Latino High School Graduation Rate Sees Large Increase

The National Center for Education Statistics has released a new report showing a huge increase in Latino high school graduation rates. The rate increased to 71.4% in 2010, up from 61.4% in 2006.

The report shows more positive outcomes for all students. About 78.2% of students graduated on time within four years in 2010. The report also breaks out data by state.

Jack Buckley, director of the NCES, told The Huffington Post that the last time the country had a similarly high graduation rate was in 1968. The NCES put out its first such report in 2005, but made estimates dating back to the 1970s.

“This is the highest estimated rate of on-time graduation,” Buckley said.

Despite those gains, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, said while there has been much progress, still more is needed.

“…Our high school dropout rate is still unsustainably high for a knowledge-based economy and still unacceptably high in our African-American, Latino and Native American communities,” he said in a statement.

Nevada reported the worst rate for Latinos in 2010, at 47.2%. Meanwhile among the states with the nation’s two largest Latino populations, Texas reported a significantly higher graduation rate than California. Texas reported 77.4%, and California, 71.7%.

Some of the 2010 rates for Latinos in other states with large Latino populations included Arizona, 70.6%; Colorado, 65.9%; Florida, 71.1%; Illinois, 76%; New Mexico, 65.3%; and New York, 60.7%.

Related Links:

– “Graduation Rate Hits Record High for High School Students: Government Report,” The Huffington Post. 

– “Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2009-10,” National Center for Education Statistics. 

– “Latino High School Graduation Rates up 10%,” Fox News Latino. 

High schools Embrace Latino-themed Organizations On Campus

High schools are beginning to recognize that clubs and organizations specifically targeted toward Latino youth are one way to increase student engagement.

The Winston Salem-Journal in North Carolina reports that  Mount Tabor High School recently launched a Latino Achievers program geared at instilling students’ pride in their heritage and making them aware of educational opportunities. Last school year, the program served 800 Hispanic students in six area high schools.

The program brings successful Latino adults, including those in professions such as nursing and interpreting, on campus to speak with students. They also are provided other academic support.

A school counselor reached out to the local YMCA about the program, which helps operate the program with support from the United Way. The Latino Achievers program is administered in cities across the United States.

The students feel “someone cares about them and wants to invest in their future,”  Mount Tabor counselor Corey Daniel told the newspaper. “We need them to care about their community, and we need their community to care about them.”

Similarly, in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas, students and teachers created the Latinos Stand Up organization for Hispanic families, providing opportunities for students such as college visits. The League of Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, also has a youth leadership program with local site chapters throughout the United States.

I have noticed that these organizations can draw criticism based on the fact that they target once specific ethnic group.

Are you seeing similar organizations form in your communities? Are the groups being met with any resistance or controversy?

Related Links:

– “Program inspires Latino students.” Winston-Salem Journal.