Education Reform in a Changing Georgia: Promoting High School and College Success for Immigrant Youth

Education and Literacy;Immigration;Race and Ethnicity

Education Reform in a Changing Georgia: Promoting High School and College Success for Immigrant Youth

A classic "new growth" state, Georgia has experienced one of the fastest rates of growth from immigration in the United States over the past two decades. Today, one in five Georgia youth is an immigrant or has immigrant parents. While Georgia's native-born white population is aging rapidly, the Latino population in particular remains much younger, and stands to play a decisive role in the state's current and future workforce competitiveness. <br /> <br /> The educational outcomes of the state's first- and second-generation young adults are cause for concern, however. Many are English Language Learners (ELLs) and they lag considerably behind their nonimmigrant peers in terms of high school graduation, college access, and postsecondary degree completion. they often face extra hurdles as they seek to develop academic English-language skills, complete high school course requirements, navigate the transition to college and careers, and finance postsecondary education-often while juggling work and family responsibilities. This report explores these hurdles, and shows that Georgia's most recent education reform efforts- while ambitious in scope-often do not address the unique needs of immigrant youth and ELLs. Moreover, state policies have created barriers to entry into the state's adult education programs and flagship universities, not just for unauthorized immigrants but also for youth who are granted legal permission to remain in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. <br /> <br /> As part of a five-state series, this report examines the educational experiences and outcomes of first- and second-generation youth ages 16 to 26 across the education systems in Georgia, encompassing K-12, adult education, and postsecondary education.

March 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-Georgia

Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth

Education and Literacy;Immigration

Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth

California's success in integrating immigrant youth is critical, not just to the state but the nation. Sheer numbers demonstrate this significance. The state is home to one-quarter of the nation's immigrants, and as of 2012, more than half of young adults in California ages 16 to 26 were first- or second-generation immigrants (compared to one-quarter of youth nationwide). California educates more than one-third of U.S. students designated as English Language Learners (ELLs).

This report examines the educational experiences and outcomes of first- and second-generation immigrant youth ages 16 to 26 across California's educational institutions, encompassing secondary schools, adult education, and postsecondary education. ELLs are a central focus of the analysis at all levels, as this group has unique educational needs. The findings draw from qualitative fieldwork -- including interviews with educators and community leaders in California -- and quantitative analyses of the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau and state education agencies.

June 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Western)-California

Educating English Language Learners: Grantmaking Strategies For Closing America's Other Achievement Gap

Education and Literacy, Immigration, Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Educating English Language Learners: Grantmaking Strategies For Closing America's Other Achievement Gap

This study draws upon two sources of data: an online survey and telephone interviews. In spring 2012, GFE selected 138 grantmaking organizations to participate in an online survey. The sample was composed primarily of GFE members who had indicated in GFE's 2010 and 2011 benchmarking surveys that they made grants to English learners or immigrants, but it was supplemented with funders identified as significant investors in English learners by Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees.

Fifty-seven grantmakers completed responses to the survey, representing diverse grantmaking entities including family foundations, private foundations, community foundations and corporate funders. Researchers supplemented the survey by conducting in-depth phone interviews with 24 survey respondents selected to represent a range of foundation sizes, organization types, geographic regions and ELL funding priorities. The study also convened an Advisory Committee comprising GFE members who are experienced funders of English learners. The advisory committee offered advice on research design, interpretation of research findings, and supplemental resources (listed in report appendix).

April 2013

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Empty Promises: A Case Study of Restructuring and the Exclusion of English Language Learners in Two Brooklyn High Schools

Education and Literacy

Empty Promises: A Case Study of Restructuring and the Exclusion of English Language Learners in Two Brooklyn High Schools

Since 2002, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) has attempted to reverse the city's severe drop-out crisis through a large scale restructuring of high schools, focused mainly on closing large, comprehensive high schools and replacing them with small high schools that offer a more personalized learning environment. Unfortunately, this reform effort initially included a policy that allowed new small schools to exclude English Language Learners (ELLs), and many small schools still do not provide the programs that ELLs need. Lack of access to new and promising programs is reflected in ELL performance data. While the City's overall graduation rate climbed to 52.2% in 2007 from 46.5% in 2005, the rate for ELLs dropped from 28.5% to 23.5% over the same period.

To understand how the small schools movement has affected ELL students in New York City, we studied the restructuring of two large Brooklyn high schools -- Lafayette High School in Bensonhurst and Tilden High School in East Flatbush.

June 2009

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-Kings County-New York City (Brooklyn)

Effective Accountability Mechanisms for New York State's English Language Learners

Education and Literacy

Effective Accountability Mechanisms for New York State's English Language Learners

In September 2011, the New York State Department of Education convened a School and District Accountability Think Tank to provide public input regarding the creation of a second generation educational accountability system for the State's Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver application. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) participated in the Think Tank and submitted a set of comprehensive recommendations regarding sound accountability practices for English Language Learners (ELLs).

In May 2012, the U.S. Department of Education granted New York's waiver application, which included several of AALDEF's and AFC's recommendations. We believe our ELL accountability recommendations have relevance beyond the ESEA waiver, and now release this paper which sets forth key principles for a sound ELL accountability framework in New York State.

September 2012

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York

Investing in Our Next Generation: A Funder's Guide to Addressing the Educational Opportunities and Challenges Facing English Language Learners

Disabilities, Education and Literacy, Immigration

Investing in Our Next Generation: A Funder's Guide to Addressing the Educational Opportunities and Challenges Facing English Language Learners

Outlines the characteristics of English language learners, the need for targeted solutions to the achievement gap between ELLs and English-proficient students, and suggestions for funders, including integrating ELL strategies across education portfolios.

January 2011

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Ethnic and Community Media Fellowship: Building Capacity in Mission-Driven Media to Promote Parent Involvement in Student Education

Education and Literacy, Race and Ethnicity

Ethnic and Community Media Fellowship: Building Capacity in Mission-Driven Media to Promote Parent Involvement in Student Education

Evaluates the impact of an initiative to build local immigrant and ethnic media's capacity to provide sustained coverage of school reform issues to help parents become informed advocates for their children?s education. Includes articles and next steps.

February 2011

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City

See More Reports

Go to IssueLab