Arnone, Gina

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Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Review of Agneta Lind, Literacy for All: Making a Difference and John Oxenham, Effective Literacy Programmes: Options for Policy-Makers
    (2011-02-01) Arnone, Gina; Wagner, Daniel A
    The 1990 World Conference on Education for All (EFA) in Jomtien (Thailand) spurred a collective global movement to meet the basic learning needs of each person, with a special focus on developing countries. Ten years later, with the stated goals not met, and indeed far from it, the international community renewed its commitments in Dakar, Senegal. At the World Education Forum in 2000, national and organizational representatives resolved to improve educational opportunities and services and set six objectives for 2015, including a 50 percent increase in adult literacy. Despite this pledge and others (e.g., launch of the UN Literacy Decade in 2003), progress toward literacy for all, and for adults in particular, has been frustratingly slow. Agneta Lind, with ,em>Literacy for All: Making a Difference, and John Oxenham, with Effective Literacy Programmes: Options for Policy-Makers describe and promote the significance of developing literacy skills in adults and call for an intensification of efforts to do so. Lind and Oxenham, each with extensive international experience in literacy program implementation and research, are very well equipped to write these two complementary volumes in UNESCO's Fundamentals of Educational Planning series.
  • Publication
    Differential Academic Trajectories Among Latino Students in Los Angeles
    (2014-01-01) Arnone, Gina
    Widespread underachievement among students classified as English learners (ELs) indicates the United States education system is not serving them well. Although there has been increased attention directed toward the challenges these learners face in school, efforts to improve their academic outcomes often narrowly focus on English language abilities. Undoubtedly, English proficiency is a central component of academic achievement in the U.S. However, the emphasis on English language development in policy and practice also advances the idea that English is the only language for learning in school. Additionally, it obscures the contributions of non-linguistic influences on school success for language minority learners. Using mixed methods, this research investigates the school experiences of both high- and low-achieving Spanish-speaking ELs in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) with the aim of better understanding factors - other than English - that contribute to their differential academic trajectories. Growth-curve analyses of longitudinal, student-level data indicate that Spanish language abilities relate to English language arts (ELA) and math achievement in classrooms where the teaching and learning activities are conducted overwhelmingly, or exclusively, in English. Achievement in both ELA and math was higher as a function of increasing Spanish proficiency as measured in kindergarten, indicating that knowledge and skills gained at home in Spanish benefit learning endeavors at school in English. With ethnographic methods in a LAUSD middle school, the discussion of ELs' differential academic trajectories is extended to include social processes not detectable with the quantitative data. These qualitative findings suggest other factors that shape students' academic identities and create and maintain disparities in academic achievement. The practice of high-stakes achievement testing emerged as the primary school influence on the study participants' identities as learners. Through social identification processes the results of standardized achievement assessments become indicators of who students are as learners, as well as their learning potential, rather than simply scores on a test. The system of achievement assessments significantly affected access to curricula and quality instruction, and also influenced the relationships and interactions between students and teachers. Consequently, learning opportunities were expanded for some students and diminished for others.