NYU Steinhardt News

Chandler P. Miranda wins Doctoral Scholarship Award

photo of Nakia M. Gray

Chandler P. Miranda, a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program, has been awarded a doctoral scholarship award from the NYU Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, for her study titled, Educating Immigrant Youth: An Ethnographic Case Study of an International High School.

This ethnographic case study explores how one high school for recently arrived immigrants is attempting to increase educational opportunities for their students. Currently, one in fifteen students in U.S public schools was born outside the U.S. While immigrant youth make up a significant part of the public school population, schools do not typically serve high-need immigrant students well. High schools with large populations of recently arrived immigrant teenagers are known to be under resourced and largely unsuccessful at helping these students learn English, pass state exit exams, and ultimately, graduate. Nationally, fewer than half of all students who do not speak English in 9th grade will graduate. Studies of specialized programs for high school-aged immigrant students suggest they have inconsistent outcomes. Programs that segregate immigrant students from their native born peers may be harmful if English Learners (ELs) are over-represented in special education classes or lack access to rigorous content instruction. They may be helpful if they insulate immigrant students from harmful socialization practices associated with acculturation. This study takes place at a school that consistently reports positive outcomes for low-income immigrant students who have been in the country for fewer than four years and who score in the bottom quartile on English language assessments at the time they enter high school. The site of this study, given the pseudonym International High School (IHS), has reported exceptionally high graduation rates for over a decade. This study provides a nuanced look at the school’s daily practices to better understand these outcomes.