Children of Immigrants in Schools in New York and Amsterdam: The Factors Shaping Attainment
by Maurice Crul & Jennifer Holdaway — 2009
Background/Context: This article considers the ways in which school systems in New York City and Amsterdam have shaped the educational trajectories of two groups of relatively disadvantaged immigrant youth: the children of Dominican immigrants in New York and the children of Moroccan immigrants in Amsterdam. It describes the salient features of the two educational systems and the ways in which they structure opportunity for children of immigrants. In terms of public policy, the United States and the Netherlands have taken quite different approaches toward the integration of immigrant students: The Netherlands actively seeks to integrate students and provides additional funds and special programs, whereas the United States has taken a more laissez-faire approach.
Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: The article analyses available data on young second-generation Moroccan and Dominican youth and their school careers in two cities: New York and Amsterdam. It aims to look at the influence of institutional arrangements and the way that the educational system facilitates or hampers the educational integration of two highly disadvantaged groups.
Research Design: The article is based on available data on the Moroccan population in Amsterdam and the Dominican population in New York. This includes primarily the Dutch SPVA surveys and other local Amsterdam studies, and the Immigrant Second-Generation in Metropolitan New York (ISGMNY) study.
Conclusions/Recommendations: Both Moroccans in Amsterdam and Dominicans in New York show relatively low levels of educational attainment. Drawing on data from a number of studies of Moroccans in Amsterdam and on the ISGMNY study, the article shows that although differently structured, neither school system does an adequate job of serving disadvantaged immigrant students. It is interesting, however, that opportunities and impediments for the two groups are shaped differently and appear at different times in the school career. Successful practices in both countries show how extra investment of resources can increase equality of opportunity.
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