Panel: Immigrants, Migrants and Schooling: International Perspectives
(Population and Migration Issues)

Friday, November 7, 2014: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Laguna (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Sanders Korenman, Baruch College
Panel Chairs:  Emma Garcia, Economic Policy Institute
Discussants:  Jennifer Glick, Arizona State University

Immigrants in Public Education: A Closer Look at Cross-Generational Differences
Umut Ozek, American Institutes for Research and David Figlio, Northwestern University

Native-Immigrant Gaps in Educational and School-to-Work Transitions in Flanders: The Role of Gender and Ethnicity
Frank Heiland1, Sanders Korenman1 and Stijn Baert2, (1)Baruch College, (2)Ghent University

Currently, vigorous debates are underway on immigration policy world-wide, affecting countries throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The rise in global mobility, economic/social inequality, and labor and public finance needs associated with aging populations in higher-income countries have focused attention on immigrant populations and migration opportunities. Families, not just sole labor force sojourners, are responding to global economic and demographic forces. As a consequence, schooling systems in sending and receiving countries and regions face new challenges. Schools in sending areas are challenged with the aftermath of out-migration of parents and the reality of children being left-behind. Schools must develop support systems and programs to protect the well-being and advancement of these children. The paper by Myerson provides insights by examining the unique challenges of migrant children left-behind in China, and the incentives and consequences of the interactions of migration policy and education policy. Myerson specifically analyzes the effects of three policy proposals under discussion: increases in government services for rural non-migrants, training of rural caregivers, and increases in government services for rural migrants. Preliminary analyses suggest that raising governmental support for migrant children in urban areas is a promising direction for reform. Schools in receiving countries are faced with the challenges of integrating newcomers with diverse backgrounds, needs, and resources. Educational systems are counted upon to promote economic mobility as they provide opportunities to assimilate into the national culture and to acquire skills needed for labor market advancement. Yet, educational systems are often criticized for exacerbating inequality and hindering assimilation for some immigrants. Educating a linguistically, economically, and socially diverse population with varying schooling, labor market and demographic (marital, fertility) expectations entails significant challenges for schools. Policy areas include grade-level placement of child immigrants and support and retention polices for parenting students. The panelís papers consider these challenges and provide examples and analyses of diverse social and policy environments in the US (nationally and in Florida), China and Belgium (Flanders). Figlio and Ozek examine rich longitudinal data from Florida that allows them to identify sources of differences between natives and first and second generation immigrants in a number of educational outcomes, particularly the separate contributions of home environment factors and school factors such as teacher quality or school quality. They also examine how processes differ by an immigrantsí country of origin. Baert, Heiland and Korenman also use rich longitudinal data, from Flanders, to identify schooling transitions at which native-immigrant schooling gaps arise, and to examine the role of differences in marriage and fertility behavior by ethnicity (especially among Moroccan and Turkish immigrants) and between men and women. Finally, Potochnick studies the important policy question of how schools make grade-level placement decision of under-schooled immigrant newcomers and the consequences of those decisions. Beyond finding wide variation in policies across and within schools, Potochnick finds that immigrant youth who repeat a grade have the highest achievement, while those who experience an educational grade gap (i.e., placed above the highest grade completed in the home country) have the lowest.
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