On El Dia De Los Ninos, a Status Report on Latinos in U.S. Schools

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 30, 2009 1 min read
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The National Council of La Raza marks El Dia De Los Ninos, adapted from a Mexican “children’s day,” today by releasing a statistical brief with data showing that Latinos aren’t being served well by U.S. schools, “Missing Out: Latino Students in America’s Schools.”

The National Latino Children’s Institute in San Antonio, Texas, is celebrating with a public forum on health and education here in the nation’s capital that includes information on how organizations can apply for federal stimulus funds.

The American Library Association also celebrates El Dia De Los Ninos each year with a promotion for library services to Latino families.

The NCLR brief has a section about ELLs. Some of the statistics you’re likely familiar with, such as that 39 percent of Latino children are ELLs and that 80 percent of ELLs are native speakers of Spanish.

But the section on ELLs has a few statistics that I haven’t seen before or haven’t gotten a lot of attention. One of them is that a huge disparity exists between the graduation rates for Latinos who are fluent in English and those who are ELLs. The brief says that, according to U.S. Census data from 2000, 15 percent of Latinos who were fluent in English didn’t graduate from high school while 60 percent of Latinos who were ELLs didn’t graduate. That’s a pretty big deal, it seems to me, that 60 percent of Latinos who are ELLs aren’t graduating from high school.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.