A special report from the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University says more resources are needed to address the growth in the number of Latino students in the state who speak limited English. The report says communities and schools tend to segregate and marginalize non-English speaking students. IU Professor of Education Peter Cowan co-authored the report. He says the public often downplays the need for programs to help bridge gaps.
At the same time that Latino students are often isolated, immigrant families may be distrustful of the school district or local governments. IU Professor Rebecca Martinez says it takes specially trained staff to help build trust between families and school officials.
The CEEP report recommends focusing more time on training for staff and broader literacy development for students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Indiana saw the third fastest growing populations of English language learners in the country, with a 408 percent growth rate over the past decade.