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Enhancing EU Education Policy: Building a Framework to Help Young People of Migrant Background Succeed

November 28, 2014 Comments off

Enhancing EU Education Policy: Building a Framework to Help Young People of Migrant Background Succeed
Source: Migration Policy Institute

While many countries in Europe have high-quality, well-established education systems, socioeconomically disadvantaged communities across the continent suffer from inequality of access and lower-quality education. Children from these groups, including children with a migrant background—those who are immigrants themselves or have immigrant parents—tend to underperform in the classroom compared with their native peers. Children from a migrant background (defined here as from countries outside the European Union) have particular educational needs that mainstream education policy does not always meet, including overcoming language barriers and discrimination. Recognizing the importance of education in allowing countries to realize their potential, the European Commission has developed a series of goals in the form of the Education and Training Strategy (ET 2020) to help Member States reduce school dropout and increase rates of tertiary education completion.

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Developing School Capacity for Diversity

November 18, 2014 Comments off

Developing School Capacity for Diversity
Source: Migration Policy Institute

For children of migrant background, school quality is critical to ensuring academic success. Research shows that school quality has a greater impact on the education outcomes of migrant children compared to their peers of higher socioeconomic status or ethnic majority background. Therefore, any comprehensive strategy to improve the educational position of migrant children must work to improve the quality of schools themselves.

School quality, or professional capacity, encompasses the capacity of its teachers, administrators, and other staff. It can be measured by examining the content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and interpersonal skills of instructors; the level of responsibility administrators give teachers; and whether all staff work together in a cohesive, professional learning community. Schools with these communities, in which teachers work continuously to improve their teaching practices and learn from their colleagues, are more effective in encouraging student achievement in disadvantaged areas than are schools where teachers do little to reflect on their practices.

This policy brief uses the concept of professional capacity to frame SIRIUS’s recommendations regarding school quality. It identifies four key areas for improvement: language diversity, the learning environment, social psychology and acculturation, and community connections. To develop expertise in these areas, the brief outlines three strategies for policymakers: build professional learning communities that focus on diversity, build networks of expertise on diversity, and develop teacher training programs dedicated to diversity.

Rural America at a Glance, 2014 Edition

November 11, 2014 Comments off

Rural America at a Glance, 2014 Edition
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

This report highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, focusing on the U.S. rural economy, including employment, poverty, and population trends.

Children’s Coverage at a Crossroads: Progress Slows

November 6, 2014 Comments off

Children’s Coverage at a Crossroads: Progress Slows
Source: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute

In 2013, for the first time in recent history, the uninsured rate for children did not significantly decline from the previous year, remaining just above seven percent. Yet in the past five years, the number of uninsured children declined substantially from just under 6.9 million to just over 5.2 million in large part due to the success of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in covering children. Whether this promising five-year trend in children’s coverage continues, stalls, or reverses itself will be influenced by numerous factors and forthcoming policy decisions–including, most notably, whether or not Congress extends funding for CHIP in 2015.

World Bank: End of Boom Doesn’t Have to Mean a Bust for the Poor in Latin America

November 5, 2014 Comments off

World Bank: End of Boom Doesn’t Have to Mean a Bust for the Poor in Latin America
Source: World Bank

During the recent commodity boom, Latin America and the Caribbean proved that growth could be pro-poor and help fuel tremendous social progress. Now as growth slows regionally and beyond, it is critical to consider what will shore up economic activity while ensuring the poor won’t stay behind.

In its latest semiannual report, Inequality in a Lower Growth Latin America, the World Bank´s Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean forecasts an average 1.2 percent rate of growth for 2014 with a rebound to 2.2 percent in 2015. This deceleration comes with a difference.

“In terms of equity, the simple fact that Latin America today is not the Latin America of the 1980s or 1990s, is already a good news story,” said Augusto de la Torre, World Bank Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean. “For the first time in recent history, the region is no longer following a boom-bust cycle of the type that used to set the economy back for many years, hurting the poor the most.”

Survey of Income and Program Participation: Dynamics of Economic Well-Being 2009-2012 Detailed Tables

November 3, 2014 Comments off

Survey of Income and Program Participation: Dynamics of Economic Well-Being 2009-2012 Detailed Tables
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

This table package traces a sample of U.S. residents and examines how many of them were poor during at least some portion of the four-year period as well as how long their poverty spells lasted. It also looks at how many entered into poverty, how many exited and how many stayed poor during the entire period. The statistics — which come from the Survey of Income and Program Participation — are presented at the national level by various demographic and socio-economic characteristics.

Children of the Recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries

October 31, 2014 Comments off

Children of the Recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries
Source: United Nations

As the data in this new edition of the Innocenti Report Card series show, in the past five years, rising numbers of children and their families have experienced difficulty in satisfying their most basic material and educational needs. Most importantly, the Great Recession is about to trap a generation of educated and capable youth in a limbo of unmet expectations and lasting vulnerability. League Tables, the flagship tool of the Innocenti Report Card series, rank the change, since the onset of the crisis, in the poverty levels of children and the impact of the recession on youth. The Report also explores the effects of the recession on youth seeking to enter or remain in the labour force in the middle of a recession.

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