Immigrants and Education: Evidence from New York City

Immigrants and Education: Evidence from New York City
in Milano Review, Howard Berliner, ed., V.4, pp. 7-16.

Schwartz, A.E. & Gershberg, A.I.

In many urban areas in the United States, immigrant children and the children of immigrants are transforming local schools. Immigrant children face - and pose - significant challenges to these schools, challenges that are in many ways greater than those of earlier waves of immigrants. There is, however, relatively little existing research investigating the ways urban public school systems treat and are influenced by the increasing numbers of immigrant children. Using an extraordinarily rich, student-level panel data set covering all 850 of New York City's elementary and middle schools for 5 years, linked to institutional information on the schools themselves, we study the experience of one large urban school system. Given the extraordinary size and diversity of the immigrant population in New York City, we can consider separately subgroups of immigrants whose experiences in and impacts on urban schools systems are likely to differ greatly. This is particularly important for drawing lessons for other urban areas that face flows of immigrants from specific countries of origin.

Our project contains a cross-sectional and a time series component. To start, we examine the characteristics of the schools and districts attended by New York City's immigrant children, including the extent to which the teachers and resources of different groups of immigrant children differ from each other and from the typical native-born student. We examine the degree to which they are segregated within the city's districts and schools - and investigate the extent to which segregation differs between elementary and middle schools. This is particularly interesting because of the strong link between elementary school choice and residential location and the weaker link (and greater degree of choice) at the middle school level.

We will also focus on the "receiving" schools from the perspective of the native-born students, particularly minority and poorer students. While the presence of recent immigrants brings some supplemental federal funding, and additional resources are typically directed at students with Limited English Proficiency, the net resource impact on the schools and their students is poorly understood.

In the second component of our project (exploiting the time-series nature of our data) we will examine changes in school composition over time. Do specific characteristics drive patterns of change? At the school level, we will assess whether and how the presence of native-born students changes in response to changes in the share of students who are immigrants, children of immigrants, and those with limited English proficiency. By tracking the movement of children from one school to another, we can investigate the characteristics of the origin and destination schools (such as population composition and school resources) that appear to affect mobility and identify groups most sensitive to these factors. Are urban school districts in high immigrant areas likely to suffer from more middle-class flight? To what extent does the response depend upon the socioeconomic characteristics of the immigrants - their race, ethnicity, language proficiency, and/or country of origin? This second piece moves beyond a cross-sectional assessment of the resource allocations and impacts associated with immigration, to suggest how these impacts will change over time for other urban districts receiving immigrant children and, perhaps, the issues and problems that policymakers to consider in formulation policy responses.

What Frontline CBO Staff Can Tell Us About Culturally Anchored Theories of Change in HIV Prevention for Asian/Pacific Islanders

What Frontline CBO Staff Can Tell Us About Culturally Anchored Theories of Change in HIV Prevention for Asian/Pacific Islanders
American Journal of Community Psychology,Volume 32, pp. 143-158.

Yoshikawa, H., Wilson, P.A., Hsueh, J., Rosman, E.A., Kim, J. & Chin, J..

Few rigorously tested primary prevention programs have been developed to prevent HIV infection among immigrant communities in the United States. This is in part because of the lack of culturally specific behavioral theories that can inform HIV prevention for immigrant communities in the United States. This article aims to develop such theories for a population—Asian/Pacific Islanders (A/PIs) immigrant communities—who have been overlooked in theory development and program evaluation. Frontline community-based organization (CBO) peer educators, an underutilized source of expertise regarding cultural factors specific to HIV infection among A/PI communities, are the sample of study Asian/Pacific Islander peer educators working at an urban AIDS service organization devoted to health promotion for this population; (N=35). They were interviewed to examine (1) detailed narratives describing instances of behavior change and (2) culturally anchored theories of behavior change which the narratives imply. Theories of the influence of positive cultural symbols on the taboo of HIV/AIDS, moderators of the effectiveness of social network influences on behavior change, and setting- and community-level processes predicting HIV risk behavior were implicit in the peer educators' narratives. Implications for future research, methodology and prevention practice are discussed

Immigrant Children and Urban Schools: Evidence from New York City on Segregation and its Consequences for Schooling

Immigrant Children and Urban Schools: Evidence from New York City on Segregation and its Consequences for Schooling
Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs,

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L.

Immigrant children represent a large and growing proportion of school children in the United States, especially in urban areas. An estimated 10.4 percent of the U.S. population is now foreign-born (the highest percentage since 1930); and in central cities, the proportion has risen to 16 percent (Lollock 2001; Schmidley and Gibson 1997). Yet we know surprisingly little about the experience or isolation levels of foreign-born students. While there is considerable research on the degree to which racial minorities are isolated in U.S. schools and on the disturbing consequences of this segregation, there is no parallel research concerning immigrants.
The goal of this paper is to begin to examine this issue, looking at evidence from New York City. In particular, we address two main questions. First, how segregated are immigrant students in New York's schools and how does that segregation vary across groups with differing language skills and from different regions of the world? Second, to the extent we do see segregation, how different are the schools attended by immigrant children (either overall or from particular regions) in terms of student characteristics, teachers, and funding levels?
New York City is an especially apt place to study immigrant students because the city's public schools educate so many immigrants, from such a broad range of countries (over 200), speaking a great diversity of languages (over 120). In addition, we have been able to assemble an extraordinarily detailed data set, which allows us to exploit the richness that New York City's student body provides.
The paper is organized as follows. In the first section we review the literature on school segregation and explore the ways in which segregation might affect immigrant students. In section two we describe our data and provide a brief statistical portrait of immigrant students in New York City. In section three, we lay out the methods and hypotheses to be explored in this paper, while in section four we present our analysis of segregation of immigrant students. Section five concludes.

The New York Urban League Survey: Black New York-On Edge, but Optimistic

The New York Urban League Survey: Black New York-On Edge, but Optimistic
State of Black America (National Urban League).

Stafford, W.W.

In the waning decades of the 20 century, New York City was transformed from a magnet for U.S.- and Caribbean-born blacks to the center of the Diaspora of people of African descent. From Ethiopia to Panama, from Ghana to Brazil, immigrants of African descent streamed into the city's neighborhoods, enriching black culture with their languages and religions, and extending the range of black political interests.

A New White Flight? The Dynamics of Neighborhood Change in the 1980s

A New White Flight? The Dynamics of Neighborhood Change in the 1980s
in Nancy Foner, Ruben G. Rumbaut, and Steven J. Gold, eds., Immigration Research for a New Century: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. New York City: Russell Sage Foundation, pp. 423-441.

Ellen, I.G.

The rapid rise in immigration over the past few decades has transformed the American social landscape, while the need to understand its impact on society has led to a burgeoning research literature. Predominantly non-European and of varied cultural, social, and economic backgrounds, the new immigrants present analytic challenges that cannot be wholly met by traditional immigration studies. Immigration Research for a New Century demonstrate show sociology, anthropology, history, political science, economics, and other disciplines intersect to answer questions about today's immigrants. In Part I, leading scholars examine the emergence of an interdisciplinary body of work that incorporates such topics as the social construction of race, the importance of ethnic self-help and economic niches, the influence of migrant-homeland ties, and the types of solidarity and conflict found among migrant populations. The authors also explore the social and national origins of immigration scholars themselves, many of whom came of age in an era of civil rights and ethnic reaffirmation, and may also be immigrants or children of immigrants. Together these essays demonstrate how social change, new patterns of immigration, and the scholars' personal backgrounds have altered the scope and emphases of the research literature,allowing scholars to ask new questions and to see old problems in new ways. Part II contains the work of a new generation of immigrant scholars, reflecting the scope of a field bolstered by different disciplinary styles. These essays explore the complex variety of the immigrant experience, ranging from itinerant farmworkers to Silicon Valley engineers. The demands of the American labor force, ethnic, racial, and gender stereotyping, and state regulation are all shown to play important roles in the economic adaptation of immigrants. The ways in which immigrants participate politically, their relationships among themselves, their attitudes toward naturalization and citizenship, and their own sense of cultural identity are also addressed. Immigration Research for a New Century examines the complex effects that immigration has had not only on American society but on scholarship itself, and offers the fresh insights of a new generation of immigration researchers.


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