ILLEGAL immigrants pay In-State Tuition in California

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2010
ILLEGAL immigrants pay In-State Tuition in California
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Tue, 11-16-2010 - 3:53pm
California court rules illegal immigrants can pay in-state tuition

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2010
"Those students that are identified as excelling or mastering the material at an acceptable level loose out on the chance to be further challenged and while they may be solidifying their knowledge on a subject matter by teaching it to their peer(s), they aren't learning anything more to meet their needs and abilities."

I agree that the teacher needs to spend time with the students who aren't doing as well as the rest, particularly since test scores have become more and more important, for the school and for the teacher (and that'll only get worse if you want to tie teacher pay to test scores). That happens in any classroom, not just classrooms with ESL kids. I just had a conference with my child's teacher. There are no ESL kids in her classroom. My DD is the most advanced in the class. The teacher was worried that she isn't meeting DD's needs because of the kids who need more help (and there are a lot of them...I know because I helped assess them). Good thing DD has me and DH to keep her challenged at home, and the teacher is doing her best.
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Registered: 11-11-2010

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2010
"My daughter is in the "gifted" program at our school. It's 1 hour once a week! That's it. Whooptee doo. "

Yep, I hear you on that.

Unfortunately, it's been this way for a very long time. Even when I started school almost 40 years ago and all through my school years, the average to lower level kids were the focus...and there weren't any "gifted" programs then. At least in high school, they had/have the honors courses, but that's waiting a very long time for a kid who wants/needs to be challenged. I'm just glad I had the parents I had and the curiosity/drive to learn on my own.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
That may be true, but I've seen a big disparity when it comes to the classes with the ESL students. And certainly test scores are important, especially when your ESL group reaches the magic number that impacts a schools AYP. I can only speak for my personal experience, but immigrants, and that includes illegal immigrants, they tend to live in same neighborhoods. They don't speak English, so they are going where there is a community for them, where there are businesses that speak their language and have grocery stores that carry common and familiar food items for them. The result of that is that a particular school in a community is impacted by that ESL population. That is what has happened here.
I guess there is always a different view when you are the teacher vs. the parent. As you have pointed out, you are able to see the disparity when a teacher needs to provide more time to struggling students when it's in your DD's class, even with no ESL students, yet you didn't see it when you are that ESL teacher.

Does your school have advanced classes? Ours does, unfortunately, the budget has been reduced for advanced kids in the wake of an increased need for the ESL students. In our school ALL teachers were required to start their National Board certification if they wanted to remain at that school. The school district paid the cost. That's money taken from other programs to pay for EVERY teacher in the school to start their certification. The reasons were clear and not hidden, we didn't make AYP, and we didn't make AYP b/c of one subset. ESL.
I honestly don't have a problem with having ESL kids in the classroom, and as I said, my kids did fine. Did they loose out some, yes. They could have been more challenged, and in one's child's case they could have been encouraged to do more than the minimum which he know thinks is completely acceptable and sets him above average. He's now learning, slowly that that minimum really wasn't above average. Not everyone that has kids in these types of classes are as fortunate as others to have a teacher parent at home. Did I try to challenge my kids, you bet I did. Some of my efforts were successful, some not so much. All were seen as negative by one child in particular b/c at school that child was told they were 'above and beyond', when they were really only doing 'above and beyond' kids that were really struggling. Just b/c he had good test scores didn't mean he was laying down the skills he would need when the material didn't come as easy to him.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2010

"As you have pointed out, you are able to see the disparity when a teacher needs to provide more time to struggling students when it's in your DD's class, even with no ESL students, yet you didn't see it when you are that ESL teacher. "

Struggling students are struggling students, whether they are ESL or not. That's my point. Thing is, in my DD's school, there are considerably more resources available to students than there were in the low income neighborhoods. Additionally, there are actually parent volunteers at DD's school, plenty of them, whereas there weren't ANY at the low income schools where I taught. At the beginning of the year, I'll be working with some other parents to provide intensive 1 on 1 for struggling kindergartners, trying to get them up to speed before they get left behind.

"Does your school have advanced classes? "

In the elementary schools, there are GATE (gifted and talented education) programs, available only for grades 3 through 5. It's a pull out program, only an hour or so a week. I'm not sure about middle school. I don't think there are advanced classes. There are honors classes and AP classes in high school.

"In our school ALL teachers were required to start their National Board certification if they wanted to remain at that school. The school district paid the cost."

Our district doesn't pay for that. Is there any research done that shows that national certification leads to better scores? We were encouraged to get our TESL endorsement based on the high ESL population. The thing is, those techniques work for all students, so it's a win-win in that regard. Unfortunately, that came out of my own pocket.

"The reasons were clear and not hidden, we didn't make AYP, and we didn't make AYP b/c of one subset. ESL."

That's my huge problem with NCLB. Based on research on language acquisition, those students aren't going to be passing those tests in the time frame set by NCLB. It just isn't going to happen and sets up students, teachers, and schools for failure.

"All were seen as negative by one child in particular b/c at school that child was told they were 'above and beyond', when they were really only doing 'above and beyond' kids that were really struggling. "

That's too bad. I think that teachers need to be mindful of that and still expect greatness from the higher level kids, not just letting them skate by and think they are geniuses just because they are handling the material in the classroom. I had a student one year who was bright. She was really lazy, though, as far as trying to go "above and beyond." We had a conference where her dad wanted my opinion on whether they should try to skip her ahead a grade. I discouraged that because, though she was bright, she wasn't putting forth any effort to learn more about anything that interested her. We talked about ways to engage her more and encourage some intellectual curiosity in her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009

Yep, struggling students are struggling students. However that wasn't the point, I believe you challenged the claim that ESL students

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2010
"However that wasn't the point, I believe you challenged the claim that ESL students take away resources form other kids. (Please correct me if I got this wrong.) "

I wanted to know what resources were taken away by ESL kids. In my view, they don't take any more resources than any of the other struggling students.

"Is your DD in one of these programs?"

She's not old enough, yet.

"Just as I see in the public school system now, it was people making decisions with no first hand knowledge but scoffed at the idea of actually including anyone that can provide the best insight to the problems and possible ways to address them."

That's the truth!

"I think a national certification can be better sold as helping all students. "

I'm not sure how this would help the students. It's been many years since I looked up obtaining national certification, but as I recall, it centered around the teacher providing lots of evidence of good teaching practices (portfolio, videos, etc.). I don't recall that any classes were required.

"They can say that this school, despite no AYP and overall test scores really only have a problem in one subgroup and teachers have national board cert."

Unfortunately, not making AYP still means a "failing" school despite all efforts.

"Now that he is in high school and has honors and AP classes available to him what I hear from the teachers is that he has the potential, he just needs to use it. Stop doing the minimum. I just want to scream b/c he's gotten the message for so many years that doing the minimum was completely acceptable. He thought I was the crazy, "never can satisfy her" one."

Thank you for the kind words. Teachers need to remember that at some point, kids stop looking at their parents as knowing the answers and think the teacher knows more. If the teacher is letting them get away with laziness and telling them how smart they are (without any effort on the kid's part), it's doing a grave disservice to the child.



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Registered: 11-27-2009

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Registered: 02-19-2008

"It is not done like this in ANY other country in the world. We spend all our money on kids who will always have lower IQ's. Then the bright kids get only mediocre at best education. My daughter is in the "gifted" program at our school. It's 1 hour once a week! That's it. Whooptee doo. The low kids? They get pulled every day to get special help."

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