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date: 26 June 2022

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in School Reformlocked

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in School Reformlocked

  • Martin Scanlan, Martin ScanlanBoston College
  • Francesca López, Francesca LópezUniversity of Arizona
  • Maria Baez-CruzMaria Baez-CruzBoston College
  •  and Tsuru Bailey-JonesTsuru Bailey-JonesUniversity of Arizona

Summary

The United States has a rich history of migration, from involuntary immigration resulting from the slave trade to the waves of immigrants who sought a new life on its shores. Partly due to the legislative changes in immigration policy in the last quarter of the 20th century, the cultural and linguistic diversity of the immigrant population has made the country more diverse. These demographic shifts affect schools across sectors in the United States—public and private, secular and religious—and across all geographical settings from urban to suburban to rural. Different immigrant groups have faced prejudice and marginalization, which have cemented cycles of socioeconomic disadvantage and persistent barriers to integration. Immigrant students tend to be disproportionately distributed across schools and are highly concentrated in schools with large numbers of students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. In tandem, educational policy prioritizes social efficiency (moving immigrant students into the workforce) instead of social mobility (advancing to higher education). The growing knowledge base that is centered on effective approaches to providing equitable opportunities to learn has identified three axes for action: (a) promoting students’ sociocultural integration, (b) cultivating their language proficiency, and (c) supporting their academic achievement. School reforms supporting these axes include the promotion of bilingual education, integration of immigrant students into schools, and advancement of authentic partnerships with families and communities.

Subjects

  • Educational Politics and Policy
  • Globalization, Economics, and Education
  • Languages and Literacies

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