In taking a closer look at education overall in the Latino community, Hispanic Heritage Month is a crucial time.
By 2050, the projected Latino population will represent 30 percent of the United States. Today, more than 23 percent of elementary and high school students are Hispanic.
However, as things currently stand, there is a need for improvement in all aspects of education, from pre-K to higher ed.
Hispanic Heritage Month: Closer look at Latino education
Despite the fact experts have revealed 88 percent of students surveyed say they need college education in order to be successful in life, currently only 78 percent of Hispanics ages 18 to 24 are enrolled as fulltime college students.
Here’s a glass half full, glass half empty view at how far Latino education has come in the last decades and where it needs to go moving forward.
Hispanic Heritage Month finds us looking at Pre-K. If the broken record of Latino education achievement gap between Hispanic students and non-Hispanic white students is going to be bridged, studies have proven it all starts at the beginning.
Even though Latino children under 5 years old represent the fastest growing segment of the U.S. young child population, the Department of Education reports less than half are enrolled in an early learning program.
This translates into those same kids beginning school one to two years behind everyone else. Specifically, they’re half a year behind peers in academic measures.
Studies in Latino education show these cognitive gaps in early childhood development continue to persist throughout school, leading up to poor high school graduation rates.
As it stands:
• A recently released Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual 2013 Kids Count report study revealed among any racial or ethnic group, Latino children have the lowest preschool attendance rate.
• Roughly 63 percent of Latino children didn’t attend preschool compared with 50 percent of non-Hispanic white children.
• The Obama Administration is hoping to make “Universal Preschool” available for every 4-year-old in America. This program could act as the building blocks of Latino education in the future.
To mark Hispanic Heritage Month, here’s a look at Latino high school students.
The good news is over the past decade the high school graduation rate for Hispanic students increased from 64 to 78 percent, according to Pew Research Center.
The bad news for Latino education is the system is failing 22 percent of its population.
There are moves to bridge this gap with implementing Common Core Standards aimed to elevate education to a high-level for students. However, one of the biggest battles involves what’s called the “soft bigotry of low expectations” [Education Trust Higher Education Research and Policy Analyst Joseph Yeado] where low expectation in K-12 education doesn’t challenge students for high achievement. This negatively affects Latino education.
As it stands:
• High school graduation rate for Hispanic students is 78 percent.
• 14 percent of Hispanics ages 16 to 24 were high school dropouts in 2011. This is compared to 28 percent in 2000. During that same time frame, non-Hispanic white high school dropouts declined from 7 percent to 5 percent.
Hispanic Heritage Month spotlights Latino education in relation to college graduation.
President Obama has made it his focus to increase the number of college graduates by 2020. Specifically, that goal is 3.5 million Latino graduates.
One of the biggest issues facing Latino education is Hispanics are often viewed as unconventional students: attending mostly community colleges in a part-time fashion while working to help support their families.
The good news is a Pew Research Center shows for the first time more Latinos attended college than non-Hispanic whites. That is, 69 percent of the class of 2012 enrolled in higher education.
As it stands:
• A recent Latino Education Pew study shows the current overall college gradation rate for Hispanics is 47 percent.
• 6.2 percent of full-time college students in October 2010 were Hispanic.
• Recent U.S. Census data look at Latino education reveals among adults 25 and over, Hispanics are less likely than other racial and ethnic groups to earn an associates degree or higher. Specifically in 2011, only 21 percent of Latino adults 25 and over had earned an associate degree or higher, compared to 40 percent of all adults.
• A new study of national college graduation data by the American Enterprise Institute Across the country shows 51 percent of Hispanic students complete a bachelor’s degree in six years, compared to 59 percent of non-Hispanic white students.
• 20 percent of Hispanic adults have an associate’s degree, compared to double that for non-Hispanic whites.
• Only 78 percent of Hispanic aged 18 to 24 were enrolled fulltime in college, compared to 85 percent of non-Hispanic whites. And, Hispanic college students were less likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to be enrolled in a four-year college (56 percent versus 72 percent). The good news is the latter figure jumped 22 percent between 2009 and 2011.
• 20 percent of Hispanic adults have an associate’s degree.