Equity & Diversity

Latino Students Make Strides, Still Face Challenges, Report Shows

By Corey Mitchell — January 23, 2015 1 min read
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A new report from Excelencia in Education, an organization that advocates for higher educational achievement for Latinos, provides a snapshot of enrollment and educational achievement for the fastest-growing population in K-12 public schools

The report, “The Condition of Latinos in Education: 2015 Factbook” pulls data from a number of sources to give a state-level look at Latino K-12 enrollment and shed light on national advances and challenges.

The report dispels the perception that most Latino students are English-language learners. Among students ages 5 to 17, the report found that 84 percent who speak a language other than English at home speak English with no difficulty.

Latinos represent the fast-growing segment of all students in U.S. public schools. In 2011, they represented 24 percent of public school enrollment. Within a decade, they are projected to represent nearly one-third of all U.S. students in K-12 public schools.

Between 2003 and 2013, Latino students, as a group, showed marked improvement on National Assessment of Educational Progress reading and math tests for elementary and high school students. During that same time period, the high school dropout rate for Latino students decreased by nearly half, but remained higher than that of their black and white peers.

The report shows that recent Latino high school graduates enrolled in college at a higher rate than their white and black peers, but were more likely to attend highly racially segregated high schools.

The report also notes that Latino students were the second-largest racial group represented in both special education and gifted and talented programs.

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