Grassroots Middle School Reform: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Low SES Districts.
Kraft, Richard; Baca, Leonard; Aragon, Lorenso; de Onis, Carmen
National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, Washington, DC.
No of pages:
The University of Colorado BUENO Center for Multicultural Education and a neighboring school district, Franklin School District 10, participated in an Innovations in Education Project (IEP) designed to serve students from low socioeconomic and linguistically diverse backgrounds at Grant and Lincoln Middle Schools. The IEP grant was implemented during the 1993-94 academic school year and was designed to increase the academic achievement and self-esteem of these students through affective and bilingual/multicultural education reform. Activities for staff included university course work; methods and strategies in English/Spanish as a Second Language (ESL/SSL) and bilingual/multicultural education; affective education; stipends for purchasing materials to promote literacy across the curriculum in both Spanish and English; professional leave and pay to attend workshops, mentor students, and conduct outside school activities with students and parents; and a two-week study abroad of Mexico's public education system. Part I of this document provides background, discussing the National Education Goals, working with limited English proficient students, systemic reform, changing demographics, and educational research and theory on achievement. Part II details the IEP and its successes and failures in addressing five identified needs: (1) to provide a delivery system to avoid fragmentation of the curriculum and offer equitable learning for all students among and between grade levels; (2) to develop a system of articulation and sharing among all classroom teachers, programs, and administrative staff; (3) to train all staff in strategies in multicultural education for developing students' linguistic literacy skills; (4) to improve school climate through affective learning experiences and the development of students' positive self-esteem; and (5) to lessen the gap in achievement between the majority and minority students. (Appendices contain the plans of operation regarding instructional goals, instructional delivery goals, and staff development goals; a teacher survey; course descriptions and syllabus; mentoring forms; the study abroad syllabus; and an IEP newsletter. Contains 42 references.) (EV)