Last year, more than 2 million Hispanic young adults were enrolled in college, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, reaching a record 16.5 percent share of all college enrollments. And it’s not simply because the United States is home to more Hispanic students—although it is. It’s not simply because President Barack Obama has created new opportunities for poor and middle-class students to pay for college—although he certainly has done that too.
It’s also thanks to the hard work of NEA educators at all levels, said NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen, who serves on the White House Commission on Hispanic Education. “Educators, teachers, education support professionals are working like crazy to build bridges between schools and homes,” she said. “When you see something good like this happening, it’s not an accident. It’s planned. We have put at the top of our agenda to close the achievement gaps.”
Creating opportunities for all students to attend college, if they choose, starts early—really early. In small-town Crete, Nebraska, for example a gateway town for Central and South Americans working in the Midwest’s meat-packing industry, fully certified school district teachers keep more than 150 pre-kindergartners busily hopping between interactive learning centers and pre-literacy centers.
“(Early education) isn’t just a good remedy for English Language Learners. It’s not just a good remedy for Hispanic students. It’s not just a good remedy for low-SES (socioeconomic status) students. It’s a good investment for all children,” writes Ellen Frede, co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, in ETS Policy Notes.
the views expressed on this site are the author's and the author's alone. they do not reflect the views of her employer or any professional organization with which she is now or has been affiliated.
i'm the leftist liberal you've been warned about - the one who genuinely supports the expansion of the welfare state. i love politics and data and graffiti and street art and am far too lazy to use my shift key. if you need to reach me, you can email to abbyjean at the google email service.