Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth

by Margie McHugh; Michael Fix; Sarah Hooker

Jun 18, 2014

California's success in integrating immigrant youth is critical, not just to the state but the nation. Sheer numbers demonstrate this significance. The state is home to one-quarter of the nation's immigrants, and as of 2012, more than half of young adults in California ages 16 to 26 were first- or second-generation immigrants (compared to one-quarter of youth nationwide). California educates more than one-third of U.S. students designated as English Language Learners (ELLs).

This report examines the educational experiences and outcomes of first- and second-generation immigrant youth ages 16 to 26 across California's educational institutions, encompassing secondary schools, adult education, and postsecondary education. ELLs are a central focus of the analysis at all levels, as this group has unique educational needs. The findings draw from qualitative fieldwork -- including interviews with educators and community leaders in California -- and quantitative analyses of the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau and state education agencies.
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