Opinion: Solving Latino achievement gap critical for Arizona’s future

| June 17, 2015

By Lea Marquez Peterson and Eileen Klein • Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Hispanic students today represent nearly 42 percent of total enrollment in our K-12 system. By 2035, the U.S. Census estimates that a majority of Arizona will be Hispanic.

Yet Hispanic students are less likely than the general population to enroll in either college or graduate school. While 50 percent of Arizona’s high-school students pursue post-secondary education, only 44 percent of Hispanic students pursue a college education. Even more startling, only 10 percent of Hispanic students who enroll in our public universities will earn a degree. This is alarming, given that two-thirds of all jobs by 2018 will require a post-secondary education.

With this realization, we are making strides, yet still have a long way to go. For example, in the Arizona high school graduating class of 2006, only 5.3 percent of Hispanic students went on to graduate from two-year institutions after six years and 8.3 percent of Hispanic students graduated from four-year institutions. Two years later, the comparable figures for the class of 2008 are 6.7 percent and 10 percent. This is growth, but it is not enough.

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Category: Education

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