Monday, December 5, 2005

Middle Tennessee shows strong support for Hispanic education

The Nashville City Paper and the Tennessean both reported on Hispanics in the school systems and adjustments schools are making to ensure their success:

from the Nashville City Paper article:

"Tennessee has the fourth fastest growing Hispanic population in the nation — a phenomenon that is a challenge to both the school systems and the Hispanic children trying to acclimate to them."

"In Davidson County, the graduation rate of Hispanic students is 40 percent, the lowest of any ethnic group."

"The number of Hispanic residents of school-age in Davidson County grew 380 percent between 1990 and 2000, while those poised to enter school in the next four years grew 521 percent, according to The New Latino South report from the Pew Hispanic Center."

"Metro schools’ English language learner (ELL) program has had great success helping non-English speaking students master the language."

"The Girl Scouts of Cumberland Valley in 1999 launched Hermanitas, a bilingual program at eight Metro schools for Hispanic girls to interact with others who can relate to what they are going through."

"Through the YMCA, Josias Arteaga and Camilo Rodriguez operate Hispanic Achievers, a weekend program for children kindergarten-age and up with a focus on academic enrichment, pre-university training and career exploration."

"Many Hispanic children, however, regardless of how well they excel in high school, cannot attend college or receive scholarships because they don’t have Social Security numbers."

"The majority of immigrants since 1995 lack legal status, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, and Tennessee is estimated to be home to as many as 150,000 undocumented Hispanic immigrants."

from the Tennessean article:

"What: Two Middle Tennessee systems recently received extra money to educate students from other countries who enroll in their schools. The funds, about $163,000, were awarded under the federal Emergency Immigrant Education Program."

"Why: Districts that are experiencing a significant increase of immigrant students were eligible to apply for the federal funds. The priority was given to districts who have little or no experience serving immigrant children."

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