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New poll shows Americans favor DREAM Act

Posted June 30th, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve — As much as the proponents of rounding up undocumented immigrants and sending them back across the border hate it, the majority of Americans have made it a point to publicly support one type of undocumented immigrant — the children.

We have seen that whenever a promising young student, who happens to be undocumented, is taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a good number of Americans decry the possible deportation of that student.

Time and time again, I’ve seen readers of Latina Lista, who are vocal critics that any sympathy or empathy be shown to undocumented immigrants, soften their stance when these young students are threatened.

Now, a new national bipartisan poll bears out those observations.

According to the poll commissioned by First Focus, a bipartisan child advocacy organization, 70 percent of Americans favor the DREAM Act.

That’s a 12 percent increase compared to a poll taken in 2004 when there was only 58 percent public support for the DREAM Act.

Over 1,000 people were randomly called by Opinion Research Corporation.

While the poll only asked two questions, the breakdown of respondents along party lines illustrates that 60 percent of polled Republicans want to see a DREAM Act passed.

A response like that gives hope to not only young DREAM Act students waiting for Congress to do something but should serve as an indicator to Democrats in Congress that immigration reform is not as dead an issue as their colleagues would like.

“The future success of our country lies in our ability to cultivate an educated workforce capable of competing in the global economy,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus. “We cannot afford to continue losing the talent of so many students who have already been educated in American schools. We strongly urge Congress to take action this year to pass the DREAM Act.”

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Undocumented students hunger strike ends

Posted June 29th, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve

Their hunger strike is over after 13 days, ended when one of them was hospitalized with heat stroke and exhaustion. But for the three young women who were encamped in Raleigh until Monday night, subsisting on water and sports drinks to call attention to their cause, the fight for immigration reform goes on. “We grew weaker, but our spirits grew stronger,” Rosario Lopez told 100 folks who attended a final fellowship gathering. “Let’s keep the dream alive.”

Continue here:

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Woodburn Independent asks: Have Small Schools Worked?

Posted June 14th, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve

When Woodburn High School split into four themed “Small Schools”, each with less than 400 students, nobody knew if the new system would help raise student achievement or not. Across the country, Small Schools have met with mixed results–some schools have done remarkably well while others have not noted any improvements.

After four years of Small Schools at Woodburn, the Woodburn Independent took a look back to see if the change worked. Comparing the results with the previous high school can be a little tricky, since we are comparing a single school to each of the four Small Schools and Success Academy, an alternative high school designed to catch students who are failing at a Small School. In addition, some of the methodology the state uses to measure student progress has changed.

However, comparing each Small School against itself over four years appears to show significant improvement in graduation rates, test scores, and subject proficiency. Teachers and administrators also report some unexpected positive side effects of the smaller communities, such as fewer fights, less bullying, and more student participation in clubs and government.

Read the entire article here:

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Q and A on New Republic Soccer Blog

Posted June 10th, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve

Seen The New Republic’s soccer blog, Goal Post? This thing started a week ago and it is already the best short-form soccer blog I’ve seen. Run by Franklin Foer (How Soccer Explains the World), Goal Post is intelligent, literary, and relevant not just to soccer fans. And I’m not saying that just because they called Boys “a great book.”

Jesse Zwick from Goal Post interviewed me about Boys late last week. The Q and A was posted today. You can see it here:

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Latino college graduation success

Posted June 1st, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve

Here’s an unusual story.  At Western Oregon University, a public four-year school in the Willamette Valley, Latinos are graduating at a higher rate than their white peers. What is WOU doing that other colleges are not? Check out the story at the Oregonian.

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Latino college attendance

Posted April 28th, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve

The Lubbock, Texas newspaper ran a story recently about how Hispanic students are preparing for college at a young age. A few misleading sentences were dropped into the article, suggesting that Hispanic college attendance rates are improving, while this rate has been stagnant. However, the article does identify one of the areas that has shown great promise recently–promoting college to preschoolers.

An ongoing experiment in changing family culture through education has been taking place at The Harlem Children’s Zone (run by fellow Beacon-Press author Geoffrey Canada). The Harlem Children’s Zone, or HCZ, is a non-profit agency that administers services in an almost 100-block area of New York, aimed at eliminating generational poverty.

One of HCZ’s more ground-breaking efforts is the Baby College, a nine-week parenting workshop for parents of children aged 0-3 years. While Baby College teaches new parents many tactics for properly caring for their children, it also encourages brain development from an early age through reading.

Studies have shown that a child’s vocabulary varies greatly depending on the parent’s income and education. Three year-old children from families on welfare know about 500 words, while children the same age, from professional families, know over 1,000. Not only does this have obvious effects on reading (and listening) comprehension levels when the child enters elementary school, reading also increases the child’s cognitive functioning.

The HCZ and Baby College are not aimed at Hispanic parents, but the lessons taken from HCZ need to be applied to communities in poverty around the nation. Raising educated children does not begin in high school, nor even in elementary school, but at birth.

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