Education levels rise for immigrants' kids

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat Sep 10 15:21:53 UTC 2005

>>From the San Jose Mercury,  Posted on Fri, Sep. 09, 2005

Education levels rise for immigrants' kids


By Jessie Mangaliman Mercury News

The children and grandchildren of California's immigrants are achieving
higher levels of education than their parents and grandparents, according
to a study released Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California.
``The main finding is a clear, positive message,'' said Deborah Reed, a
PPIC economist and one of the study's authors. ``It says that immigrants
are making strong progress from grandparents to parents to

About 86 percent of second-generation children of immigrants earned high
school diplomas, compared with 25 percent among their parents, the study
said. From the first to the second generation, college completion rates
rose to 12 percent from 3 percent. But compared with other population and
immigrant groups, third generation Mexican-Americans have low college
graduation rates, 11 percent, compared with 38 percent among whites and 46
percent among East and South Asians.

``When you think about what happens from the first to the second
generation, that's the story of the future of California,'' Reed said.
``This matters because education is key to opportunity and progress.''
Using data from the 2000 U.S. census and the Current Population Survey,
the study found that more than half of California's young people -- the
PPIC study defines this group as ages 13-24 -- are first or second
generation, with at least one foreign-born parent. In this demographic
group, more than two out of five are Latino youths.

Reed said the low graduation rate among third-generation Mexican-Americans
raises policy concerns.

``They're not going to be prepared for the jobs of the future,'' she said.
``It's an issue for the state, it's an issue for them.''

San Jose's Almaden Elementary School Principal Miguel Montes said the
educational attainment improvements from one generation to the next are no
surprise. But among young children of immigrants he sees -- many of whom
are learning English as a second language -- language development is the
biggest challenge. San Jose does better than most districts in the state
in emphasizing classes in language development, Montes said, but
``obviously we can do more,'' across California.

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list