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Cultural Issues and Diversity

Choose a topic below for more information.


Featured Resource


National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems - Provides technical assistance and professional development to close the achievement gap between students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their peers, and reduce inappropriate referrals to special education. Targets improvements in culturally responsive practices, early intervention, literacy, and positive behavioral supports. The Web site provides links and resources regarding culturally responsive educational systems.

Articles      (top)


For Black Students, Single Essay Made Big Difference - The seventh-graders were asked to write an essay about their most important value. "My friends give me companionship and courage," a girl wrote. "I'm a great athlete," offered a boy. "God is the answer to everything," wrote another.


Bridging the Widest Gap: Raising the Achievement of Black Boys - Black boys spend more time in special education, spend less time in advanced placement or college prep courses, and receive more disciplinary suspensions and expulsions than any other group in U.S. schools today. In many cases, a debilitating combination of inadequate resources and low expectations in schools that serve large numbers of black boys results in this group being held back, researchers say.


Poor Health Habits Reason For Grade Gap - Obesity, poor nutrition and lack of physical fitness may partially explain why Hispanic and American Indian students in New Mexico don’t perform as well as their Anglo peers. Recently released data from Harvard University’s School of Public Health found a strong correlation between poor nutrition and health and low achievement, state Secretary of Education Veronica García told a group of teachers in Santa Fe.

Websites & Other Internet Resources      (top)

Teaching Diverse Learners - This Web site is dedicated to enhancing the capacity of teachers to work effectively and equitably with English language learners. It includes information on: teaching and learning strategies on culturally responsive teaching, mainstream classrooms, bilingual/ESL classrooms, and special education; strategies for performance and student assessment; organizations that may be useful to teachers of language minority students; and funding opportunities and grants for teaching English language learners.


Proyecto Vision: The First National Technical Assistance Center for Latinos with Disabilities - The World Institute On Disabilities has launched this program to address the lack of outreach to Latinos and to also assist Latinos with accessing critical services that lead to employment. Proyecto Vision is funded by a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration. Through the program, disabled Latinos will be able to access employment information through a toll-free hotline that provides bilingual technical assistance and also through a bilingual listserv. Additionally, there will be opportunities to participate in annual employment-based regional conferences and in leadership development activities. Partners in the project include the Inter-American Institute on Disability, the Harlam Independent Living Center, Houston’s Southwestern Regional Disability Business Technical Assistance Center, The Central Coast Center for Independent Living in Salinas, California, and Rehabilitation International.  More information is available at the Center’s website at or via their Bilingual toll-free hotline (866) 367-5361.

Hispanic Outreach Initiative and Online Spanish-Language Resources - Using a variety and language and
culture-sensitive materials, the National PTA Hispanic Outreach Initiative will reach out to Spanish-speaking parents who wish to become more involved in their child's education.


Disability & Culturally Diverse or Religious Organization Links      (top)


Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior
1849 C St., NW
Washington, DC 20240 202-219-4150

National Alliance of Black School Educators
2816 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001

National Association for Bilingual Education
1220 L St. NW, Ste. 605
Washington, DC 20005-4018

National Indian Education Association
121 Oronoco St
Alexandria, VA 22314


National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA)
The National Indian Child Welfare Association is the only Native American organization focused specifically on issues of child abuse and neglect and Tribal capacity to prevent and respond effectively to these problems. NICWA is a membership organization of Tribes, individuals, and private organizations concerned with Indian child and family issues. NICWA primarily focuses on fostering information exchange and community and public policy development for the defense of the Indian Child Welfare Act. NICWA sponsors a national conference; provides publications and information packets and technical assistance; and maintains a library for information on child welfare and child abuse and neglect that is culturally relevant and useful to the American Indian population.

The JCC of Metropolitan Detroit, a constituent agency of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, has two locations in suburban Detroit--Oak Park and West Bloomfield. Each facility provides a place for people of all ages with a place to socialize, participate in sports and recreation, receive a quality Jewish education, attend a variety cultural events and more. Whether you want to work out, attend a cultural event, spend quality time with your family or celebrate a holiday, the JCC has programs for all ages and interests. Our two locations are in the heart of your neighborhood.

English Language Learners/English as a Second Language (ELL/ESL)      (top)


Also See IEP Issues - Bilingual Issues & ESL


Help! They Don't Speak English Starter Kit for Primary Teachers - A free, downloadable resource guide for educators of limited English proficient students, grades Pre-K - 6. The first Help! They Don't Speak English Starter Kit was produced in 1989 by a task force of Virginia migrant educators who were getting an increasing number of requests from classroom teachers for information about and assistance with their limited English proficient (LEP) students. The Help! Kit has proved to be an excellent resource for teachers who are seeking ideas for recommended teaching strategies, lesson plans, and materials.

If Your Child Learns In Two Languages: A Parent's Guide - A parent's guide for improving educational opportunities for children acquiring English as a second language. Available in PDF format in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Haitian Creole.


AZ Online Class Makes Learning English Easier - Learning English has just gotten a lot easier for non-native speakers in the Las Vegas Valley.


The World of Immigrant Students - Although eight languages --Spanish, Vietnamese, Hmong, Cantonese, Cambodian, Korean, Laotian, and Navajo -- comprise 85% of linguistic diversity, 350 language groups are actually spoken in U.S. school districts. Meeting the needs of these students challenges many areas of a school system. In this article, Judy Smith-Davis outlines a set of best practices and a wealth of Web resources to help educators meet this challenge and serve this population of students.


Read the article from Education Week "Early Bilingual Programs Found To Boost Test Scores"

Developing IEPs for English Language Learners
Rita Brusca-Vega, Ed.D., Professor of Special Education, Chicago State University
The purpose of this chapter is to present several sample IEPs, based on the best practices described in the resource book, for students of different ages, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, English language proficiency levels, and type of disability.  Includes sample IEP goals.

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