Educating Latinos: An NPR Special Report
A Five-Part Series on a Crisis in Education
Part 1: Communities and the growing Hispanic population
Latino students now make up the largest minority group in the school-age population in the country. Yet they lag behind their white and Asian peers -- and in some cases African Americans -- on most measures of achievement: test scores, college completion, dropout rates. There is broad consensus in research and policy circles that the public schools are not doing a good job of meeting the needs of these students, and that a vast pool of human capital is being squandered. In towns like Gainesville, Ga., low-paying jobs are drawing thousands of Hispanics to the community each year. Schools have few resources, and even less guidance, on how best to teach them. NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.
Monday, Nov. 25, 2002
Part 2: The Bilingual Education Debate
In general, the issue of language is the dominant and most divisive issue in the debate over how best to reduce the educational achievement gap between Latino students and the rest of the country. Bilingual education has come to be dominated by issues of politics, race, and culture -- in fact, just about everything except what works best for kids. Arizonans passed a ballot initiative two years ago to end bilingual education and "mainstream" language-minority students much faster. It has thrown public schools into turmoil. Schools and teachers still don't know what they're supposed to be doing, and many students and parents are just as confused. NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.
Monday, Dec. 2, 2002
Part 3: Finding Teachers that Speak the Language
One of the main problems of educating Latinos is finding teachers who speak their language. In rural areas, finding qualified Spanish-speaking teachers is especially difficult. Small districts can offer little in the way of pay, or lifestyle incentives, to attract these teachers. One North Carolina district is struggling to find the answers. WUNC's Jessica Jones reports.
Monday, Dec. 9, 2002
Part 4: Educating Latinas
Girls are a special concern to many educators struggling to improve education for Hispanics. On some measures, such as dropout rate, Latinas equal or exceed boys in low achievement. Yet many Latinas succeed despite the odds, and a higher percentage than boys go on to college. In El Paso, Texas, one program is exploring the special needs of Latinas, and having remarkable success. NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports.
Monday, Dec. 16, 2002
Part 5: The Assimilation Experience
Latino teens -- whether they're the first, second or even third generation of their families to live in the United States, often feel torn between the values and traditions of their parents and America's youth culture. In reporting for this series, NPR's Claudio Sanchez spoke with some Latino families around the country about these conflicting pressures, and the role education and cultural heritage plays in their hopes for the future. NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.
Monday, Dec. 23, 2002