Monday, March 20, 2017

Assimilation under threat as children of immigrants flood U.S. public schools

The Virginia neighborhood of Fairfax County ranks with parts of those other cities as having the highest percentage of children from immigrants in its public schools, with 78 percent of students coming from immigrant households, according to a report that the Center for Immigration Studies is releasing Thursday.

Across the country, some 23 percent of students in public schools come from immigrant households. That has more than doubled in the past 25 years, from just 11 percent in 1990. But their numbers are heavily concentrated in big cities.

Miami-Dade County in Florida has four areas where at least 80 percent of students are from immigrant-led homes. In one of those, a part of Hialeah City, a staggering 93 percent of students belong to immigrant households.

Los Angeles County has 13 regions where students from immigrant homes make up at least 75 percent of the school populations.
“Immigration really has dramatically increased the number of children in public schools,” said Steven A. Camarota, research director at the center, which advocates for stricter immigration limits. “The biggest issue for me is: Can the level of immigration be so high that it overwhelms the assimilation process?”

That has long been a question in the immigration debate, particularly in the Annandale region, which also includes Bailey’s Crossroads and Culmore.

President Clinton, launching his race initiative in 1997, highlighted the surrounding Fairfax County as a model for integration. He sent his race commission to Bailey’s Elementary School, in the heart of Culmore, to study diversity and integration.

At the time Mr. Clinton highlighted the region, Fairfax’s public school system was 64 percent white, 14 percent Asian, 11 percent black and 10 percent Hispanic. Twenty years later, whites are 40 percent of the student population, while Hispanics have more than doubled to 24 percent, Asians have risen to 19 percent and blacks have held nearly steady at 10 percent. Five percent identify as multiracial.

Over the past two decades, costs of the diversity have emerged.
Culmore and surrounding areas have long been a breeding ground for ethnic gangs, with MS-13 in particular using it as a foothold in the region.

Although not a one-to-one correlation, immigrant population serves as an indicator of some costly special circumstances, such as a higher percentage of students who are struggling to learn English.

In the Annandale region, 72 percent of students speak a foreign language at home, according to the report. Most of those are speaking Spanish, but a large number speak Vietnamese and nearly 10 percent speak Kru, a West African language. All told, 21 languages are spoken at immigrant homes in Annandale.

One Loudoun County, Virginia, region reported 23 languages spoken at homes, with Spanish, Vietnamese and Telegu topping the list.
The biggest polyglot nationally was part of Alameda County, California, which had 27 languages spoken at homes. Spanish, Korean and Chinese were the most common.

Mr. Camarota’s study suggests it’s not just immigrants who are speaking other languages at home. In parts of Texas, only half of the students are from immigrant-led homes, but as much as 90 percent of the households speak languages other than English at home.

The challenge for schools, Mr. Camarota said, is that even as the number of children of immigrants rises, the tax bases don’t grow as quickly because immigrant families tend to have lower incomes than native-born families.

He said that raises a number of policy questions, including whether the government should do a better job picking immigrants, should impose stricter limits on the number arriving or offer more assistance to school systems grappling with the challenge of assimilation.

“I’m not arguing we somehow not educate these kids. They make up almost a quarter of the kids in America. How these kids do is extremely important for the future of the country,” he said. “The question is: Does it make sense to keep adding to this population and creating new strains and challenges for schools? The debate over immigration — nobody even talks about that.”

Analysts say the surge of immigrants is a result of changes in U.S. policies dating back decades, which put a higher priority on family ties, created a random lottery to admit tens of thousands of people a year and largely turned the other eye on illegal immigration.

President Trump has suggested shifting the system to place a bigger priority on merit-based immigration, which could attract better-educated and wealthier immigrants.

Immigrant rights groups have bristled at that suggestion, saying a strength of the U.S. system is the ability to bring extended families.

After Mr. Trump mentioned his merit-based plans in his address to Congress last month, Greg Chen, advocacy director at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said it was “merely code to exclude those who seek to join family members in the United States.”

“There is a wealth of research proving that immigrants improve the economy through purchasing power and their participation in the labor force. Immigration is good for our economy and our nation,” he said.

Mr. Camarota’s data did not distinguish between families whose parents are in the U.S. legally versus those in the country without authorization. Under Supreme Court precedent, children are guaranteed a public education no matter what their status.
Most of the children in the study were born in the U.S. and are citizens, though their parents may be immigrants.

Mr. Camarota used the Census Bureau’s Public Use Microdata Areas, or PUMAs, for his analysis. Those comprise about six to 10 high schools per region. In some densely populated cities, a PUMA is about the size of a neighborhood, and there can be many PUMAs in a single city. In less-populated Western regions, a PUMA can cover an entire corner of a state.


Time to Say Goodbye to Michelle Obama's School Lunches

Easy come, easy go. Former First Lady Michelle Obama made much of her “Let’s Move” initiative to get kids to exercise and eat healthier. Part of that push was allegedly better food choices for school lunches. Now, we’ll be the first to say that kids should eat right and exercise. But Michelle’s nanny state was going about it all wrong, and the kids rebelled. As we reported in 2014, according to the School Nutrition Association, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that [Obama’s] new school meal standards will force local school districts and states to absorb $1.22 billion in new food, labor and administrative costs in Fiscal Year 2015 alone, up from $362 million in additional costs in FY 2014.”

Upon discovering that kids would rather dump their health “food” in the garbage than eat such swill, schools around the nation dropped the program. No use spending all that money and effort just to have the food end up in a landfill.

Now, the School Nutrition Association is recommending that Donald Trump dump the entire program in the landfill of failed Obama policies. “Overly prescriptive regulations have resulted in unintended consequences,” the SNA said, “including reduced student lunch participation, higher costs and food waste. Federal nutrition standards should be modified to help school menu planners manage these challenges and prepare nutritious meals that appeal to diverse student tastes.” Brief translation: Make school lunch great again.


Australian school standards drop as government pushes a politically correct program


PARENTS should be worried about the LGBTI Safe Schools gender and sexuality program being forced on government schools by Daniel Andrews' government.

Add the fact, as reported in The Australian recently, that vulnerable teenagers with intellectual disabilities enrolled in Victorian special schools are also being indoctrinated, and it's understandable why so many now call the program Un-Safe Schools.

Such was the furore last year about Safe Schools' indoctrinating of pupils with a Marxist-inspired curriculum, where gender is fluid and limitless and boys can be girls and girls can be boys, that the Commonwealth censored the program and cut its funding.

Not so in Victoria, where the uncensored version is being promoted. Education Minister James Merlino has said "Work is under way on expanding Safe Schools to all government schools by the end of 2018."

Supporters argue it is an anti-bullying program to make schools safer. Wrong.

Roz Ward, the Marxist academic responsible for its design, publicly admits its real purpose is to impose a radical, alternative view about gender and sexuality: "Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual diversity, not about stopping bullying." She says it's about "sexual diversity, about same-sex attraction, about being transgender, about being lesbian, gay, bisexual - say the words transgender, intersex".

While the government severed ties with Ward and La Trobe University's Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society late last year, the Safe Schools material is still guilty of advocating an extreme, cultural-Left view of gender and sexuality.

Notwithstanding that about 98 per cent of Australians identify as heterosexual and are comfortable being men and women, one of the resources, OMG I'M Queer, tells pupils that "sexuality can't really be defined". It is stated that "sexuality is fluid, and changes over time" and "Looking at sexuality as something that's fluid and always changing is pretty cool".

According to Safe Schools, "what you label yourself is up to you" as "common definitions of sexuality, gender and sex are often limited" and because gender and sexuality "exist on a spectrum rather than absolute binaries".

Ignored (as argued by the American College of Pediatricians, and with very rare exceptions) is that we are all born with either XY or XX chromosomes, and "Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species".

Even though most children are happy being boys or girls, the Safe Schools material argues "Gender isn't quite as simple as whether you're `male' or `female'. Everyone has their own gender identity in relation to masculinity or femininity". Victoria's version of Safe Schools also repeats the misleading statistics used by the LGBTI lobby when justifying the need for government funding and positive discrimination.

The All of Us booklet tells pupils 10 per cent of people are same-sex-attracted. Ignored is one of the largest Australian surveys, by Anthony Smith and Paul Badcock, Sexual identity and practices, that concludes only 1.6 per cent of men identify as gay and 0.8 per cent of women as lesbian.

On reading the Safe Schools material on the Victorian Department of Education and Training's website, parents are left in no doubt that Safe Schools is more about LGBTI advocacy than stopping bullying. Schools are told that language should be gender-neutral and, as a result, "Phrases like `ladies and gentlemen' or `boys and girls' should be avoided".

Schools are also told they should ensure, regardless of whether pupils are male and female, that they should be able to use "the toilets, changing rooms, showers and swimming facilities based on the student's gender identity and the facilities they feel most comfortable with".

Safe Schools is not the only alternative, cultural-Left program. The Respectful Relationships material is also one-sided and biased. Even though the Victorian royal commission concluded that 25 per cent of family violence involves men as victims, the Respectful Relationships program implies it's only women who are at risk. Boys and men are portrayed as misogynist and violent.

Once again gender is presented as a social construct that is impossible to define because whatever gender you are is "determined by what an individual feels and does and how individuals understand their identities including being a man, women, transgender, gender queer and many other gender positions".

But at the same time the government is forcing a politically correct gender and sexuality program on government schools, we are going backwards in international literacy and numeracy tests; we are now ranked 24th in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. So much for the basics.


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