In the midst of a political climate rife with nativist rhetoric and stepped up immigration enforcement, immigrant communities are increasingly nervous nationwide. The cover story of the Winter 2017-2018 issue of American Educator tells the story of a union-led effort in Hammond, Ind., that seeks to convince a growing Hispanic population that—in schools at least—families have nothing to fear.
Building on this article are two others focused on supporting immigrant students. The first article highlights the need for educators to fully realize the civic potential of immigrant youth by ensuring that students learn about and engage in our country's democratic traditions. The second article is a first-person account by a teacher of English language learners who encourages her students to share their immigration stories so they can both improve their fluency in English and realize they are not alone.
The next article, based on the work of an expert panel convened by the Aspen Institute, distills the research showing that young people's success in school and beyond is inextricably linked to their social and emotional development.
The issue also includes articles written from various perspectives on school reform. First, an expert on educational assessment explains the need to move beyond test-based accountability by measuring what matters most, using tests more sensibly, and providing teachers with better training and ongoing support. Next, an education scholar reflects on a 30-year career spent studying the role of policy, parental responsibility, and the partnership between teachers and reformers. And, an educator who compiled teachers' stories of accountability-era reforms into a book explains why teacher voice is central.
The issue concludes with an article about a partnership in the Pacific Northwest that connects rural educators to help them succeed in the profession and overcome the challenges caused by teacher isolation.