Education in the New Latino Diaspora
Policy and the Politics of IdentityBook - 2002
The authors describe a new demographic phenomenon: the settlement of Latino families in areas of the United States where previously there has been little Latino presence.This New Latino Diaspora places pressures on host communities, both to develop conceptualizations of Latino newcomers and to provide needed services.These pressures are particularly felt in schools; in some New Latino Diaspora locations the percentage of Latino students in local public schools has risen from zero to 30 or even 50 percent in less than a decade.Latino newcomers, of course, bring their own language and their own cultural conceptions of parenting, education, inter-ethnic relations and the like.
Through case studies of Latino Diaspora communities in Georgia, North Carolina, Maine, Colorado, Illinois, and Indiana, the eleven chapters in this volume describe what happens when host community conceptions of and policies toward newcomer Latinos meet Latinos' own conceptions. The chapters focus particularly on the processes of educational policy formation and implementation, processes through which host communities and newcomer Latinos struggle to define themselves and to meet the educational needs and opportunities brought by new Latino students.Most schools in the New Latino Diaspora are unsure about what to do with Latino children, and their emergent responses are alternately cruel, uninformed, contradictory, and inspirational.By describing how the challenges of accommodating the New Latino Diaspora are shared across many sites the authors hope to inspire others to develop more sensitive ways of serving Latino Diaspora children and families.