Immigrant Kids Getting Alienated in School
Survey reveals bleak outlook for young newcomers: Marcelo and Carola Suárez-Orozco
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 23, 2013 1:31 PM CDT
The US needs to do more to reach out to immigrant children, two educators write.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Last week's Boston bombings underscore a pressing need in the US: It's time to step up our efforts to reach out to immigrant children, two education experts write in the New York Times. Their five-year study of kids ages 9 to 14 in Boston- and San Francisco-area public schools offers a stark picture of the children's experience. Just 3% of kids could identify a teacher who was "proud of them," write Marcelo and Carola Suárez-Orozco, and only 6% could name a teacher they'd talk to about a problem.

Some 65% used negative words to describe what Americans thought of people from their countries. "Most Americans think we are lazy, gangsters, drug addicts, that only come to take their jobs away," said a 14-year-old. More than a third of children said they rarely spoke to American-born kids. "Whatever motivated the Tsarnaev brothers surely is not the fault of the schools and may never be known," the experts write. But "taking in what Emma Lazarus called the 'wretched refuse' without providing a scaffold of support undermines the promise of America." Click for the full column.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Immigrant Kids Getting Alienated in School is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 28 comments
Apr 24, 2013 10:09 AM CDT
When my son was 4 years old I brought him to an inner city courtyard in Jakarta Indonesia. He didn't look like the kids in this courtyard, and he didn't speak Indonesian. The kids all surrounded him in a circle, then they sat down, and then they all pushed their toys towards him as a way of saying "We accept you into our group, please play with us" and for the next two hours they all played together. Blaming lower paid immigrants who keep our agriculture industry alive and take care of our grandparents for minimum wage, for all of our ills is the kind of thing you would expect from 1930's Germany, not America. And our practice of trying to throw out immigrants who get degrees at places like MIT and Stanford is really dumb. These are the people who will start the next Intel, the next Microsoft, the next Apple. We need them here. The United States is a nation of immigrants and immigrants who came here advanced science more in a couple hundred years than the rest of the world did in the previous 2,000 years. We came here on scurvy filled boats without knowing we were going and flew back to meet our relatives on 747's with lights to read our newspaper, drinking chilled wine and with headphones listening to jazz, after we invented the airplane, electric light, refrigeration, headphones and jazz. Yes, immigrants do use up services in hospital ER's and their children use up money in schools, but, most illegal immigrants pay taxes by using fake green cards and contrary to popular belief very few attempt to vote, or obtain services reserved for citizens. They contribute a far greater amount to America than they take out. Something Malaysia discovered when they threw out all their illegals and their economy went into free-fall and they had to beg them to come back. As for legal immigrants, I am a software engineer and work with dozens of people from India here on H1B visas, and the one thing I know is that many of these people are smarter than me, and if we don't let them live here, they are going to be offering to do the exact same type of work as me, but from India instead of here, and for $15 an hour. And they won't be buying cars here, going to restaurants here, purchasing a home here, paying rent here, etc.
Apr 24, 2013 2:40 AM CDT
You know, this sounds like a really interesting story and there is probably a lot of truth to the concept of immigrant kids being alienated. But I resent the New York Times' attempt to politicize and sensationalize this study by trying to link it to recent news events. It makes it sound like they're excusing the attack, which is not helpful to immigrant children or ANYONE.
Apr 23, 2013 9:04 PM CDT
Looks like most here are in agreement that our useless government is to blame yet we do nothing to let them know. I just moved from San Diego. The gov has planted over 7000 iraqi refugees there. Ever go thru the MN airport? Nothing but Somalian workers. I know plenty of Americans that would like those jobs. It is all about getting the vote and trying to make the world think the US gov actually cares about people in need. Tell that to the homeless living in the streets.