Educating Hispanic Students

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Educating Hispanic Students

Education is the key to individual opportunity, the strength of our economy, and the vitality of our democracy. In the 21st century, this nation cannot afford to leave anyone behind. While the academic achievement and educational attainment of Hispanic Americans has been moving in the right direction, untenable gaps still exist between Hispanic students and their counterparts in the areas of early childhood education, learning English, academic achievement, and high school and college completion.

Hispanics will represent more than one-quarter of school-age children in the United States by 2025. These children are more likely than others to be educationally and economically disadvantaged. Presently, 36 percent of Hispanic students live in families whose income is below the poverty line. As a result, Hispanic students are concentrated in high-poverty, largely racially isolated schools, and they often have limited access to the resources needed for academic success, such as highly qualified teachers, small classes, 21st century technology, and modern school buildings.

As the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in America's public schools, Hispanic students have the unique potential to positively affect the economic and cultural future of the United States. Ensuring the promise of this diverse group of learners requires the attention and commitment of the entire country. We must work harder to close the educational achievement gaps between Hispanic students and the nation as a whole. This must begin with high expectations for achievement, clear goals for what must be accomplished, and specific benchmarks to measure our progress.

The first goal for us as educators should be: Eliminating Achievement Gap

Provide a high-quality education with appropriate resources and support to ensure equal opportunity for all students in order to eliminate the achievement gap between Hispanic students and other students on appropriate state assessments and other indicators.


Baseline Year Hispanic National

Percentage of fourth graders

who scored at or above the proficient

level on the reading section of the

NAEP test. [ 4 ] 1998 13% 31%

Percentage of fourth graders

who scored at or above the proficient

level o...

... middle of paper ... for the U.S. general population, Mexican-American females had a significantly higher need for mobility than their male counterparts.

Psychological learning style elements relate to global versus analytical processing. The construct of field dependence/independence is a component of this learning style. Field dependent individuals are more group-oriented and cooperative and less competitive than field independent individuals. Research generally has indicated that Mexican- American and other minority students are more field dependent than nonminority students. Studies have found that Hispanic middle and secondary school students were more field dependent than Anglo students; Hispanic female (and African-American male) students had a greater internal focus of control than other groups; and Hispanic male (and African-American female) students had a greater external focus of control than other groups.

In closing, an expanding body of research affirms that teaching and counseling students with interventions that are in cooperation with the students' learning-style preferences result in their increased academic achievement and more positive attitudes toward learning.

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