The School Achievement of
Immigrant Children: 1900-1930
Michael R Olneck
Part 1 & 11
What I gather from this reading is labeling of immigrants started way back in the nineteen century even before the standardized test or IEP was implemented. This had to do with the time the child enter or began school which most of the time was later than native whites. This late entrance had such an impact on the school system playing a role in assimilating immigrants into the American culture that children were labeled or classified as retarded. What bothers me is that even after the educators can see evidence of students making normal progress as the native whites the labeling was still there making me feel that once you were labeled that’s it.
In the reading “The Children of Immigration in School” states, “Clearly a child’s educational experiences before coming to the United States will have a profound influence on his her transition to American Schools. We saw in the article “The School Achievement of Immigrant Children” how the Jewish transition yielded success when compares to the Italians. Their educational experiences were influence by cultural values and traditions. What they think about learning, schools and teachers, how they see public institutions in general, their belief in opportunity. “The conduct of Jewish education trained and reinforced habits of mind that stressed mental agility, close attention to the meaning of words and lively criticism”. They embraced America, and enthusiastically entrusted their children to its schools because they believe in American opportunity. “Children are told that “in America you can become almost anything you wish – a fireman, a policeman, a major, a congressman and that this “is a different land we are in now, a better country- the best country on earth. If you study hard you can make anything you want of yourself.
Someone says, “Attitude is everything”. It is obvious how the Jews parental attitudes like beliefs about opportunity, are tied up with attitudes about the future. Their attitude determines their altitude, it is not that they came to the United States better than any other immigrants but their approach to their new country was far different from that of other immigrants like the Italians mentioned in the study. This reading helps clear up the notion I had (been told) that the Jews came to the United States as wealthy educated immigrants and the government gives them all the support they need. There is definitely something I am taking from this reading that I can apply to my own life in terms of how I transition in the American Society.