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What’s Behind the Falling Latino Dropout Rates?

Something is afoot in the education of Latinos.

Consider these facts:

- The Hispanic dropout rate, 14 percent, is the lowest it’s been in three decades and has been cut in half since 2000.

- About a fourth of the people who took the GED test in 2013 were Latino, the largest share since 2003.

- The graduation rate for Hispanics, different than the dropout rate, was up to 76 percent to 2012, a 15 percentage point increase from 2006.

Latino leaders and education experts cite these facts by heart, but they are less precise in pinpointing exactly how Hispanics got to these better education markers.

Explanations vary from the changed and tougher economy to policies instituted in the Bush and Obama administrations. Others point to local school districts manipulating data or the fact that larger Latino student populations have focused the attention of educators who previously may have neglected their needs.