Monday, December 3, 2007

Education professor wins grant to promote math instruction in Spanish

by Karen Singer - November 5, 2007
Eliana Rojas believes students learn mathematics better when taught in their native language, and she has federal backing to put her theory into practice.

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded Rojas a $1.5 million grant “to prepare teachers of English language learners to accelerate their students’ academic achievement.”

The grant focuses on the preparation and professional development of bilingual and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) math teachers, in order to provide appropriate and effective instruction to adolescents who are learning the English language...

“We know a large percentage of Latino adolescents are failing mathematics, and a large percentage are dropping out of high school in 10th grade,” Rojas says.

“So we need to find ways for the students to continue to learn mathematics in Spanish." English language learners often “have acquired math in schools where they’re coming from, but don’t understand math here,” Rojas says.

“Native Spanish speakers see mathematics as a continuum,"...

“Here we compartmentalize it into algebra, geometry, and pre- calculus.” Latinos also take a more cooperative approach to learning math, she adds, whereas in America the process is individualized."

“If you lose your language, you lose the spirit of your culture. And mathematics is a good avenue for students to develop both their first and their new language, because the ability to think logically and reason deductively are embedded in every domain of learning.”

Go to original article

Friday, November 2, 2007

Cómo sobrevivir el “high school” con éxito

Un nuevo y accesible libro ayuda a los padres latinos a comprender cómo funciona la escuela secundaria en los EE.UU., les informa acerca de becas y préstamos disponibles para los hispanos, y da consejos para mantener a los jóvenes concentrados y motivados en sus estudios.

Fabiola Pomareda
La Raza

En entrevista con La Raza, Dabbah destacó que si un alumno abandona la secundaria y se va a trabajar porque piensa que para qué estudia si igual no puede ir a la universidad, pierde años de preparación y luego es difícil recuperar el ritmo. “Entonces es muy importante que terminen el 'high school' ya que es muy probable que en algún momento se resuelva esta situación”.

También informó que hay becas para las que no piden el 'social security”, incluidas en la página de Internet del Fondo México Americano para la Defensa Legal (

“De pronto pueden empezar con alguna de esas becas y, aunque sea, ir a un 'community college' y empezar a estudiar”, recomendó la también autora de “¿Cómo conseguir trabajo en Estados Unidos?, “Ayude a sus Hijos a Tener Éxito en la Escuela” y “The Latino Advantage in the Workplace” (La Ventaja Latina en el Trabajo). Mas

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Advierten cambios a ley educación deben atender necesidades alumnos latinos

Mary González Nieves, La Raza

Washington- Educadores y organizaciones de derechos civiles advierten de que los cambios propuestos a la ley de educación federal "Que Ningún Niño Quede Atrás" (NCLB en inglés) deben atender las necesidades de los estudiantes latinos.

"Es imperativo que NCLB le sirva a la comunidad Latina (...) sólo así la educación tendrá un impacto positivo en esta nación", subrayó Peter Zamora, asesor regional del Fondo México Americano de Defensa Legal (MALDEF).

Zamora, quien criticó la pobre implementación de la ley federal, enfatizó que el 20 por ciento del total de la población estudiantil en las escuelas elementales y secundarias "es latina".

Además, reiteró, "estos estudiantes afrontan grandes desigualdades en nuestras escuelas públicas".

"El éxito en las áreas de lenguaje y educación serán claves para que los niños latinos logren superarse y capacitarse para contribuir al futuro de esta nación", señaló recientemente Zamora ante el Congreso.Mas

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Poor results on MCAS science test

Failure Rate at Urban High Schools raises warning flag across state.
By Tracy Jan, Boston Globe, Oct. 16

More than a quarter of Massachusetts high school students who took the MCAS science exam last spring flunked, with dozens of urban high schools across the state registering a failure rate of 50 percent or higher in the first comprehensive test of students' competency in different scientific subjects.

The results, released yesterday by the Massachusetts Department of Education, raise a warning flag for a state that has staked its future on the life sciences and high-tech industries. Business leaders, higher education officials, and the governor have highlighted the importance of the sciences to preserving economic vitality in Massachusetts. Read more

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tutor Amigos provides free tutoring for the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence

This week Tutor Amigos started providing free online tutoring in Math for Spanish-speaking students at the Boys and Girls club of Lawrence, MA. We are very excited to be working with the Boys & Girls club after school program in Lawrence and look forward to helping students with their homework so that they might improve their math skills and gain confidence with Math.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Great new look, same great service

Tutor Amigos is very happy to announce the launch of our new website and a new offer of a 60 minute trial session for only $5.00. We look forward to connecting more students with extra help in Math and Science, in the language they need it to be in.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ABC News Person of the Week: Danica McKellar

'Wonder Years' Actress Takes a Break From Hollywood to Do Some Math

So she decided to write the book "Math Doesn't Suck" to change that perception.

..."In reaching the middle school girl's audience I wanted to keep in mind what are girls thinking about at that age? … Boys, makeup, jewelry, fashion, who am I? I took every quiz in every teen magazine known to man because you think you're going to get the answer to 'Who am I?'" she explained. "I thought, let me do it in that context, why not? Why not teach math in the context of being a girl?" Read more

For more information about Danica's book go to

Consider your options when hiring a tutor for your child

By Daniel Vasquez | Consumer Columnist,
August 12, 2007
Will you be one of those parents scrambling last-minute to get your child's back-to-school shopping done? Here's something you might want to shove into the ol' backpack: Tips on how to find a good tutor.

If you're like me, you probably think a tutor costs way too much. But with so much competition, you might be surprised at how affordable and cost-effective hiring a tutor can be. There are options. Read more

Monday, July 16, 2007

“Strengthening the Academic Pipeline Leading to Careers in Math, Science and Technology for Latino Students"

Patricia Gándara, Professor of Education at
the University of California, Davis writes;
"Access to a rigorous curriculum continues to
be a critical issue for Latino and other minority
students. Gándara cited evidence that Latino
and other underrepresented students are more
likely to be assigned to low curriculum tracks
independent of their test scores than are White
students. This is especially true in the case of
mathematics courses, where algebra continues to
be the major gatekeeper for entry into the college
preparatory track. Certainly Latino students will
not go on to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Mathematics)
careers if they do not have rigorous preparation in math;
but without such preparation they are not likely to go on to college at all.
Thus, while school reform aimed at offering
greater academic opportunities to Latino students
must form part of the solution to the leaks in
the pipeline to college and STEM careers, it will
not be enough to close the considerable gaps in
opportunity and outcomes for these students."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Students can prevent summer 'Learning Loss'

By Janette Rose, Muskogee Phoenix, June 18, 2007
"..according to researchers from Duke University, taking too much of a break from learning has a negative effect on students. While summer learning loss varies significantly by grade level, subject matter and family income, on average it is the equivalent of 1.0 to 2.6 months of previous learning. In effect, it is the erasing of learning from the student’s mind."
"According to the research, summer loss is more pronounced for math overall than for reading overall." go to original article