Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Illinois Suburbs Grapple With Latino Achievement Gap

Achievement gaps persist for Latino students living in the Chicago suburbs, The Daily Herald reports. The newspaper bases those conclusions on the 2012 Illinois state report cards, released this week.

The newspaper’s report included analyzing the test scores of Latino students at 27 high schools in the Northwest Illinois suburbs. About 38 percent of Latino students met or exceeded the state reading standards and about 40 percent did in math. By comparison, about 60 percent of all students in the Northwest suburbs meet or exceed standards in math, reading and science.

Some suburbs are focusing on creating career centers at high schools to improve student outcomes. For example, Wheeling High School in the suburbs created a STEM–science, technology, engineering and mathematics–program that has resulted in improved test scores.

About half of the school’s students are Latino. The newspaper reports that about 56.3 percent of Wheeling High’s Latino students met or exceeded math standards in 2012, about 20 points above the state average for Latinos.

“A growing percentage of our workforce population are Hispanic in this state and nationwide,” Wheeling principal Lazaro Lopez told the Herald. “We need them to be as educated and successful as their non-Hispanic counterparts because it’s going to have a direct impact on our economy.”