Diplomas Count 2012: Trailing Behind, Moving Forward
Seesawing between sobering and encouraging, this eighth edition of Education Week’s Diplomas Count annual report illuminates the educational attainment of America’s Latino population—a sometimes neglected group with the fastest growing share of our nation’s classroom seats. And it comes none too soon. If public education is to improve over the next ten years, more attention must be paid to the 12.1 million Latino pupils (among 54 million total students) currently in the U.S. schools. (By 2020, Latinos are slated to comprise a quarter of the nation’s school children.) We learn that this group has made noteworthy strides in graduation rates—up 1.7 percentage points from 2008 to 2009 (the most recent year for which data are available) and 5.5 percentage points over the prior decade. Still, despite these big bumps, Latinos’ graduation rate is 10 percentage points lower than the national average meaning that we have a daunting hike ahead. And, as Ed Week’s authors explain, doing ELL education right will offer a big boost up this mountain.
SOURCE: Education Week, Diplomas Count 2012: Trailing Behind, Moving Forward (Bethesda, MD: Editorial Projects in Education, June 2012).