High school is tough for every kid, but when you don’t speak the same language as your peers, all the anxieties of young adulthood are amplified as your voice gets lost in the crowd. The Global Action Project brings us the story of Lobsang, a Tibetan immigrant who deals with bullying, language barriers and just plain awkwardness as a teen growing up in the city.
New York public schools are filled with kids like Lobsang, struggling to learn English and adjust to the social pressures of life on the social and economic margins of their city. A report by the New York Immigration Coalition shows that English Language Learners (ELL) have lagged far behind other students in academic performance and graduate rates:
Barely a quarter of ELL students in the New York City’s class of 2006 graduated high school– less than half the rate of English Proficient students. This represented a decrease of 9% from the 2005 four-year ELL graduation rate of 35.3%. Nearly half of ELL students drops out of school after seven years.
The lack of resources across the public education system means that students with special needs are often ignored, despite the state’s responsibility to ensure equity in educational standards and access. Read the rest of this entry →