Winning the Future: Improving Education for the Latino Community
It is no surprise that the Latino population in the United States is growing rapidly. Between 2000-2010 the national Latino population increased by 15.2 million people, more than half of the overall population growth during that time period. The Latino community is also young on average. There are 17.1 million Latinos under the age of 17, and they comprise 22 percent (one in five) of all prek-12 students currently enrolled in America’s public schools. This rise in population combined with the youthfulness of the Latino population makes them a vital component to our future success as a nation. However, educational statistics among the Latino population are troubling: Latinos have low participation in early childhood education programs; subpar graduation rates; and less than 15 percent of them go on to receive their bachelor’s degree.
A recent report by the Department of Education highlights the state of education in the Latino community, drawing attention to areas that must improve:
- Early childhood education: Future success in education is often contingent on the educational experience that children receive at an early age. Latino children represent the largest segment of the early childhood population, however less than half of Latino children are enrolled in an early childhood program.
- Low graduation rates: One of the main goals of the public education system is to see that all students graduate from high school equipped with necessary skills to enter college. Currently one in five students in the public school system is Latino, yet almost half of them never graduate from high school. Latino students also participate less frequently in Advanced Placement courses.
- Supporting English Learners: English learners comprise 10 percent of the Nation’s students in grades K-12. Sadly, more than two thirds of ELLs score below basic proficiency in reading and math.
Ohio is also experiencing Latino population growth, and educational underperformance of this subgroup. According to the recent 2010 Census data the Latino population in Ohio increased by 63 percent since 2010, and they now represent 3.4 percent of Ohio’s total population. Academic performance for Latino students in Ohio is also cause for concern. Graduation rates for Latino students are 61.4 percent, compared to 88.6 percent for white students. Proficiency rates are also subpar for K-12 Latino students, with only 63.4 of third grade students proficient in reading. As the Latino population continues to grow nationally and in Ohio, policy makers and educators must find ways to improve their educational attainment.
the Future: Improving Education for the Latino Community
Department of Education
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