Wednesday, June 18, 2014

SF schools part of new study highlighting challenges facing California immigrant students

Two years after she emigrated from Jerusalem to the U.S., San Francisco resident Buthienah Taha made what would prove to be a significant decision for her family when her first son was born in 1981: her children's first language would be English.

Taha has five children, two of whom still attend schools in the San Francisco Unified School District.
"If you go to college, you have to learn to speak English, so the first language has to be English," Taha said of studying in both Jerusalem and the U.S.

While Taha's decision was important to her children's future, they were schooled by a district that happens to be a national leader in addressing the needs of immigrant students and students of immigrant parents.

Taha's children -- who were also raised speaking Arabic -- are among the more than half of California youths ages 16 to 26 who are immigrants or the children of immigrants, a number revealed in a first-of-its-kind report for the state released today by the Migration Policy Institute.

The study, "Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth," recommends decisions that could be made by policymakers and education leaders as California recovers from the economic crisis.

Read more at www.sfusd.edu

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