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ERIC Number: EJ1065407
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Looking at Racial Segregation: An Exploratory Case Study of a Predominately Somali Charter School
Courtney, Robert H.
Multicultural Education, v22 n2 p22-29 Win 2015
In 2005, a group of concerned parents who had arrived in the United States as refugees from war-torn Somalia received approval from their local school district to establish the Iftin Charter School (ICS). The K-8 school continues to engender hope and intellectual strength in its students and parents. ICS finds itself uniquely equipped to meet the needs of newcomers to the United States because the community facilitates the transition of immigrants into American society. The school emphasizes English language acquisition and the cultural values of freedom, responsibility, and productivity; the founders are dedicated to the academic and social success of children in the school. If, in fact, ICS is successful in educating a population of low social-economic status English language learners, it is vital to identify the characteristics and practices of this school that have led to its success. In doing so, other schools that have large numbers of Somali students may want to utilize the same practices and strategies with their students. This study examined data from the California Department of Education Dataquest website, including Academic Performance Index, Adequate Yearly Performance, California English Language Development Test (CELDT), and California Standards Test Scores (STAR). Twelve randomly-selected subjects were interviewed using a semi-structured interview process. According to the data from state sources, students at ICS showed increasingly high achievement and few behavioral problems. Although some educators would fault the school for having disproportionately high numbers of a single ethnic community, this school is serving the needs of a refugee population and showing important success.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Refugees, Charter Schools, Second Language Learning, English Language Learners, Immigrants, Freedom, Responsibility, Productivity, Low Income Groups, Institutional Characteristics, Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 5, Grade 4, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Educational Quality, Racial Segregation, Racial Bias, Cultural Influences, Access to Education, Scores, State Standards, Student Behavior, Behavior Problems, Regression (Statistics), Standardized Tests, School Effectiveness, Academic Achievement, Semi Structured Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 1; Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Grade 4; Grade 6; Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 8
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Somalia