Migration Policy Institute
Serving Newcomer Immigrant and Refugee Students in Secondary Schools: Comparing U.S. and European Practices
Nora von Dewitz, Scientific Associate, Mercator-Institute for Literacy and Language Education, University of Cologne, Germany
Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger, Head of Migration and Education, Institute for Education and Psychology, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria
Julie Sugarman, Policy Analyst, MPI National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy
Christina Wong, Special Assistant to the Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District
Margie McHugh, Director, MPI National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy
Against the backdrop of the refugee crisis in Europe and the unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied minors entering U.S. schools in the last two years, this webinar considers the particular challenges facing educators and policymakers as they attempt to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee students who arrive during their middle and high school years. Providing these students with instructional, linguistic, and socioemotional supports is especially complex in the secondary grades, due to the rigor of the curriculum and the short timeframe available for students to prepare for postsecondary education and the workforce.
Drawing lessons from Europe and the United States, speakers explore some of the urgent challenges facing school system leaders and educators as they seek ways to support these students and improve graduation rates.
Placing a focus on challenges and solutions from both sides of the Atlantic, speakers discuss:
- Characteristics of immigrant and refugee students, including the specific needs of subgroups such as students with limited or interrupted formal education
- The implications of major design features of the educational systems that serve these students, including practices such as testing and identification of language learners, ability tracking into vocational or academic secondary schools, and approaches to balancing targeted services with social and academic integration into the mainstream
- Innovations in program design and instruction to provide linguistic and academic support to immigrant and refugee youth entering in their middle and high school years
This webinar draws on the proceedings of a transatlantic symposium organized by MPI in Brussels earlier this year focused on improving the quality of education provided to students with a migrant background in the secondary grades.