Blog: Latino Ed Beat

College Prep Passes Over Some Latino Students

There is growing evidence that many incoming college students are not prepared for the rigors of higher education. A study released this week by the Education Trust-West shows that Latino and black students in California may be faring even worse than their white counterparts.

The study, which looked at five districts in California, found that five in 10 high school graduates were not prepared for college. Among Latino students, the numbers were even more grim. Less than a quarter of Latino high school graduates had completed the courses needed to apply to a four-year public university in the state, the report found. Among the Latino students who took the college-prep courses, only21 to 35 percent passed the classes–compared to 20 to 63 percent of white students.

Latino, black and low-income students are “tracked” more often into less rigorous classes or vocational education, while white and Asian students are more often placed into college-prep courses. Since students who begin in lower tracks rarely move up, that represents a major barrier, the report concluded.

Although the study focused on California students, the issue of college-readiness is a national one. Are the Latino students in your area represented in college prep, honors classes and Advanced Placement or are they being tracked into non-college prep courses? Is anything being done to address inequities?