Immigrant Kids Getting Alienated in School

Survey reveals bleak outlook for young newcomers: Marcelo and Carola Suárez-Orozco
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2013 1:31 PM CDT
Immigrant Kids Getting Alienated in School
The US needs to do more to reach out to immigrant children, two educators write.   (Shutterstock)

Last week's Boston bombings underscore a pressing need in the US: It's time to step up our efforts to reach out to immigrant children, two education experts write in the New York Times. Their five-year study of kids ages 9 to 14 in Boston- and San Francisco-area public schools offers a stark picture of the children's experience. Just 3% of kids could identify a teacher who was "proud of them," write Marcelo and Carola Suárez-Orozco, and only 6% could name a teacher they'd talk to about a problem.

Some 65% used negative words to describe what Americans thought of people from their countries. "Most Americans think we are lazy, gangsters, drug addicts, that only come to take their jobs away," said a 14-year-old. More than a third of children said they rarely spoke to American-born kids. "Whatever motivated the Tsarnaev brothers surely is not the fault of the schools and may never be known," the experts write. But "taking in what Emma Lazarus called the 'wretched refuse' without providing a scaffold of support undermines the promise of America." Click for the full column. (Read more education stories.)

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