Blog: Latino Ed Beat
For nearly three decades, a White House commission created to help boost Hispanic student achievement, has advised four presidents and their secretaries of education. The advisory panel, however, is set to expire on Sept. 30 unless President Donald Trump issues an executive order to keep it going, according to Patricia Gándara, a commission member who is rallying to preserve it.
More Hispanic students are taking the ACT college-entrance exam, and in some states their scores inched up, new data show. But the achievement gap persists for the class of 2017, with many Hispanic students failing to meet benchmarks for university-level work.
With the White House expected to decide shortly on the fate of the DACA program, questions loom about future access to U.S. education by undocumented immigrants. And some education leaders are speaking out this week in favor of protecting the program.
New U.S. Census data show a dramatic increase in the number of Hispanics attending school, reaching nearly 18 million in 2016. The figure — which covers education at all levels — is double the total 20 years earlier.
“Hispanic students now make up 22.7 percent of all people enrolled in school,” said Kurt Bauman, the chief of Census Bureau’s Education and Social Stratification Branch, in a statement.
As part of an effort to boost the number of Latinos graduating with degrees in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — four universities will use a new federal grant to bring together experts closest to the issue to examine the challenges and brainstorm successful strategies.
The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of California at Irvine, the University of Arizona, the University of Houston and Nova Southeastern University in Florida each $100,000 to host the conferences.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — or DACA — continues to make headlines, with several bills introduced in Congress this month aimed at protecting undocumented young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and providing them with a path to citizenship.
DACA provides recipients access to higher education, putting educators on the front lines of the debate over undocumented youth. Many colleges and universities have created special websites or designated personnel to help DACA students navigate college and feel safe on campus.
Concern is mounting about the relative lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the teaching force – whether in K-12 or higher education.
About 82 percent of U.S. public school teachers at the K-12 level are white and while 25 percent of public school students, or 1 in 4, is Hispanic, according to the most recent figures available from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Arizona State University, in an effort to break new ground around the engagement of Latinos in the political process, has created a new chair on the topic and hired a top political scientist, Rodney Hero, to fill the post.
The new chair is just the latest move by ASU, which serves nearly 100,000 students, to enhance its Hispanic programs as its Latino enrollment has increased (to about 20 percent).
School finance. A bilingual ed townhall meeting. Christian-oriented universities recruiting Hispanic students. Here’s a wrap-up of education stories published the week of July 3-9 involving or affecting Latino students.
The ongoing issues Latino students face in community colleges was the focus of a town hall meeting held earlier this month Phoenix, Arizona, during the annual conference this week of the largest Latino civil right organization in the U.S.
While more Hispanic students are graduating high school and enrolling in college, many still need remediation or are taking longer than the standard two years to earn an associate’s degree.
Starting July 15, high school seniors who are Hispanic, from low-income backgrounds and believe they have strong leadership credentials can apply for a private scholarship to cover virtually all college expenses.
Launched this year, the new program from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will award its first full scholarships to 300 students in 2018. The support will include not just tuition, but also cover fees, housing, books and other costs.
A wrap-up of education news this week involving or affecting Latino students:
Big step for SUNY Albany: Havidán Rodríguez, a higher education leader in Texas, is the first Hispanic president of the State University of New York at Albany. “I am honored and privileged to have been chosen to serve as the University at Albany’s next president,” Rodríguez said.