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Education

New Mexico Hispanic Students lag White Students in Reading and Math Consistently for Six Years

New Mexico Hispanic Students lag White Students in Reading and Math Consistently for Six Years

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A report released by the New Mexico Public Ed Dept that analyzed data to evaluate what was working and what was not in the education of Hispanic students. According to the report, the academic reading proficiency for Hispanic students stood at 47.9 percent, compared to 69.1 percent for white students. In math, proficiency for Hispanic students stood at 36.4, compared to 58.9 for white students. The report considered all grades and school districts in the state.

The report is required by the Hispanic Education Act, which seeks to study, develop and implement an educational system that eliminates the achievement gap and increases graduation rates for Hispanic students. The act went into effect on July 1, 2010.

Emma J. Armendáriz, Las Cruces Public School’s director for bilingual, multicultural and migrant education, said reasons for the achievement gap cannot be oversimplified, as many factors affect student learning. Socioeconomic status, parental involvement, the length of enrollment in the public school system and the number of generations the student has lived in the U.S. are a few to consider, she said.

“To simplify it would be unjust to both the communities we’re speaking of and of the school system,” she sad. “There’s no easy way to bring everyone up to par, there are so many factors that affect learning.”

“Historically, Hispanics here in the Southwest have been discriminated against because of their culture and language, and we still see remnants and affects of that, where sometimes children have lost their heritage and language, but have not learned English either,” Armendáriz said.