Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Photo Essay: This Newcomer School is Lovely | Cloaking Inequity

Photo Essay: This Newcomer School is Lovely | Cloaking Inequity:

Photo Essay: This Newcomer School is Lovely

2014-09-22 10.12.50 copy
There has been allot of hullaballoo about young people crossing the US border trying to reunite with their family here in the United States. Teachers, our nation’s first responders, as they always have been, are involved in the education of our immigrant students. Dr. Pei Ling Lee wrote in her UT Austin dissertation entitled Recent High School Immigrants’ Program Placement and Academic Performance in Texas Schools: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know
Secondary immigrant youth come to schools with a wide range of background knowledge. This phenomenon results due to student age difference, limited ability to speak English, low level of literacy in the first language, and poor academic skills placing them at risk of education failure. Higgs (2005) indicated newcomer programs are designed for newly arrived adolescents with needs beyond those generally served by traditional bilingual or ESL programs. However, these programs may vary from school to school, district to district, and state to state. Goals and types of newcomer programs across the nation. While all schools in America are being called upon to provide educational services for linguistically and culturally diverse students, along with the increasing numbers of newly arrived youth, many districts have established a newcomer program or new arrival program at the high school level to better serve secondary immigrant students (Short & Boyson, 2004). The goals of newcomer programs or schools are identified as programs that assist recently arrived immigrant students, who have very limited or no English language proficiency and often limited formal education in their native countries, in making the adjustment to a new language and a new way of schooling. Echevarria, Short, and Vogt (2004) also noted that because of immigrant students’ varied background knowledge, it is essential that a variety of avenues of learning must be offered in order for them to meet with academic success. The main goal is to prepare the immigrant student to participate and contribute to their learning community through opportunities in accelerated language acquisition and the content areas.
On Monday, I visited a newcomer school— the International Newcomer Academy (INA) in Fort Worth Texas as a member of the WestEd ELOTE project. The history of the INA school:
In 1983, when the Fort Worth ISD established the Language Center program for middle and high school immigrant students, the developers considered the stand-alone Newcomer concept but discarded it, believing that isolationism and less-than-equal access to quality education might result.
In 1993, however, when the Fort Worth ISD reviewed the Language Center program to determine 
Photo Essay: This Newcomer School is Lovely | Cloaking Inequity: