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Latino Daily News

Wednesday September 8, 2010

Latinos in U.S. Charter Schools

A joint report released by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and NCLR (National Council of La Raza) examines how charter schools are improving educational outcomes for a growing number of Latino and English language learner (ELL) students. The report, Next Generation Charter Schools: Meeting the Needs of Latinos and English Language Learners, assesses the role of charter schools in the education of Latinos and ELLs and reviews state charter school policies that create a recipe for positive results, as well as those that can unintentionally hinder effective instruction.

Next Generation Charter Schools profiles four high-performing charter schools: El Sol Science and Arts Academy in Santa Ana, California; Raul Yzaguirre School for Success in Houston, Texas; YES Prep Gulfton in Houston, Texas; and International Charter School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The report examines the best practices of these schools, including how they recruit students and work to engage communities and parents.

“Charter schools offer a strategic model for how to improve the educational outcomes of Hispanic and ELL students, who are currently disproportionately represented in troubled schools,” said NCLR Vice President of Education Delia Pompa. “All public schools can better serve their students by adopting the strategies highlighted in this report.”  The most recent data suggest that one-quarter (23.8 %) of charter school students are Latino, a number that is expected to keep growing at a rapid pace. Forty percent of Latino students are also ELLs, so the role that these schools have in serving ELL students will take on a larger significance in coming years.

All four schools offer lessons for better recruiting, educating, and preparing Latino and ELL students, such as:

  * Establishing high expectations for all students’ academic, intellectual, and social growth
  * Accelerating the pace at which ELLs engage with grade-level content
  * Increasing opportunities for expanded learning time
  * Training all staff on effective instructional strategies to engage ELLs
  * Promoting family engagement and community collaboration

For a complete copy of the report go to HSN Library.