Preparing the Children of Immigrants for Early Academic Success


A preponderance of evidence points to an Immigrant paradox in education: the children of immigrants perform better than expected and often even outperform their peers with US-born parents. However, this evidence is largely drawn from high school students. Data on the performance of children entering elementary school is more mixed, often pointing to greater risks among the children of immigrants.

School readiness-the skills children bring with them at kindergarten entry – is a particular cause of concern, especially for those with Latin American origins. Findings regarding the health of young immigrant children are similarly mixed, and also depart from the immigrant paradox. As with educational performance, children of immigrants appear to be more at risk for health problems during the preschool and elementary school years than during adolescence. Health problems during early childhood may be associated with poorer educational performance, as children are more likely to be absent and less likely to be fully attentive in school when sick.

Source: Migration Policy Institute

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