Children of Immigrants Have Positive Achievement Impact on K-12 Schools

An analysis from Brookings looks at resources consumed and outcomes in K-12 schools with Limited English Proficient (LEP) students, including first generation immigrant children and second generation U.S. citizen children of immigrant parents.

The report finds that the share of students with immigrant backgrounds in K-12 schools increased nationwide from 18% in 2000 to 32% in 2015.  And while teaching LEP students may demand more resources, the benefits of providing those resources not only helps LEP students to achieve, but also their non-LEP peers.

A comparison of K-12 schools with children attending who were exclusively three generations or more removed from their immigrant forebears (“isolated” schools), and schools with first and second generation children attending with third-plus generation students found that even after controlling for student backgrounds and school characteristics,

on average, third-plus generation students in isolated schools had lower test scores than their third-generation peers in schools that served immigrant students, despite isolated schools having more teaching resources and lower levels of poverty.

The analysis concludes that:

there is no direct evidence that the increased share of immigrant students in the U.S. has negatively affected the educational outcomes of third-plus generation students, either through peer effects or resource channels.

You can read the Brookings analysis here.