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Latino Daily News

Wednesday December 4, 2013

Latina Mothers Play Key Role in Daughters’ Education

Latina Mothers Play Key Role in Daughters’ Education

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Latino mothers play a decisive role in how their daughters fare at school, experts said during a panel discussion of a new report.

Taking part in the meeting were University of California President Janet Napolitano, California Community Foundation CEO Antonia Hernandez, UCLA professor Patricia Gandara and actress Eva Longoria, whose foundation commissioned the study.

“We were frustrated to primarily find analysis of what does not work for Latinas, and we wanted to find out what does,” Longoria said as she presented the report, “Making Education Work for Latinas in the U.S.

“The findings from this study will help us fine-tune our education work, and we hope others will use this research to support Latina achievement,” she said.

Having Latino teachers and role models is a resource that helps young Latinas in high school get better grades, says the report prepared by Gandara and other researchers with the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

Excellent grades along with participation in extracurricular activities plus a considerable time involved in community service projects are very important tools for getting into university, Napolitano said.

For her part, Gandara stressed the need to break the limited-education cycle of many Hispanic moms in order to guarantee the success of their daughters.

“Latinas are the linchpin of the next generation - how a child fares in school is highly correlated with their mother’s education,” she said.

Though the Hispanic population is growing significantly and forming the largest minority group in the nation, and even though the number of Latinos going to college has increased, the proportion of those students is declining compared with the Latino population as a whole, Hernandez said.

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