Despite Obstacles, Latinos Surge Ahead To College
The Graduating Latino series is looking at both the obstacles and successes of Latino families navigating the education system in the Miami Valley. But recent research from the Pew Research Center finds the story of Latinos and education in the U.S. is a rapidly changing one: in 2012, the percentage of Hispanic high school graduates who went on to college exceeded that of their white counterparts. In other words, if they do graduate from high school, Latino kids are now more likely to go on to college than white kids.
Mark Hugo Lopez from Pew talked to us about why that is: he says attaining middle class status and the value of education are high on the list for a lot of Latino families, and the shift is being driven by kids born here in the U.S. He also says the increase in the numbers of girls going on to college is giving the numbers a boost.
The research also shows dropout rates are going down overall in the U.S., and for Hispanic students, they’re plummeting—from 40 percent in 1972 to 15 percent in 2012. As of 2012, Hispanic students made up a quarter of public school students in the country.
That said, disparities remain. Latinos in the U.S. are still attending preschool in lower numbers than white kids of the same age, and Ohio still has a significant disparity in graduation rates between whites and Latinos. In the remainder of the series, we’ll look at some of the challenges in local districts including Dayton, Trotwood-Madison and Springfield.
Graduating Latino is WYSO's series on education for Latino students in the Miami Valley, produced in partnership with Think TV. It's part of the public media initiative American Graduate, which is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.