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Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times

Bilingual Education and Dominican Immigrant Youth in the Heights

Lesley Bartlett and Ofelia Garcia

Publication Year: 2011

Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times documents the unusually successful efforts of one New York City high school to educate Dominican immigrant youth, at a time when Latino immigrants constitute a growing and vulnerable population in the nation’s secondary schools. Based on four and a half years of qualitative research, the book examines the schooling of teens in the Dominican Republic, the social and linguistic challenges the immigrant teens face in Washington Heights, and how Gregorio Luperón High School works with the community to respond to those challenges. The staff at Luperón see their students as emergent bilinguals and adhere to a culturally and linguistically additive approach. After offering a history of the school’s formation, the authors detail the ways in which federal No Child Left Behind policies, New York State accountability measures, and New York City’s educational reforms under Mayor Bloomberg have complicated the school’s efforts. The book then describes the dynamic bilingual pedagogical approach adopted within the school to help students develop academic Spanish and English. Focusing on the lives of twenty immigrant youth, Bartlett and García also show that, although the school achieves high completion rates, the graduating students nevertheless face difficult postsecondary educational and work environments that too often consign them to the ranks of the working poor.

Published by: Vanderbilt University Press

Title Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

Lesley Bartlett and Ofelia García’s text, Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times: Bilingual Education and Dominican Immigrant Youth in the Heights, is long overdue. It tells the tale of the heroic struggles of Gregorio Luperón High School and a community committed not only to its survival but also to its advancement. ...

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pp. xi-xii

This project would have been impossible without the significant assistance we received from the faculty, staff, administration, parents, and students of Gregorio Luperón High School. The principal, Juan Villar, provided us with unparalleled access to the school, encouraged us to investigate the school’s strengths and weaknesses, ...

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1. Introduction: Schooling Immigrant Youth

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pp. 1-28

In recent decades, the population of immigrants in the United States has steadily increased. The numbers of foreign-born living in the United States grew from 9.6 million in 1970 to 28.4 million in 2000 and 38 million in 2006 (U.S. Census 2006–2008). ...

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2. In the Heights: Dominican Youth Immigrate to New York

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pp. 29-50

In 2008, at the conclusion of our period of data collection, In the Heights won several Tony Awards, including Best Musical. In and through its merengue, salsa, hip-hop, and reggaeton-drenched musical numbers, the characters reflect with nostalgia on a largely imagined life in the Caribbean ...

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3. Education Policy as Social Context

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pp. 51-68

The study of immigrant education requires careful attention to the ways in which educational policies, made and remade at various levels over time, affect the daily work of schooling immigrant students. To understand schooling at Luper

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4. From Subtractive to Additive Schooling: The History of Gregorio Luper

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pp. 69-114

What happens when Latino educators identify the ways in which a school progressively disables newcomer immigrant students by placing them in an unsafe environment, refusing to draw on their home language as a resource, denying them content-area instruction, and requiring them to learn English only ...

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5. Languaging at Luper

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pp. 115-150

As we sat in Jakob Clausen’s windowless English 6 classroom on the third floor of the converted warehouse that housed Luperón in 2005, we asked him about the window panes made of construction paper that we saw displayed on the wall. ...

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6. Challenges Facing Immigrant Youth at Luper

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pp. 151-188

The previous chapter detailed the language education approach employed at Luper

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7. Social Capital and Additive Schooling at Luper

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pp. 189-210

Social capital can be understood as “those ‘connections’ to individuals and to networks that can provide access to resources and forms of support that facilitate the accomplishment of goals” (Stanton- Salazar 2004, 18). In a school, social capital refers to the social ties that connect students to each other (peer social capital) ...

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8. The Political Economy of Education: Trajectories of Luper

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pp. 211-230

In his compelling study of first- and second-generation Dominican immigrants in Providence, Rhode Island, sociologist José Itzigsohn (2009) finds that U.S. economic and racial structures, as much as if not more than academic and professional preparation and hard work, shape Dominicans’ social mobility. ...

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9. Educating Immigrant Youth: Lessons Learned

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pp. 231-246

Immigrant children and youth are enrolling in schools at an accelerated pace: “The school-age foreign-born population increased by one million over the 1990s, and by 2000, 6 percent of the nation’s school-age children were born in another country” (Fry 2007, 579). ...


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pp. 247-252


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pp. 253-278


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pp. 279-290

E-ISBN-13: 9780826517647
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826517623

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2011