Education of Migrants in the USA Nancy Hoffman, Vice President

Education of Migrants
in the USA
Nancy Hoffman, Vice President
Jobs for the Future
October 13-14, 2008
US Distinctions
• In Federal and state policy, students categorized by
English proficiency, not place of birth. Called “ELLS”
• Policy driven by civil rights law (Lau v Nicholas 1974)
• How English should be taught is major political
controversy–”English only” on ballot in some states
• Funding is state responsibility: Feds spend 7$ of $100
that goes to education.
• General climate is polarized– much anti immigrant
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US Demographic Data
• 49,324,849 k-12 students (05-06 ) = 3.6% growth
since 95-96
• 5,074,572 ELLs ( 05-06) 57% growth since 95-96
• In 2005, 24% of U.S. babies born were Hispanic.
• 79% of ELLs live in nine states,
• After Spanish, next largest language groups are
Vietnamese, Hmong, Cantonese and Korean (6% of
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Federal Policy Addressing
ELL Students
Title III of No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
$1 billion allocated by formula and
discretionary program
Purpose: To provide English instruction to
limited English proficient
students to help them meet the
academic standards set by each
respective state.
Slide 4
Arizona Legal Case
1992 Court Order Flores vs Arizona
• Required state to provide incremental
funds to conform to federal and state law
• State law: voter initiative requiring the use
of sheltered English immersion to teach
ELLs (2003)
– State requires 4 hrs English a day, 1 year in a
separate classroom
– State supports ELL instruction
Slide 5
What Works: Beyond
Language Instruction
Best practices: California Tomorrow works with high
schools to develop:
Core Competencies:
• Strong sense of cultural identity
• Leadership skills to act for change
• Critical thinking skills
• Cross-cultural skills
• Bilingual skills
• Knowledge of history and social justice movements
• Understanding the community in which they live
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What Works: Beyond
Language Instruction
Best Practices: International High Schools Students
have been in the country four years or less and speak
little English (90 languages), many separated from
Approach includes:
Experiential learning
Language and content integration
Localized autonomy and responsibility
One learning model for all
Close-knit, supportive communities for students displaced after
moving from another country
Differences among students are cherished and nurtured
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Nancy Hoffman ([email protected])
Jobs for the Future
88 Broad Street
Boston, MA 02110
Useful Websites:
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