Jonathan Covel, the director for the district's English as a second language program.
College is the great leveler of American life, and the great divider, too. College graduates typically earn more money, are more satisfied with their jobs and are less likely to be on public assistance than people with only high school degrees. Students understand this; the aspiration to go to college is now almost universal. Getting there, though, is another matter, especially for working-class students. The alternatives to higher education — joining the military, working for $13 an hour at the local factory or getting a cheaper, faster trade-school certificate — are alluring. The cost of college may seem formidable.
In the U.S., roughly one in 10 students is an English language learner. Many schools struggle to help them feel comfortable with their new language. Helping them get ahead and to college is another challenge entirely. But East Allen University, Laing's high school in Fort Wayne, Ind., has developed a unique program to do just that: English language learners there can graduate with a diploma and an associate's degree. It's a public high school — anyone can enroll — but the focus is on college prep and college credit.
An early lesson in empathy inspired Gene Luen Yang. In an original comic for School Library Journal, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature depicts the inspiration for his Reading Without Walls program, which challenges readers to read beyond their comfort zone.
A public library is often the first stop for many people new to the U.S. who are looking for information on their city as well as ESL and other classes. For these reasons, the BPL has set up Immigration Information Corners in each of their 24 branches. The corners were created through the collaborated efforts of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), BPL, and the City of Boston, as well as community partners.
These titles shine a spotlight on immigrant experiences and present autobiographical or fictional stories based on childhood memories or drawn from work with immigrant children. A wordless graphic novel, a detailed foldout codex, a few bilingual books, and an easy-to-read photo-illustrated informational text augment this selection of picture books, novels, and memoirs, loosely divided into grade level categories. The websites provided complement these books with information on immigrants and refugees in the U.S., and are useful for educators and older students alike.
Authors, scholars, librarians, educators and artists are among the many who are converging upon San Antonio this week to discuss the latest and best in Latino children's and young adult literature. The eighth National Latino Children's Literature Conference, "Connecting Cultures & Celebrating Cuentos," is scheduled on Thursday, March 23 through Saturday, March 25 at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Downtown Campus.
In the heart of one of Denver's poorest neighborhoods, parents hoped for a new preschool. Instead they got much more. The Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-being is a preschool, urban farm, dental office and mental health care center, all in one. William Brangham visits to see how it’s supporting the community.
New York City, home to the nation's largest public school system, announced several measures this week aimed at protecting immigrant students and families. Among them: the city will not allow federal immigration agents into schools without signed warrants, and it will host 100 forums across the city on immigrant rights, fraud prevention, and city services available to immigrant families. The department of education, which does not collect information on students' immigration status, also will not divulge student information to immigration agents unless required by law, the city said.
About 13 percent of New York City’s 1.1 million students are considered English learners — a group of students that can be among the toughest to serve. Last year, while the dropout rate for the city overall declined, the dropout rate among English learners jumped to 27 percent — an increase of more than 5 percentage points from the year before. But a handful of other schools across the city manage to buck that trend, providing valuable lessons for how to better serve these students.