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Education Experts Worry Over Delayed Progress in Latin Students

Education Experts Worry Over Delayed Progress in Latin Students
  • Post category:News

Education experts say Latinos do makeup almost half of all K-12 public school students in the Southwestern region. Yet do continue to underperform on key education benchmarks which do raise concerns regarding the state’s future workforce. The Arizona Department of Education shows the latest enrollment numbers are 45% of public school students which are Latino. That is slightly up from a decade ago.

Education Experts – Latino Student Population

The associate professor with Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at local State University, David Garcia, did say that while the Latino student population does steadily grow. However, their academic achievement “has also been subpar over time.”

“Moreover, that, unfortunately, does continue,” he said. “There is an idea of Latino students that are being ready to hit those major milestones. That they are ready for kindergarten, for example, reading by third grade. Thus achieving in mathematics in eighth grade at the levels that they need to. All of those do continue to be pressing issues.”

High School Graduation Rates

Moreover, Garcia has said that Latino students do continue to fall behind on high school graduation rates and college attainment as well.

In fact, he does think one main reason for that has to do with the high poverty rates among Latino students.

“Moreover, the most harmful aspects of being poor, of poverty, is instability and it’s the instability related to poverty. It is most hurtful to students that are achieving their educational goals,” Garcia explained.

“Then, if a family has to move out, for example, because they cannot make the rent. That is really disruptive to a student’s educational progress,” he added.

However, Garcia does point to the research he has, in fact, done. Therefore, it would show a much higher percentage of students are therefore eligible for free or reduced lunch in areas where 75% of students are Latinos in Arizona versus areas are less than 25% are Latinos.

The executive director of the advocacy group ALL in Education, Stephanie Parra, has agreed that poverty is an underlying issue that directly impacts Latino student outcomes. Therefore, she has worried about the pandemic which has made matters much worse.

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