ERIC Number: ED393635
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
The Newest "Outsiders": Educating Mexican Migrant and Immigrant Youth.
Romo, Harriett D.
This chapter discusses the educational needs of Mexican immigrant children and effective practices that meet those needs. During 1984-92, the number of limited-English-proficient (LEP) students in public schools grew 70 percent to 2.3 million; three fourths of LEP students spoke Spanish; and 40 percent of these were born in Mexico. Increased immigration and demands on public schools have led to attempts to deny education to undocumented immigrant children, but the courts have upheld these children's access to education and mandated provision of special programs for LEP students. Case studies of two immigrant Mexican families illustrate some problems of immigrant students and how schools fail to provide necessary programs and supports. A brief overview examines the strengths and weaknesses of secondary-level program options: English for speakers of other languages, bilingual programs, and newcomers' programs providing counseling and English instruction. Characteristics of schools that effectively meet the needs of Mexican immigrant students include many that describe good schools in general. Effective practices specific to this population include valuing students' home languages and cultures, adequate assessment of language proficiency and academic needs, school leadership that makes immigrant students a priority, outreach and communication in the parents' home language, staff development to combat effects of racism, instruction based on students' previous educational experience, scheduling that includes LEP students in classes with English-speaking students, placement decisions based on adequate assessment and consultation, and social and academic multicultural programs. Also important are dropout prevention efforts, college and career counseling, and "second-chance" opportunities for education and training. Contains 88 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Court Litigation, Educational Needs, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Educationally Disadvantaged, Elementary Secondary Education, Immigrants, Limited English Speaking, Mexican American Education, Mexican Americans, Mexicans, Migrant Education, School Effectiveness
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Chapter 4 in: Children of La Frontera: Binational Efforts To Serve Mexican Migrant and Immigrant Students; see RC 020 526.