Nearly Half of KC High School Students Immigrants

Joe Robertson, Chron, May 14, 2012


Of the 1,031 students finishing the school year at East [High School in Kansas City], 582 are immigrant students learning English.

They speak 35 languages and come from dozens of countries. A map in the school’s main hall charts their global journeys in streams of colored ribbons converging on Kansas City.

“Some of our students had never been in school,” East Principal Tommy Herrera said. “Some couldn’t read or write in their own language. . . We have students who (when they first arrive) would rather sit and squat instead of sit on a chair at a desk.”

The first lesson may be as simple as saying “pencil” and shaping a student’s fingers around it, said language teacher Fatimah Daud.

“I’m amazed at how far they can advance in a few short years,” Daud said. “I don’t think people really understand the population we serve.”


Kansas City has concentrated its language programs within the general high school at East—aiming to give immigrant students more special services with opportunities to blend in with mainstream students.


The immigrant students at East build their language through academic content. Teachers have to ensure that they are learning, and the proof is in their speaking and writing it.

But this is no “English only” approach.

Native languages are savored here. With a small army of language specialists to help interpret, students express themselves in the best way they know how, and use that to build English.


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  • This is the same high school of the “acid attack” infamy a few months back.

  • How is 582 nearly half of 1031?  Did this reporter graduate from this school?

  • JackKrak

    “Kansas City has concentrated its language programs within the general high school at East—aiming to give immigrant students more special services with opportunities to blend in with mainstream students.”

    I shudder to think about what counts as a “mainstream student” at this school. Probably an immigrant from Somalia or Bolivia who started at the school four years ago as a ten year old and is now reading English at a second grade level.

  • They can’t read or write in their own language; have never been to school in their home countries; don’t understand the most basic of social norms like sitting in a chair; and they need a special group of teachers to help them communicate.  Do they wear burlap sacks to class…throw feces on the wall…pillage threw garbage? Our education has enough problems without these kids.  Let their churches and volunteers step in to teach them.

    You can take Pedro out of the 3rd world, but you can’t take the 3rd world out of Pedro.  

    “I don’t think people really understand the population we serve.” 

    Nor do I want to…

  • Church_of_Jed

    “Who are elitist Kansas City politicians and bureaucrats who signed off on the free stuff programs that attracted all this third worldism? What are their names? Where do they live? They should be hounded by the press to explain every Diversity malfunction from now till Kingdom Come.”

    -Rev. Jed DeValleyism, “Make those who did this to us squirm and squirm some more; eradicate their White privilege while multiplying ours,” 2012

    •  I can give you one name:

      Mark Funkhouser, (“white”), former Mayor of Kansas City.

      He actually came out for letting people convicted of adult felonies join the Kansas City Police Department.

      Why?  You guessed it.  Not enough blacks on the KCPD.

  • Hunter Morrow

    I bet they have awesome NAEP and ACT test scores.

  • anmpr1

    “Once they get it, they run with it,” Tommy Herrera said. “They’ll pass up American-born citizens.”

    Sorry Mr. Herrera.  Nobody believes this liberal propaganda.  Unless you are talking about running away with whatever they stole, or the welfare/SSI check the parents are receiving.

    • Dont forget affirmative action. Obefofo that cant remember when his birthdate(if his online birth cert. is correct) is can get into harvard

  • So it takes an army of 1stworlders to support each 3rdworlder. There are not enough 1stworlders to go around

  • KC really must be a hellhole. Thats where the Cato instutute proved throwing unlimited money at blacks cant close the gap. Money And School Performance:
    Lessons from the Kansas City Desegregation Experiment

    • Great read, Steven. Thanks for posting!!!

      I especially like the conclusion that, “Because the community regarded the school system as much as an employment opportunity as an educational institution, less than half the education budget ever made it to the classroom.”

      Having worked in education, I know this to be true.  I worked at a college.  Many staff members would leave to either teach or become some special program director at a public school.  The reasoning was usually the paycheck and benefits.  Education is no longer an “institution” in our society.  It’s now an industry.

  • TomIron361

    “I’m amazed at how far they can advance in a few short years,” Daud said. “I don’t think people really understand the population we serve.”

    When I was a kid in Brooklyn, we had a kid move into the neighborhood from Czechoslovakia. He couldn’t speak one word of English other than “yes,” and then smile. It was the summertime. He started school (PS92) that fall with the rest of us and was assigned a class like everybody else. He was taught totally in English and by the next summer, if you weren’t a linguist of some sort, you’d never would’ve heard him speak and think he came from anywhere but Brooklyn, N.Y. All this teaching in foreign languages is a bunch of malarkey.

  • Johnny Reb

    I’ve got the answer!

    They were fighting for it before the white man showed up.    So  give the land in and around KC back to BOTH the Osage AND the Kiowa indians.  Let them sort it out. 

    I’ve noticed non-whites are far less tolerant of OTHER non-whites than effeminate white liberals.  Besides, non-whites are much easier to beat than whites.  The indians should be able to deal with the Heinz 57 mix in KC then we can deal with the indians like we did before.

    Racialism by proxy . . . worked for the Romans . . . why not us?

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    Kansis City metro  area elderly white jogger is killed for sport by two blacks

    • xxxtonygunsxxx


  • mobilebay

    Has some sort of law been passed that I’m not aware of? Do we now only import third worlders? If so, how does this improve our country? The immigrants of old had, among other requirements, to prove they were self-sufficient. Has this requirement been tossed out too. And this is what our tax money is going for – people who will be on the welfare rolls for generations? Can someone speak very slowly and make me understand how this improves our nation? Aside from having to bear the financial burden of these people, we’re probably sending billions of dollars to their home countries. Also just read where the US has hit a milestone…minority births just exceeded white births. Goodbye, America as we knew it.

    • Whirlwinder

      Immigrants of old prior to the 1965 immigration act, were primarily from Europe. They came to America wanting to improve their lot in life and thereby improving America. Now, most come from all over the world with no idea about what America is or how they can help their new country. Most want the benefits without the work. And Islam comes to conquer.

  • XIXth

    Wonder what the SAT/ACT and other standardized test scores for the KC High School system show for the years 1982-2012. Then the same school system asks for more money because the test scores are falling…..along with America.