EDUCATIONAL CRISIS OR OPPORTUNITY: HOW TO RESOLVE EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES THAT HISPANICS AND LATINOS FACE
Courtney, Karen Marie
The United States currently grapples with a number of complex challenges focused on health care, employment and labor, economy, global leadership, homeland security, energy and the environment, defense, and immigration. However, one the greatest challenges, not on the center stage of national attention, is the Latino and Hispanic educational crisis. There are 53 million Latino and Hispanics residing in the United States. Hispanics are now the largest minority at 14% and they are increasing in numbers every day. While the Latino and Hispanic populations have significantly increased over the past few decades, few resources are being dedicated toward managing the burgeoning needs accompanying this population trend. This research focuses on educational deficiencies within the Hispanic and Latino communities. Research conducted under this study reveals that Latinos and Hispanics lag far behind Blacks, Native Americans, Whites, and Asians when it comes to academic achievement. It is an educational crisis that directly impacts the socio-economic status of this group as the next generations evolve and as such requires swift and immediate national attention. The research highlights that a synergistic coordination and a cohesive effort by local, state, and the federal government is paramount to tackling this evolving national crisis. The research further focuses on what is currently being done at the federal, state, and local level to address some of these issues.A number of valuable resources were used throughout the discovery process. Several sources provided dynamic statistical information while data was being gathered. Some of the sources of the data included Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project, United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, United States Census Bureau, and the American Federation of Teachers; in addition to many other scholarly resources which are referenced and used as the source for data collection during this research process.While the immigration of Hispanics to the United States has helped expansion of business and resolved labor market issues, the reality is that the generation that follows these immigrant groups are Americans that require the same level of educational standards and opportunities to achieve the American dream as other Americans who preceded them. Furthermore the intellectual value that this group and its future generations bring will remain largely an untapped opportunity for intellectual fertilization which is the foundation of the immigration principles in the United States. This research concludes that if the immigration trend continues as it has in the several decades the gap between education, prosperity, and standard of living for this group of immigrants and their future generations will continue to increase at an alarming rate. If unresolved, this can constitute a national crisis of the same magnitude as the need that brought them to the country as immigrants.The federal government has implemented No Child Left Behind and recently rolled out Common Core State Standards; however, many additional programs and services must be created immediately to adequately address these educational deficiencies and consequently the social disadvantage facing the Latino and Hispanic population.
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