E.g., 09/25/2022
E.g., 09/25/2022
National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy

National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy

Image of two students in a classroom, one with a laptop
Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages

While the pandemic has given a boost to efforts to water down or limit end-of-year state assessments of students in K-12, this commentary notes the importance of testing to drive equity for the nation's 5 million English Learners and ensure that they are not overlooked or that resources and support services are misdirected from where they are needed.

Side view portrait of young man and two other students taking a test
iStock.com/SeventyFour

In addition to upending daily life in the classroom, the pandemic has affected how states administer annual assessments to their students—disrupting a key means of collecting data on new or growing learning gaps that demand attention. This report explores how states have approached testing English Learners during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what 2020-21 assessment data can and cannot tell us.

Parents and their young child at a naturalization service.
Kelsey Bell/U.S. National Archives

As the United States becomes more diverse, changes in the cultural makeup of communities can challenge longstanding practices in human services delivery. This brief explores strategies service providers can employ to build their understanding of and responsiveness to the cultures of the communities they serve, leading to better outcomes for immigrant and refugee families.

A woman and three children sit on a bench reading.
Knight Foundation

Language barriers can hinder immigrant families’ access to services and make it challenging for immigrant parents to find family-sustaining jobs and actively participate in their children’s education. This brief explores approaches service providers are using to make their offerings more culturally and linguistically responsive, and to support language learning among children and their parents.

A family with young children at a naturalization ceremony.
Alabastro Photography/Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

What status immigrants hold affects their access to U.S. public benefits and services. This brief examines approaches that two-generation programs are using to service immigrant families with a variety of statuses, including mixed-status families.

Parents and their children talk to another adult seated at a table at a Parents & Family Conference
Knight Foundation

Building trust between service providers and immigrant and refugee families can be challenging, but it is also a key component of programs that successfully serve these families. This brief explores two-generation program strategies for creating trusting relationships, including hiring culturally competent staff and creating welcoming and safe spaces, and discusses the policy implications.

Recent Activity

Educating English Learners during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Policy Ideas for States and School Districts
Policy Briefs
September 2020
By  Julie Sugarman and Melissa Lazarin
Immigration Enforcement and the Mental Health of Latino High School Students
Reports
September 2020
By  Randy Capps, Jodi Berger Cardoso, Kalina Brabeck, Michael Fix and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
Stethoscope sitting on a medical textbook
Fact Sheets
July 2020
By  Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix and Sarah Pierce
Native Language Assessments for K-12 English Learners: Policy Considerations and State Practices
Policy Briefs
June 2020
By  Julie Sugarman and Leslie Villegas

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Reports
February 2018
By  Maki Park, Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova
Coverthumb_ESSA DLLs ECEC Workforce
Policy Briefs
December 2017
By  Delia Pompa, Maki Park and Michael Fix
coverthumb DACA Recipients Work Education
Fact Sheets
November 2017
By  Jie Zong, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Jeanne Batalova, Julia Gelatt and Randy Capps
coverthumb_DLL FactSheet US FINAL
Fact Sheets
October 2017
By  Maki Park, Anna O’Toole and Caitlin Katsiaficas

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Preschool girl and boy hammering 35668258654_46de9bf058_z
Video, Audio
February 22, 2018

As the number and share of Dual Language Learners (DLLs) continues to grow across the United States, diversity within this population is also increasing. This webinar marks the release of a report providing analysis of the diversity within the DLL population nationwide and at the state and local levels. Speakers discuss data on the three rapidly growing subgroups within the DLL population: Black and Asian American and Pacific Islander DLLs and young children of refugees, and the implications for the early education and care field and K-12 education systems. 

FLICKR   RTLibrary
Video, Audio
November 2, 2017

Marking the release of an MPI report, this webinar explores some of the responses made by school districts to bring immigrant and refugee newcomer students up to speed in English and basic academic skills, all while focused on the educational system’s ultimate goal of high school completion with the skills necessary for today’s college and career demands. The discussion focuses on how schools create and expand systems around the identification of students’ immediate and ongoing academic and socioemotional needs, and how they design programs and curricular pathways to balance these needs with state policy constraints. 

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Video, Audio
October 12, 2017

Dual Language Learners (DLLs) now make up nearly one-third of all children ages 8 and under in the United States, and on this webinar, MPI analysts outline key findings from a national demographic and policy profile and series of state fact sheets highlighting characteristics of the growing DLL population and the policy context they encounter in state early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems. Panelist discuss the implications for the ECEC programs and systems that seek to provide equitable access and quality for DLLs, and highlight California's response to the growing population of DLLs in the ECEC system. 

Flickr Katelyn Brown and 3 ell students at Vaile rcs aprill 2014
Video, Audio
March 9, 2017

This discussion focuses on practices and options that states could adopt to hold schools accountable for English Learners’ achievement in the fairest and most accurate manner as part of the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. This webinar marks the release of a set of 13 state fact sheets, available on MPI's web page English Learners and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), that provide a sketch of EL demographics, student outcomes, and accountability mechanisms under ESSA and its predecessor.

2017.2.28 PHOTO Reducing Integration Barriers  photo from Upwardly Global
Video, Audio
February 28, 2017

Marking the release of a report on the barriers foreign-trained high-skilled immigrants face in the United States, this webinar examines programs and initiatives that assist with credential recognition, employment, and relicensure, as well as recent policy developments. Discussants review recommendations for community-based organizations, employers, and policymakers to expand successful efforts aimed at preventing brain waste. 

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
October 2020

Although proven effective in supporting young children and their caretakers, home visiting programs are less likely to see the enrollment of immigrant and refugee families. This brief looks at the strategies some states and counties are using to boost the equity and quality of their home visiting services for these at-risk families, from rethinking how they assess the needs of resident families, to involving communities in program design and service provision.

Video, Audio, Webinars
September 29, 2020

Practioners from California and Tennessee join MPI researchers in a discussion on key challenges to meeting English Learners’ needs during the pandemic and the policies and practices school systems will need to put in place to support them and their families through the public-health and education crisis, as well as when schooling returns to normal.

Policy Briefs
September 2020

The 2020–21 academic year is underway, but many U.S. schools, students, and families are still reeling from the rocky transition to remote learning that occurred months earlier, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. For English Learners and students in immigrant families, many of the challenges are magnified. This policy brief examines how schools’ pandemic response is affecting these students and offers recommendations to help schools and districts support them in this period of uncertainty.

Reports
September 2020

This study explores the relationship between immigration enforcement and the mental health of Latino high school students, finding that majorities surveyed in both high- and low-enforcement environments reported fear that someone close to them could be deported, with resulting symptoms of conditions such as depression and PTSD. The report provides examples of how schools are responding to support the mental health and engagement of these students.

Fact Sheets
July 2020

Across the United States, the skills of an estimated 263,000 immigrants and refugees with health-related degrees are going underutilized during a time of pandemic, with these health professionals either in low-skilled jobs or out of work. This fact sheet offers the first-ever state profiles of this population, including the states in which they live, the languages they speak, their fields of study, and legal statuses.

Video, Audio, Webinars
July 16, 2020

Marking the launch of a report on changed USCIS procedures that appear to be adding hurdles to the citizenship process, this discussion featuring a former USCIS Director also examines the effects that the pandemic-related shutdown and a possible furlough of two-thirds of USCIS staff could have on the ability of would-be Americans to take the oath of citizenship.

Video, Audio, Webinars
June 16, 2020

This webchat marks the release of a report examining the role native language assessments play in addressing equity concerns for English Learner (EL) students. The conversation offers participants an introduction to the key policy and practical considerations in the implementation of these assessments, particularly in a time of pandemic-induced disruptions for schools and looming budget cuts.

Policy Briefs
June 2020

With high stakes attached to standardized tests in U.S. education, it is critical that these assessments accurately capture what students know and can do in a subject. For English Learners, this may be a challenge if they cannot fully demonstrate in English what they have learned. Native language assessments are one promising tool for overcoming this hurdle, though questions about when and with whom they are most effective remain.

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