Synopses & Reviews
The children of Mexican immigrant families are the fastest growing population in American schools today. Education can be the key to a better quality of life, especially for a population that faces breathtakingly high poverty rates and few other opportunities for social mobility. But these children are too frequently considered at risk academically. What more can be done to help them succeed?
Mexican Roots, American Schools offers a fresh take on this timely and critically important issue by focusing on the first years of elementary school and the complex interplay of learning with other aspects of childrens lives. Its social policy recommendations will be essential reading for educators, policymakers, and parents alike.
Based on the first-ever national study of the school readiness of Mexican immigrant children, this book examines how various aspects of their lives—including health, the home environment, and childcare arrangements—help or hurt their academic performance. Drawing a comprehensive picture, it shows that these children start school behind their peers and only fall farther behind over the years.
The author forcefully maintains that this situation does not need to continue. Crosnoe outlines which factors make the most difference, and recommends policy initiatives that would help change things. In addressing educational inequality, we need to target the earliest years of school and pre-school programs, offer resource centers and services for students and parents, and consider how health and home inevitably seep their way into the schools.
“Immigration is transforming the race-ethnic landscape of American schools, and the children of Mexican immigrants are the leading edge of this change. Their success in school and the resulting opportunities in adulthood will have profound implications across American society. This book is likely to become the classic study on the determinants of school achievement among young children of Mexican immigrants.”—Donald J. Hernandez, University at Albany, SUNY, Former Special Assistant, U.S. Bureau of the Census
“Insightful, analytically sophisticated, and beautifully written, Mexican Roots, American Schools provides rich insights into characteristics of children and the contexts of development that serve to influence their transitions into elementary school. Highly recommended for anyone interested
in understanding critical intervention points that could better the educational trajectories of Mexican-origin children.”—Carola Suárez-Orozco, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University, author of Children of Immigration
Improving the educational success of the children of Mexican immigrants is crucial to the future prospects of these children as well as to the American population at large. This book documents how various aspects of these children's lives help or hinder their learning in elementary school.
About the Author
Robert Crosnoe is Associate Professor of Sociology and Faculty Research Associate at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin.