Academic Trajectories of Newcomer Immigrant Students
This chapter reviews some findings from one of the signature social science studies of children of immigrants in the United States. It argues that immigration to America presents both challenges and opportunities that shape students' academic achievement. It identifies varying academic pathways of newcomer adolescent immigrant students over the course of a five-year longitudinal study. The findings are multifaceted and defy sound bites about the nexus between immigration and education: although some newcomer students performed at high or improving levels over time, others showed diminishing performance. It is a complex tale involving school characteristics (including school segregation, school poverty rate, and student perceptions of school violence), family characteristics (including maternal education, paternal employment, household structure, country of origin, and undocumented status), and individual characteristics (including academic English proficiency, academic engagement, psychological symptoms, gender, family separations, and number of school transitions).
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