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Latino Daily News

Wednesday April 27, 2011

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

Photo: White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

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Hispanic success in education and in the labor market is of immediate and long‐term importance to America’s economy, according to a new report released today by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and the U.S. Department of Education. The report shows that Hispanics have the lowest education attainment level overall of any group in the U.S.

Hispanics are by far the largest minority group in today’s American public education system, numbering more than 12.4 million in the country’s elementary, middle and high schools. Nearly 22 percent, or slightly more than 1 in 5, of all pre‐K-12 students enrolled in America’s public schools is Hispanic, but they face persistent obstacles to educational attainment. Less than half are enrolled in any early learning program. Only about half earn their high school diploma on time; those who do complete high school are only half as likely as their peers to be prepared for college and only 4 percent have completed graduate or professional degree programs.

Senior Obama Administration officials met with dozens of educators and community leaders at Miami Dade College today to release the report and to outline strategies to meet President Obama’s goal for the nation to have the best-educated workforce in the world by 2020.

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics director Juan Sepúlveda said Latino education attainment is important in the global contest for jobs and industries.

“Hispanic students have graduated at lower rates than the rest of the population for years, making America’s progress impossible if they continue to lag behind,” said Sepúlveda. “Strengthening and improving educational excellence in this community isn’t just a Hispanic problem. It’s a challenge to the entire country.”

The nation’s Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million in the last decade, accounting for more than half of the nation’s total population growth. The report shows that Hispanics will drive the growth of the labor force over the next several decades, accounting for 60 percent of the nation’s growth between 2005 and 2050.