According to the latest census data, 9,000 teachers left Puerto Rico for the mainland in 2014. Cuts in education have consolidated classes, schools, and left many teachers unemployed, forcing to find work in places like Texas and Florida. While the job opportunities in the U.S. are good for the teachers, the mass exodus from Puerto Rico is having a severe impact on the island’s educational infrastructure.
Featured image: Dr. Manuel de la Pila Iglesias High School in Ponce, Puerto Rico (Roca Ruiz/Wikimedia Commons)
Close to half the kids in America’s public schools are students of color. But the overwhelming majority of teachers are white. In Philadelphia, educators at John B. Stetson Charter School are trying to take culturally relevant approach to their classrooms as a way to form bridges.
Reporter Yowei Shaw went to Stetson to find out what kind of impact this approach is having on students of color.
This story comes from Raise Up, a project of Youth Speaks, in collaboration with the Association of Independents in Radio, with funding by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of American Graduate.
Photo via John B. Stetson school site
High school is tough enough as it is, but immigrant children who arrive in the U.S often speak little to no English and are thrown into an educational system completely different to them. Many slip between the cracks in schools that can’t give them the support they need. However, one group of schools in New York City takes a different approach. Instead of seeing these kids as outsiders, it has a teaching model based on the very diversity they bring. Golda Arthur visited the International High School at Lafayette in Brooklyn to find out how kinds from a variety of geographic and linguistic backgrounds are getting by.
Photo screen grab via YouTube
History is repeating itself: schools are becoming more segregated across the country as the population has moved back into cities. The anniversary of Brown v Board of Education provides an opportunity for reflection on the history of Latino segregation in schools. It’s also a chance to look more closely at what’s happening in one Brooklyn school, which is fighting to maintain diversity.
Camilo Vargas went from his native Colombia to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He joined Latino USA after a fellowship with Univision Noticias and Univision’s Investigative Unit. Before coming to the US, Camilo was a researcher in conflict studies and US-Latin America relations for the Colombian government and the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota. He’s reported on the drug war, national politics, and same-sex salsa.
A.C. Valdez is Latino USA’s Senior Producer. A.C. Valdez comes to Latino USA by way of public radio shows like America Abroad, The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU-FM’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and Tell Me More. He’s worked with reporters from around the world, coordinated performances with groups like The Noisettes, and done in-depth work on the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan. A native of Washington, D.C., A.C. Is a graduate of Emerson College.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
National estimates say that fewer than 70 percent of Latinos and African Americans graduate high school. In Austin, Texas, there’s a charter school dedicated solely to teaching dropouts and helping them graduate. But the state says the school doesn’t meet academic and financial standards. The school, American Youthworks, is at risk of getting shut down.
Joy Diaz has been a reporter with KUT on and off since 2005. Since joining KUT, Joy has covered education, healthcare and immigration. She is now the station’s city reporter. Originally from Mexico, Joy moved to the U.S. in 1998 when her husband Luis was transferred from his job in Mexico City to train workers in a telecommunications plant in Virginia. While there, Joy worked for Roanoke’s NPR station WVTF.
Photo by Joy Diaz
Black and Latino kids perform significantly less well in school than their white counterparts. The factors for this so-called achievement gap are well documented: failing schools, crime-ridden neighborhoods, unequal resources and limited social capital. But despite this research, some advocates say American schools are perpetuating traditional patterns of poverty and inequality. Latino USA guest host Claudio Sanchez talks to researchers Claudia Galindo and Pedro Noguera about community involvement, cultural misunderstandings, and how stereotypes hold children back.
Claudia Galindo is an Associate Professor in the Language, Literacy, and Culture Ph.D. Program and Affiliate Associate Professor of Gender and Women Studies at UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland, US. Her research focuses on educational inequality and the social context of education
Pedro Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. Dr. Noguera is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
During the 1960s, East Los Angeles became the center of the Chicano Movement, or Movimiento, the Mexican-American civil rights struggle. Thousands of Chicanos marched in protests, won reforms and changed America forever. But two generations later, that history is being forgotten. California schools don’t teach it and many immigrant parents don’t know it. A group of Chicano artists is trying to bring that history back to life by bringing a special theater program to an East L.A. school for youth at risk.
Valerie Hamilton is an independent producer. She reports on issues on and around the U.S-Mexico border for U.S. and European public media. She’s based in Los Angeles.
Time out in Peck Middle School in New England happens in the Puerto Rican rainforest. For years now, Gerardo Munoz, one of the Puerto Ricans that make up half of the population of Holyoke, Massachusetts, has grown an indoor plant garden with seeds from la isla’s vegetation. He calls it “El Yunque” after Puerto Rico’s national park. Muñoz is a school outreach worker at Peck, and El Yunque is the legacy he wants to leave to the teachers and students of his school. In this piece, Karen Brown goes to El Yunque, where teachers and students go to find the peace and warmth of the Puerto Rican jungle.
Karen Brown is a reporter at New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts, and a freelance print and radio contributor for The Boston Globe, NPR, Harvard Public Health Magazine, and other outlets. She was a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT and is currently a fellow with the Association of Health Care Journalists. She tends to report on health, mental health, and social issues.
Photo courtesy of Karen Brown
For many students, summertime means graduation time. Getting into college is already a task on its own. But what about getting a job? We hear from three Latino graduates from Missouri and North Carolina about what it meant to finish college and about their transition from the school gates to the brave new world.
Photo courtesy of Flickr/My Standard Break From Life.
When Sergio entered the University of North Carolina in 2006, there were only one or two other students there besides him who were undocumented, and he was careful to keep quiet about his status. Many of his friends and relatives had told him not to bother trying to go to college and to just get a job at Burger King or MacDonald’s, but Sergio didn’t listen to them. With the help of a full scholarship, he graduated in 2011 with a degree in English. He’s been working in the restaurant business since then. But when his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals permit comes through, he hopes to work in education or a related profession.
Georgina Leal graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Anthropology and Latin American/Latino studies. She is currently completing a year of service with the Vincentian Mission Corps in St. Louis, and hopes to pursue a PhD in socio-cultural Anthropology.
Jayson came to the U.S. from Guatemala with his family eight years ago. With scholarship money, he became the first in his family to go to college, graduating from the University of Richmond in 2012 with a degree in business administration. Because he’s undocumented, Jayson couldn’t get a job in his field and spent the last year painting houses. But once he gained a legal presence in the US through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Jayson got several job offers and accepted one in hospital administration. He and his partner are expecting their first child this summer.
We often hear about Latinos being underrepresented in college campuses when compared to other ethnicities. A recent report, however, shows that for the first time, there are more Latino high school graduates entering college than whites. But what about finishing college? For an overview on new and old trends, María Hinojosa speaks with Richard Fry, senior research associate at the Pew Research Hispanic Center.
Photo courtesy of Flickr/always.amym.
Richard Fry is a senior economist at the Pew Research Hispanic Center. He is an expert on school and college enrollment in the United States, as well as the returns to education in the labor market, marriage market, and its connection to household economic well-being such as net worth. Before joining the Pew Research Center in 2002, he was a senior economist at the Educational Testing Service (ETS).