(Washington, D.C.) — Today, the Education Trust extends its commitment to reach out to the largest and fastest growing minority group in the country the nations 40 million Latinos to provide better and more accurate information on student achievement and educational opportunities. To launch this new initiative, the Education Trust is unveiling a website for the Latino community in both Spanish and English which features reports and resources for Latino parents, community leaders and advocates. The Education Trust is among the first organizations in the country to provide such extensive information online in Spanish. All of the materials on the website are available free-of-charge.
As accountability systems ensure greater focus on the needs of Hispanic students, Spanish-speaking parents need more information and better tools to strengthen their advocacy for their schools and their children. Todays release offers Spanish-speaking parents unprecedented access to information about educational opportunities, outcomes, and advocacy. Ten of the Education Trusts popular state summary reports have been translated into Spanish, including nine states with the highest Hispanic population as well as an overview of the nation. Also included are tools for parents to help them understand their rights and get more involved in school improvement efforts.
The research couldnt be more clear and compelling, said Hector Sanchez, Policy Analyst with the Education Trust. The data show that our public school systems are not academically preparing Latinos for college or other options beyond high school. Fortunately, however, the data also show that underachievement among Latino students is not inevitable. There are terrific examples of schools all over the country that are helping Hispanic students reach the highest levels of achievement. While we celebrate these exceptional schools, we need to get down to the hard work of making high achievement the rule.
We know the ingredients of a high-quality education: teaching students to high standards with qualified teachers, using a high-level curriculum, said Paul Ruiz, Principal Partner with the Education Trust. Unfortunately, Hispanic students get less of these critical resources than other students and that has to change. This website should help Spanish-speaking parents better understand the issues and their rights the Education Trust wants to support Spanish-speaking parents who are working to provide a better life for their children.
The website (http://spanish.edtrust.org) features 16 reports, providing information on achievement gaps, the opportunity gaps that contribute to lower student achievement, and tools for communities that want to close the achievement gap.
Specifically, the Education Trusts new website contains the following reports:
- Latino Achievement in America: This two-pager documents the current status of Latino Achievement in America, high-performing schools, and ways communities can help close the achievement gap. An accompanying PowerPoint presentation is also included.
- These reports examine education conditions in the 9 states with the greatest Latino populations and the nation as a whole. They also document that poor students and students of color continue to receive less from our education system. The following state reports are available in Spanish: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Texas
- How NCLB Can Help Latino Parents and Advocates — This one-page document describes education information that parents are entitled to under the new federal law, and encourages parents to use this information to advocate for a better education for their children and for their community.
- Improving Your Schools: A Parent and Community Guide to No Child Left Behind — This comprehensive guide offers parents an easy-to-understand introduction to the new federal law. The guide does not talk about the politics of the law, but rather tries to help parents and community activists understand how they can use the law to improve their childrens education. 16 Fact Sheets that offer more detail on important areas of the law, including teacher quality, parent involvement, and the rights of English-language learners are also available.
- Does My Childs Homework Meet High Standards? A guide for parents to help their children achieve: A guide for parents to help them understand whether or not their childrens homework is up to standards.
To make progress on much-needed changes, advocates need the same information as educators and policymakers. We can ensure all students get taught to high standards, but it will mean changing the way we do business, especially for students who have not been served well by our schools in the past, said Kati Haycock, Director of The Education Trust upon announcing the new website. The Education Trust is committed to making sure that all parents have access to the information they need to participate in public school improvement efforts.
Education in this country among Latinos is an issue that must be addressed and Maryland State Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez is one legislator calling for action.
Time has run out for too many Latino children and youth, said Maryland State Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez. Years of systemic low expectations condemn too many to second-class, minimum wage lives. Every day, throughout the Nation, our schools are failing to deliver the best educational experiences and opportunities that our Latino students, families, and communities are hungry for.
Ruiz concludes, Underachievement among Latinos is a crisis, but raising Latino achievement is not an insurmountable task — it can and must be done.
The Education Trust works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, kindergarten through college, and forever closing the achievement gaps that separate low-income students and students of color from other youth. Our basic tenet is thisAll children will learn at high levels when they are taught to high levels. For more information, visit our web site: www.edtrust.org.