CAP AND NCLR REPORT EXAMINES LATINO AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER STUDENTS IN CHARTER SCHOOLS




September 01 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2010

Contact:
Megan Smith, CAP
(202) 741-6346

Elena Gaona, NCLR
(202) 785-1670


CAP AND NCLR REPORT EXAMINES LATINO AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER STUDENTS IN CHARTER SCHOOLS

Washington, DC—A joint report released today 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.

The Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition and school turnaround efforts have moved charter schools into the public spotlight. “These four charter schools show that it can be done—that charter and traditional schools that have a large Latino and ELL student population can meet high academic standards and excel,” said Cyndi Brown, Vice President for Education Policy at CAP. “As states revisit their charter laws in response to Race to the Top and school turnaround efforts, we encourage them to consider how their charter laws might further support what these schools are doing.”

“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

To read the full report, click here.

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The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just, and free America that ensures opportunity for all. They believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. They work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

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