This week we are to write about certain information that is relevant to our professional development. In reviewing my source http://www.migrationpolicy.org, there were many pieces that help me understand why I continue to work in Early Childhood education and the importance of helping families become successful and feel relevant in their goals.
As I have shared in my past blogs many of my families are undocumented and at times feel discouraged with what is happening around them. Migration Policy .org shared the following
New Brain Gain: Rising Human Capital among Recent Immigrants to the United States
Some narratives in the current debate about immigration suggest that the “quality,” or human capital, of newcomers, has been low and continues to decline. Under this view, immigrants represent a burden, and the U.S. immigration system should shift to “merit-based” admissions.
However, striking new findings reveal the little-noticed shift in composition of immigration flows over the past decade, with immigrants’ human capital rising sharply. Most notably, 48 percent of recently arrived immigrants to the United States (those coming between 2011 and 2015) were college graduates—compared to just 27 percent of arrivals a quarter-century earlier.
This increase in the share of college graduates, accompanied by greater levels of English language proficiency and bilingualism, is correlated in part with a shift in flows to Asia. It is also reflective of increasing educational attainment across the world; a rise in secondary and postsecondary education offered in English; and the fact that English has become the global lingua franca, especially in business, international trade, science, education, and entertainment.
When reading and understanding this information, I can say that it is true most of us derived from immigrants and the older generation that made the path for us to come and flourish always implement education as the most important thing that no one can take from you.
The next piece of the newsletter that made me think of certain issues pertaining to immigration and early childhood education was the article from March 2017 titled
Trump and DeVos: What Could the New Administration Spell for English Learner and Immigrant Students?
This piece really stood out when the person chosen to make decisions for our children’s well being is not as focused on the children as you would like.
Betsy DeVos was narrowly confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education on February 7, 2017 despite widespread concerns ranging from her lack of experience in public education to worries about her beliefs regarding vouchers and charter schools, religious education, and accountability for the education of traditionally underserved children. Her selection and President Trump’s immigration enforcement-focused executive orders have left many parents and educators wondering how the new administration’s policies will impact students from immigrant families and the schools that serve them. The simple answer is: It depends on the actions of state and local policymakers where those students live.
The article provides information that all parents have the right to know I will share a bit of it, don’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed
Right to enroll. Longstanding federal court rulings uphold the right of all students to a free, public education (as affirmed by the Supreme Court in Plyler v. Doe) and the requirement to provide English Learners (ELs) with supplementary services that enable them to access meaningful instruction (as affirmed in Lau v. Nichols). The Plyler ruling has led to policies intended to encourage families to feel safe enrolling their children in school, including, most notably, the prohibition on school officials asking about immigration status. However, there are many schools and districts where those policies are not consistently communicated, especially to front-office staff who are the first point of contact for enrollment.
As teachers we focus on the children and providing the best for them yet we need to listen to our parents and children when they share their ideas, in order for a school to succeed everyone must be involved.
This next piece focuses on funding which incorporates economists view on education.
Funding. Education advocates have also voiced concern that the Trump administration will cut or change the nature of federal education spending. The federal government’s overall contribution to education revenue is fairly small—8.7 percent in 2013-14. However, deep cuts to or a restructuring of Title I, which sends supplementary funds to districts with high percentages of low-income students and is the largest component of the federal K-12 education budget, could impact schools serving large numbers of immigrant and refugee students. Federal Title III funds for the education of ELs (the majority of whom are U.S. born) and recent immigrants play an important role in ensuring that districts have targeted funds for activities such as teacher professional development, instructional materials, and extra instructional time after school or in the summer. Therefore, ELs could be directly affected by cuts to the annual appropriation for Title III state grants, which has averaged about $737 million annually in recent years.
The critical importance of federal funds notwithstanding, when it comes to everyday instruction for ELs, states and localities provide the greatest share of funding, and therefore play the most important role in ensuring that adequate resources are in place to meet student needs. A recent Migration Policy Institute report described the nature of such funding, noting that dollars for ELs are frequently allocated without adequate cost consideration and that EL education is also affected by the larger context of inequitable and inadequate funding for public schools. It is worth noting that funding inequities plague states that are traditionally Democrat-led, such as New York State, which has still not fully complied with a decade-old legal ruling declaring its funding system unconstitutional.
The Migration Process
I have been sharing about undocumented families and how we can help them succeed and place their children in quality education. According to New Data.
Children in immigrant families comprise one-quarter of the U.S. population ages 0-8, and even larger shares of the young-child population in many states and localities. An extensive body of research tells us that the future potential of these immigrant-background children to contribute to the economic, civic, and social life of the United States is largely shaped by their early childhood experiences. At the same time, experts promoting two-generation strategies point to the value of addressing the needs of parents and children together in order to equip at-risk families to move out of poverty and into family-sustaining jobs.
The Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy recently published a report that details the key design elements of a range of two-generation programs that are working successfully with immigrant and refugee families. The report finds that while immigrant parents possess many strengths that serve as protective factors for the long-term success of their children, many also face challenges—such as limited proficiency in English or low levels of formal education—that can constrain their ability to move up the economic ladder and position their children to do the same.
Other Insights In Early Childhood Education
Poverty ( Always at the top when wanting to learn and understand more about families)
All of the 30 states analyzed have significant shares of households headed by an immigrant parent: in 15 they comprise 20 percent or more of parents with young children, and they comprise at least one in ten in an additional 13 states. Not surprisingly, the fact sheets show that family characteristics relevant to two-generation approaches differ, sometimes widely, by state. For example, family poverty—a top risk factor for children’s academic and longer-term success—is far higher among immigrant-led families generally and more prevalent in certain states. Southern states have the highest shares of immigrant families with young children living below the federal poverty level, led by New Mexico at 40 percent; rates in Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Georgia range from 35 percent to 30 percent. The lowest poverty rates for immigrant families among the 30 states are found in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, ranging from 11-18 percent in Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
Dual Language Learners in Head Start: The Promises and Pitfalls of New Reforms
Head Start’s vision is rooted in the idea that high-quality early childhood experiences require broad consideration of the social, emotional, health, and cognitive needs of young children. It was conceived as a comprehensive program, and many of its social, health, and family engagement innovations remain essential components of early childhood programs. These diverse services are delivered locally by 1,700 public, private, and nonprofit agencies, which receive grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The specifics of individual program models vary depending on local needs, although services must be provided for at least six hours per day for Early Head Start and either half day (four hours) or full day for Head Start.
Located primarily in centers, schools, or home-based child-care operations, Head Start programs encourage family participation, including classroom volunteering and active involvement in decision-making and governance. The programs are also required to be responsive to the cultural and linguistic needs of the families and communities they serve. The Office of Head Start offers resources to program providers to help develop culturally and linguistically responsive services, including resources specific to DLLs and immigrant and refugee families.
Despite some evidence that early gains in Head Start fade after elementary school, most evaluations have shown Head Start improves both the short- and long-term social and educational outcomes of the children it serves. For example, a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that Head Start enrollment leads to significant gains in receptive vocabulary and early literacy and numeracy, with some of the greatest gains evident with Spanish-speaking children and those with limited English proficiency. Furthermore, a 2016 Brookings Institution study found that the Head Start program has significant long-term benefits for enrollees, including greater likelihood of graduating from high school and college (particularly among Hispanic students) and stronger social, emotional, and behavioral development into adulthood.
This piece was not new but spoke volumes of the importance of family, teacher and child interactions within early childhood education. In the program I work for we teach in English yet we provide materials for all families in their native language, our goal is to prepare the children for kinder garden while helping the families understand the children and what they are learning. When a child begins the program if they do not speak English we teach them in their native tongue until they are comfortable to express themselves.
New Insights from Dual Language learners that help me better understand the policies behind dual programs
New Program Standards and Potential Implications for DLLs
From the inception of Head Start, school readiness has always been central to its mission. The form its programs take and the ways in which their impacts are measured, however, continue to evolve. Head Start has not been immune to the increasing demand for greater accountability and measurable standards seen in the K-12 education space, most notably with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and subsequent policy initiatives to improve teacher quality, turn around underperforming schools, and create a more competitive federal grants system. Indeed, the push to expand early childhood programs and improve the quality of existing ones stems from the same anxieties about global economic competiveness and longstanding achievement gaps that have shaped recent K-12 policies.
An additional factor at play here is the growing body of evidence showing the significant influence early childhood programs have on lifelong academic and economic success. As a result, Head Start’s goals have become increasingly aligned with broader educational efforts to ensure college and career readiness. As proponents of early education seek to expand policymaker support for preK programs, the pressures to align K-12 grade standards to postsecondary preparation (such as the Common Core State Standards) have also seeped into efforts to improve preK programs. Although initiatives to ensure quality have long played a part in Head Start—including efforts dating back to the early 1970s to improve professional standards for early childhood workers—recent measures to raise standards and ensure accountability have dramatically altered the policy landscape.
Policy changes that improve the quality of early childhood and Head Start programs have the potential to positively impact DLL children. New regulations from the Office of Head Start, the Program Performance Standards, promise both improvements and opportunities to more effectively meet the needs of the growing DLL population. These regulations explicitly recognize bilingualism as a strength, require culturally and linguistically appropriate screening and assessment tools, and urge programs to engage with families and communities—all moves in line with Head Start’s traditional leadership in early childhood education and in step with the program’s shifting demographics.
Early childhood is more than play it prepares children and families for future transitions it is a stepping stone towards a lifetime of success. Some people agree with early education while others see it as a baby sitting environment it is up to the educators to let parents know why we make their children learn to write, clean up their mess, line up straight, wait their turns. It is for their own self worth when children feel accomplished they do more and enjoy learning.
- Batalova, Jeanne and Margie McHugh. 2010. Number and Growth of Students in U.S. Schools in Need of English Instruction, 2009. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute
- Bauer, Lauren and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach. 2016. The Long-Term Impact of the Head Start Program. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution
- Espinosa, Linda. 2013. Early Education for Dual Language Learners: Promoting School Readiness and Early School Success. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute
Trump and DeVos: What Could the New Administration Spell for English Learner and Immigrant Students?