Diversity There Is a High Degree of Essay

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Diversity

There is a high degree of cultural diversity within the Miami-Dade Public School System. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2010), the county has 73.8% white, 18.9% black, with other groups making up the rest. Within these categories, there is significant diversity. For example, 65% of the population reported Hispanic or Latino origin. Of the white population, only 15.4% reported being non-Hispanic. A full 71.9% of people spoke a language other than English in the home, and foreign-born persons accounted for 51.1% of the population in total. This indicates that there is significant diversity in the community, something that will have tremendous implications for the county school system. Most of the non-English speakers are Spanish-speakers, but not all. The county has a significant percentage of Brazilians, for example. Among the black population, most are African-American but a sizable minority are Haitians, many of whom speak Haitian Creole in the home. There is even diversity among Hispanics. While the majority are Cuban, there are substantial percentages of Nicaraguans, Colombians, Argentinians, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans as well. Many parts of the county have a fair degree of segregation. In the city of Hialeah, for example, 94.2% speak a language other than English at home (94.7% are of Hispanic origin).

2. The county addresses diversity in a number of ways. Language is the first, most basic way. Miami-Dade County offers services in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. According to Miami-Dade Public Schools, the district is the fourth-largest in the nation, and its 345,000 students speak 56 languages at home and hail from 160 different countries. The School Board website has Google Translate functionality, providing translation into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. This helps those whose first language is not English to become acquainted with the district. There are printed materials in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

The Miami-Dade School District recognizes the following holidays: Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, All President's Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day. Religious holidays are allowed, but the Board maintains a list of accepted holidays.
Any holiday outside of that list must be cleared by the Board in advance of the holiday being taken.

3. There are a number of services available for non-English-speaking students and their families. The board outlines its multicultural programs in Section 2225 of its policies. The Board is "committed to equity in education for all students, and to providing a learning environment that reflects the cultures, traditions, customs and historical legacies that comprise the District's population." The school district ensures that the curriculum "is structured to enable students to view concepts, issues, events and themes from the perspective of diverse ethnic, national origin and culture groups."

The School Board believes that multicultural education "must go beyond the observance of holidays, tributes to famous people, fairs and festivals" and that it must take into account different learning styles and levels.

In the Miami-Dade School District, helping students to achieve proficiency in English is one of its main objectives. In order to help achieve this objective, the District has an extensive English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program, and this is required of all students whose first language is not English. The School Board does, however, "provide the opportunity to study in and through their native language until they can participate fully in the regular program in English." It is not known if this applies to all languages, or just the major ones like Spanish and Haitian Creole.

At the secondary level, students "shall be strongly urged to participate in programs using Spanish, Haitian Creole" or another language other than English. Thus, the District aims to graduate students who are functional in multiple languages, but always in English.

For foreign students, of which there are a lot, the Board has a number of services. These include an orientation program in either English, Spanish or….....

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