the VOA Special English Education Report.
American high schools are for students with special interests, like science or
the arts. New York City even has a program for those interested in the food
service industry, called Food and Finance High School.
also has what are called international high schools, or internationals, for
immigrant students. They must be new learners of English who have been in the
United States less than four years.
first school opened in nineteen eighty-five. The city will begin the new term
next month with ten.
works with a nonprofit organization, the Internationals Network for Public
Schools. Support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has helped the
California, opened an international high school last year. San Francisco and
Los Angeles plan to follow in two thousand nine. Other cities are also showing
network says the graduation rate was seventy percent last year in the four New
York schools open long enough to have graduating classes. That, compared with
twenty-three and a half percent for English language learners in all of the
all, New York officials recently reported that the city's four-year graduation
rate, excluding August graduates, reached fifty-two percent last year.
same time, they reported that the city's dropout rate fell below fifteen
percent. The Internationals Network says its schools have an average dropout
rate of just five percent.
Sylvan is the executive director of the group. She says students drop out
mainly because their families need them to work or because parents arrange
marriages for girls.
network helps find teachers and trains them in the teaching method of the
internationals. Claire Sylvan says the teaching approach is to have students
use their different strengths to help each other. They work in small groups,
but she says they are not grouped by ability.
the students discuss issues, then produce a product like a paper, a play, a
poster or a report. They learn English as they work.
came from traditional schools where, they said, other students made fun of
them. Students in the international high schools immigrated from more than
ninety countries. The Internationals Network says more than ninety percent of
the graduates continue on to college.
And that's the VOA Special English Education
Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. You can hear archives of our programs at
voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.