Tonawanda News

Opinion

November 3, 2013

Stop stereotypes about minority kids

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Hispanic and African-American children often bear the brunt of academic discipline in schools. But as the report details: “Several investigators have found that many low-income ethnic minority children exhibit relatively high levels of self-regulation compared to other children ... [and] are also likely to be socially competent (i.e., able to cooperate and get along with others), which also promotes school readiness.”

There are also the many studies showing that low-income minority children tend to show deficits in language abilities and vocabulary, mainly as a function of the economic hardship experienced by their families.

Less publicized is that even low-income African-American preschoolers often possess oral narrative skills that may promote later success in reading achievement.

“A review of the literature revealed that African-American children produce narratives of higher quality and have greater narrative comprehension than white children,” the report shows, with “similar findings ... reported for bilingual children. For instance, bilingual children are reported to have enhanced executive control in nonverbal tasks requiring conflict resolution as compared to monolingual children.”

Lastly, there are strengths stemming from a strong family culture or ethnic identity, which is commonly assumed -- often incorrectly -- to be inferior, fragmented or overshadowed by the financial pressures of poverty.

Emilie Smith, the head of SRCD’s Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee, told me it’s imperative to jump-start widespread acknowledgment of minority student strengths.

“There have been a few pretty famous longitudinal studies of minorities but they are usually about the smaller proportions of them who have large issues and challenges to development,” Smith said.

Immigrant and minority children do not have to be forever associated with struggle and underachievement. It’s time to start focusing on their strengths -- and help build on them.

Contact Esther Cepeda at esthercepeda@washpost.com or on Twitter, @EstherJCepeda. Her column comes via the Washington Post Writers Group.

Contact Esther Cepeda at esthercepeda@washpost.com or on Twitter, @EstherJCepeda. Her column comes via the Washington Post Writers Group.

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US