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Participation of Migrant Students in Title I Migrant Education Program (MEP) Summer-Term Projects, 1998
NCES: 2000061
February 2000

Services Provided by MEP Summer-Term Projects

Summer-term instructional services are important for migrant children because they are coordinated with the students' instructional needs during the regular term (U.S. Department of Education 1999), and because they help fill educational gaps caused by movement during the regular term (Wright 1995). Therefore, summer-term instruction might be organized to provide supplemental education or to prepare students for their regular school term. It may also provide enrichment opportunities such as cultural enhancement activities. To address migrant students' academic needs, MEP summer-term projects typically provide a range of instructional services, including instruction in core academic subject areas (e.g., reading and math), other instructional areas (e.g., English as a second language and special education), and other activities (e.g., college counseling, cultural enhancement, and sports). In order to participate effectively in the program and benefit from instructional services provided by MEP projects, migrant students may need various support services, including health services, transportation, food, and outreach activities (e.g., home-school liaison or advocacy activities).

This chapter provides general descriptive information about how MEP summer-term projects in 1998 addressed their students' instructional and support needs. It reports on how students' needs were determined, how instructional services were organized, and whether projects provided various types of instructional and supporting services. In addition, to explore whether states with large concentrations of migrant population differ from other states in the provision of MEP services, a description of project activities in California and Texas is presented in a separate subsection.

Determining Students' Needs

MEP project activities are structured to meet a wide range of migrant students' needs. To explore the ways in which summer-term projects obtained and used data to determine the needs of their students, the survey asked projects to indicate the number of students for whom they:

  • Reviewed records from sending schools;


  • Talked to sending schools;


  • Talked to parents;


  • Tested students using standardized tests;


  • Tested students using local or teacherdeveloped tests; and


  • Provided services that did not depend on assessing needs.

MEP summer-term projects used various means to identify the needs of their students in 1998. Talking to parents was the most common way to determine students' educational and support needs; about half the projects talked to parents to assess the needs for all or most of their students, and another 23 percent used this method for some students (tables 5 and B-5). Projects located in rural communities were more likely than those in suburban or urban areas to talk to parents as a means of assessing students' needs (60 percent versus 48 and 33 percent, respectively; (Tables 5 and B-5). Compared with the proportion of projects that talked with parents to assess students' needs, fewer projects used each of the other approaches to identify needs (tables 5 and B-5). For all or most of their students, 37 percent of projects reviewed records from sending schools, and 32 percent tested students using local or teacher-developed tests. Projects were least likely to talk to sending schools (24 percent), and to test students using standardized tests (15 percent). Some summer-term projects did not rely on assessing students' needs to structure the program. Of the MEP projects that provided summer-term instruction in 1998, about one-third indicated that for all or most of their students, the provision of services did not depend on determining students' needs. Another fourth reported that it was not necessary to assess the needs for some of their students.

Organizing Instructional Services

MEP summer-term instructional programs may be structured to help children who experience disruptions in their education to keep up or to obtain enrichment or other services to help make up some of the opportunities missed because of the nature of migratory lifestyles. To explore the extent to which MEP summer-term projects operating in 1998 were structured to meet these objectives, the projects were asked to indicate the percentage of students for whom instruction was organized primarily for:

  • Remediation following a review of student records;


  • Remediation based on a direct assessment;


  • Preparation for the next project students will attend; and


  • Enrichment activities.

Of the total number of students served by MEP summer-term projects offering instruction in 1998, an estimated 28 percent had their instruction organized primarily for remediation following a review of student records (Figure 3 and Table B-6). For about another one-fourth of the students, instruction was organized primarily for remediation based on a direct assessment; and for an additional one-fourth, instruction was primarily organized for preparation for the regular school term. Finally, projects reported that summer-term instruction was organized primarily for enrichment activities for 14 percent of the students, and in other ways for another 7 percent of students. Overall, projects were least likely to organize summer-term instruction primarily for enrichment activities or activities other than remediation or preparation for the regular school term.

Providing Instructional Services

To help migrant students meet their state's content and performance standards, a top priority of MEP summer-term projects is to provide supplemental educational instruction. When asked whether they offered instructional services to students, almost all (96 percent) of MEP summer-term projects operating in 1998 indicated they did (Table B-7). MEP summer-term projects offering instructional services in the summer of 1998 were asked whether they provided instruction in each of 14 subject areas or activities (Table B8-1). For example, because migrant students typically lag behind their peers in academic performance, the survey asked whether projects provided instructional services to students in core academic subjects. In addition, because migrant students face other academic difficulties associated with language barriers and retention in early grades, projects were asked about other instructional activities (e.g., English as a second language, and preschool education). Further, because migrant students have high dropout rates, the survey asked whether projects offered dropout prevention instruction and college counseling. Finally, projects were also asked whether they addressed other student needs, including special education, general education development (GED) or high school equivalency instruction, cultural enrichment activities, and sports.

MEP summer-term projects operating in 1998 provided a wide range of instructional services or activities (Figure 4 and Table B8-1). Considering core academic subjects, most of the projects provided instruction in reading (96 percent), other language arts (88 percent), and math (87 percent). Projects were less likely to provide science instruction (57 percent) or social science instruction (48 percent).

A substantial proportion of MEP summer-term projects provided other instructional services. A majority (69 percent) of the projects offered bilingual education/ESL, and about half offered preschool education. Projects were least likely to provide instruction in special education and GED or high school equivalency instruction; close to one-third of the projects provided these services.

MEP summer-term projects also provided other activities for migrant students. About two-thirds of the projects offered cultural enrichment activities, 55 percent provided sports or recreational activities, 44 percent offered instruction in dropout prevention, and 31 percent provided college counseling.

The proportion of 1998 summer-term projects providing some of the instructional services or activities showed some consistent differences by the student population served (Figure 5 and Table B8-1). In general, projects serving students of all ages (including elementary-age students) were more likely than projects serving only elementary-age students to provide any of the services or activities. For example, projects serving students of all ages were more likely than those serving only elementary-age students to offer science education (61 versus 49 percent), social science instruction (54 versus 34), or bilingual education (79 versus 51 percent). Similar differences were observed for projects offering instructional services in other language arts and mathematics, and for projects providing activities in cultural enrichment, dropout prevention, and vocational or career counseling.

The proportion of 1998 summer-term projects providing some of the instructional services or activities showed some consistent differences by the student population served (Figure 5 and Table B8-1). In general, projects serving students of all ages (including elementary-age students) were more likely than projects serving only elementary-age students to provide any of the services or activities. For example, projects serving students of all ages were more likely than those serving only elementary-age students to offer science education (61 versus 49 percent), social science instruction (54 versus 34), or bilingual education (79 versus 51 percent). Similar differences were observed for projects offering instructional services in other language arts and mathematics, and for projects providing activities in cultural enrichment, dropout prevention, and vocational or career counseling.

There were also some differences by enrollment size among projects providing instructional services. For most of the instructional services provided, relatively smaller projects were less likely than larger projects to provide the service (Figure 6 and Table B8-1). For example, projects with enrollments of less than 100 were less likely than relatively larger projects to offer bilingual education (57 percent versus 82 and 90 percent, respectively). Also, relatively small projects (i.e., those with enrollments of less than 100 or 100 to 250) were less likely than larger projects to offer services in GED or high school equivalency, dropout prevention, college counseling, and vocational or career counseling.

Differences in the provision of instructional services by student population served by projects may be confounded by the enrollment size of the project. For example, projects serving elementaryage students only were typically smaller than projects serving students of all ages (see Table 2).

Another interpretation of the finding is that projects serving students of all age groups may provide a wider range of services to meet the needs of a more age-diversified student population. For instance, projects serving students of all age groups may provide a broader set of educational services (e.g., college counseling and GED instruction), compared with projects serving only elementary-age students.

Providing Support Services

Migrant children may require specific support services to overcome some of the problems that could impede their ability to do well in school. To explore whether MEP summer-term projects operating in 1998 addressed some of these problems, the survey asked whether certain services were provided:

  • Medical or dental screening;


  • Medical or dental treatment;


  • Meals;


  • Clothing;


  • Transportation;


  • Home-school liaison/social worker/advocate;


  • Day care provider for the student or family; and


  • Personal life counseling.

The most common support services provided by MEP summer-term projects were home-school liaison/social worker/advocate (84 percent of projects), transportation (78 percent), and meals (68 percent; Figure 7 and Table B-9). Projects were less likely to provide medical or dental treatment, personal life counseling, medical or dental screening, and clothing (between 36 to 43 percent), and they were least likely to provide day care services for their students' families (13 percent). In addition, one-fourth of MEP projects indicated they provided services other than those listed above.

The proportion of MEP summer-term projects offering various support services-medical or dental screening, medical or dental treatment, meals, clothing, transportation, home-school liaison, and day care-differed somewhat by enrollment size; projects with enrollments of less than 100 were less likely than larger projects to provide any of the services (tables 6 and B-9). For example, the proportion of projects offering meal services ranged from 56 percent for projects with less than 100 students to 84 percent for larger projects. Similarly, projects with student enrollments of less than 100 were less likely to provide medical and dental screening than were larger projects (33 percent versus 50 and 57 percent, respectively).

For every support service, projects serving only elementary-age students were less likely to provide the service than projects serving students of all age groups (tables 6 and B-9). For instance, 29 percent of elementary-only projects provided medical or dental screening to students compared with 48 percent of projects serving students of all age groups. Similarly, the likelihood of MEP projects offering other support services-medical or dental treatment, meals, clothing, transportation, home-school liaison, day care, and personal life counseling-varied consistently by the student population served.

Services Provided in Selected States

To examine whether California and Texas differed from all other states in the provision of MEP summer-term services in 1998, the data for these states are compared with regard to methods used to determine students' needs and the provision of instructional and the support services.

There were a few notable state differences among projects in methods used to determine students' needs (Figure 8 and Table B-5). For example, projects located in California and Texas were less likely to talk to parents in order to determine students' needs, compared to projects in other states (32 and 41 versus 60 percent, respectively). However, projects located in California and Texas were more likely than projects in other states to provide services that did not depend on assessing students' educational and support needs (50 and 45 percent versus 29 percent, respectively). California and Texas did not differ from other states in most of the instructional services or activities provided by MEP summer-term projects in 1998 (tables 7 and B8-1). However, projects in California and Texas were less likely than those in other states to provide instruction in other language arts (84 and 76 percent versus 91 percent, respectively). In addition, projects located in Texas were less likely than those in California or other states to provide cultural enrichment activities and vocational counseling.

There were some differences by state location among those projects that offered four of the support services examined in this study-medical or dental screening, medical or dental treatment, clothing, and meals (tables B8-1 and B-9). As with instructional services, projects located in Texas were least likely to offer health services compared with projects in California and other states. For example, projects providing medical or dental screening for migrant students ranged from 18 percent in Texas to 42 percent in other states and 51 percent in California. In addition, projects located in California and Texas were less likely to provide supplemental clothing services; no more than 20 percent of projects located in these states offered the service, compared with 43 percent in other states. Moreover, projects in California were more likely than those in Texas or other states to provide meals for migrant students (79 percent versus 57 and 66 percent).

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