Friday, May 22, 2015

Educando Todos Nuestros Niños

Who are the children in our schools?  What does ‘diversity’ mean when we’re talking about educating children?

One person I rely on to teach me about the children, their families and their cultures – and the policies we need to give every child a powerful education, is Angela Valenzuela, whose blog consistently challenges our often limited vision for our schools and our teaching.   

A recent post on her blog, Educational Equity, Policy and Politics in Texas, shows the need to look behind the official “diversity” categories if we want to understand our students, their families and the ways they experience school.  Most recently, Valenzuela highlights important findings on the languages spoken by people in our country officially designated as “Hispanic.”  “English Proficiency on the Rise Among Latinos,” a report by the Pew Research Center on Hispanic Trends, shows that even the languages we speak, and use on a daily basis, can’t be automatically assumed by typical demographic designations such as age, educational attainment, or country of birth.  

I highly recommend the full report to anyone working in our schools or setting the policies that shape them.  These are just two of the interesting findings from their analysis of 35 years of Latinos in the US:

  • "As of 2013, 73% of Hispanics spoke Spanish at home, a share little changed since 1980 (75%), but down from its peak of 78% in 2000. Nonetheless, the number of Hispanics who speak Spanish at home continues to grow, as the Hispanic population continues to grow."

  • "Fully 95% of foreign-born Hispanics spoke Spanish at home in 2013....But among the U.S. born, this share has declined from 67% in 1980 to 60% in 2013." 

And of course I highly recommend Angela Valenzuela’s blog, always insightful and informative.

1 comment:

Craig Cunningham said...

Linda: Angela Valenzuela mentioned your blog on Facebook. Everyone is thrilled you're doing this. But some are asking: what isn't she on Facebook? :-)