Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Greater Access to Educational Options Necessary for Hispanic Students

As we celebrate National School Choice Week, we are reminded that there is still much work to be done in fixing our nation’s education system.   This rings especially true for the Hispanic community.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 15 percent of Hispanic students dropped out of high school in 2012.  While this number is on the decline of where it was over a decade ago (32 percent in 1990), it is still much higher than the dropout rate for black (8 percent), white (5 percent), and Asian (4 percent) students. 

With limited educational options available to Hispanic students, we can do better as a nation to deliver high-quality programs to communities in need, closing the racial achievement gap.

In a poll we conducted last year in partnership with the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options, education ranked second only behind the economy and jobs as the most important issue to Hispanic voters.

In a piece featured today on the Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry blog, Israel Ortega calls on lawmakers to make “bold education reform policies” in order to address the educational needs of Hispanic students. 

“Each parent should have the ability to send his or her child to a better public school, a charter school, or even a private school,” Ortega said.   “What’s more, children should not be confined to failing schools with ineffective teachers or high levels of crime and safety-related issues.”

We couldn’t agree more. 

Students should not be pigeon-holed into a one-size-fits-all education.  All students deserve access to an education that works for their needs, free from senseless restrictions based on their family’s income or geographic location.

-American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, KMS

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