1/11/2018EDUCATION - Helping Migrant Students Beat the Odds in School - NYTimes.com1/4Search All NYTimes.comEDUCATIONEDUCATION; Helping Migrant StudentsBeat the Odds in SchoolBy SUSAN CHIRA, Special to The New York TimesPublished: April 25, 1990PARLIER, Calif., April 18—All her life, ChristinaGarza has worn the path between this smallagricultural town and Texas, moving with her parentsand the crops.From April until October, her parents thin peaches andpick grapes here, near the city of Fresno. When nightschool is available, Christina, who is 18 years old, worksin the field from 6:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M., dashing home for a shower andfive hours of school.In California, Christina studies from one set of textbooks under onegroup of teachers with one set of friends. In the fall, another harvestingseason beckons in Texas - along with another set of textbooks, anothergroup of teachers, and schools that do not honor the independent-studyprogram California offers to help her make up missed credits.Christina is one of the lucky migrant students who have managed,through hard work and help from special state programs, to excel inschool and aim for college. But educating the 168,000 children ofmigrant workers in California (nearly a third of the estimated half amillion such students nationally) poses a formidable challenge.Most come to school from Spanish-speaking homes, and lag behind inEnglish. Many face pressure to stay home to care for younger children,or to work to bring home more money for families in desperate need.Many of their parents are too exhausted after long work days to dealwith teachers, or are wary of communication with school officials.Measuring the ProblemsStatistics are hard to come by because migrant children change schoolsso often, although a computerized transcript service in Little Rock, Ark.,is helping to keep track of their performance. Robert Welty, a consultantin California's migrant education office, said 78 percent of California'smigrant schoolchildren had limited English abilities in kindergarten.The rate improves slightly by senior year of high school, when 49percent still have trouble with English.MOST EMAILEDRECOMMENDED FOR YOULog in to discover more articlesbased on what you‘ve read.What’s This?|Don’t Show1.What Can’t You Send to an Inmate in NewYork? Apples, Used Books and More2.Melania Trump Hires Policy Director AmidScrutiny From New Book3.F.Y.I.
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