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Dominican Students in NYC: Leadership for Academic Success

Dominican Students in NYC: Leadership for Academic Success

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Dominican Students in NYC: Leadership for Academic Success

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  1. Dominican Students in NYC: Leadership for Academic Success • Jocelyn Santana, Ph.D. JSantan3@schools.nyc.gov • Curriculum/Instruction/Compliance Specialist for English Language Learners, District 79, Alt. High Schools & Programs • Educator & Author JSantana2006

  2. OFFICE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSNEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Language Needs in New York City:Although more than 140,000 (~13%) of NYC’s students are current ELLs, more than 43% report speaking a language other than English at home. Source: BESIS and General Register, 2004-05, DIIT. JSantana2006

  3. OFFICE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSNEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Current ELLs by Language Group, 2004-05 Note: N=143,575 *Other: Represents approximately 148 other lower incident languages Language Diversity in New York City:Spanish speakers make up the majority of ELLs (67.8%). However, more than 160 languages are represented among the student population. JSantana2006 Source: BESIS Data, 2004-05

  4. More General Data • In 2000, there were 111,553 Dominican children enrolled in the NYC public school system or 10.4% of the school student body • -In 1999-2000, there were roughly 660,000 Elementary and Middle School students in NYC: 16% were immigrants; 43% were recent immigrants • -Elementary and Middle School students: Nineteen percent, 19%, of the foreign-born students were born in the Dominican Republic JSantana2006

  5. Nativity CompositionElementary & Middle Schools Students JSantana2006

  6. Immigrant Birth RegionsElementary, Middle School students JSantana2006

  7. Characteristics of NYC Elementary and Middle School Students, 1999 - 2000 JSantana2006

  8. Characteristics of Immigrants by Birth Region, 1999-2000 JSantana2006

  9. LEP by Birth RegionElementary & Middle School Students JSantana2006

  10. GeneralAcademic Performance Data • Lowest reading performance on reading test (Elementary, Middle) 1999-2000 • In NYC, the Dominican high school retention rates are substantially higher than for the overall Hispanic/Latino population and for women, they approach the average NYC high school retention rate • At CUNY as whole, there are more than 23, 000 students of Dominican descent now enrolled • In 2000, as per the US Census, close to 60% percent of all Dominicans born in the US with 25 years of age or older had received some college education JSantana2006

  11. Reading Test Scores by Birth Region JSantana2006

  12. Completion Outcomes by Race/Ethnicity JSantana2006

  13. Strengths • -Nationalism • -Richness of Dominican culture: Dominican Republic is the oldest existing nation of the New World • - Desire to improve their economic situation • -Eagerness to reconnect with loved ones • -Some knowledge of English and American culture • -Dreams JSantana2006

  14. Needs • -Mastery of English • -Familiarity with the American School Ways, ACW • -Mastery of American Cultural Literacy, MACL • - Appreciation/understanding of United States’ values as assets rather than deficits: Learning English and embracing American values do not constitute treason against our Dominican-ness • -Psychological and emotional support: cultural shock • -Economic opportunities to combat poverty • -Parental Advocacy: Creating home environments that support learning • -Combat myths of limitless wealth in the US • -Empowerment: legal and civic tools to fight against racism and discrimination • -Confront the effects of transnationalism on education and develop effective practices to minimize its impact JSantana2006

  15. Policy Recommendations JS I • Exchanges with Dominican educators: Association of Dominican American Supervisors and Administrators, ADASA • Mentoring, nurturing of future leaders of Dominican descent-First-hand language, cultural knowledge of the Dominican population • Involvement of the Dominican community in policy decision-making JSantana2006

  16. Policy Recommendations JS II • Newcomers’ Programs: Up the three years: ESL and Americanization; use of Spanish and Dominican cultural capital • ESL programs with a bicultural curricula that values Spanish and incorporates the study of languages • Engage second generation Dominicans to mentor and guide the newly arrived students • Exposure to the multicultural diversity of the US • Develop extracurricular programs/institutions to provide Spanish and Dominican Heritage instruction to support students’ bilingual, biliterate development. Dominican Heritage Academies • Teachers and administrators must know the native language/culture of the students they teach. JSantana2006

  17. Sources • Congers, Dylan, Schwartz, Amy Ellen & Stiefel, Leanna. “Who Are Our Students? A Statistical Portrait of Immigrants Students in New York City Elementary and Middle Schools.” The Taub Urban Research Center: New York University, 2003. • Hernandez, Hernandez & Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L. “Dominicans in the United States: A Socioeconomic Profile.” Dominican Research Monograms: The CUNY Dominican Institute, 2003 • Pita, Marianne D. & Utakis, Sharon. “Educational Policy for the Dominican Community.” Journal of Language, identity & Education. 2002, Vo. 1, No.4, Pages 317-328 • Santana, Jocelyn. Dominican Dream, American Reality (forthcoming) Book Surge, 2006 • Zahka, Jeffrey. “Dominican Immigrants Face Challenges in New York City Schools.” WorldPress.org April 30, 2006 JSantana2006