Luis F. Cruz

Luis F. Cruz, PhD, is former principal of Baldwin Park High School, located east of Los Angeles, California. He has been a teacher and administrator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
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Bridging the gap

A Multifaceted Approach to Eliminating the Achievement Gap for Latino Students

Categories: School Improvement

This post is part of an ongoing series on the topic of Eliminating the Achievement Gap for Latino Students.

The opening line to Charles Dickens’ classic novel The Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” could be referenced today to describe the state of Latino students in the public education system of the United States. According to the non-profit organization Excelencia in Education’s, 2015 publication of The Condition of Latinos in Education, the following statistics hold true today:

  • The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates that while Latino students have increased both math and reading scores by double digits over the last 10 years, Latino students continue to score below the national average.
  • While Latinos represent the second largest group of the early childhood population, Latino children were less likely to be enrolled in early childhood education than other ethnic groups.
  • While the Latino dropout rate from high school has decreased, it still remains higher than any other ethnic group.
  • While Latinos represented 17% of SAT test-takers for 2013 college bound seniors, they also had lower mean scores in all areas of the SAT than did White, Asian, or American Indians/Alaska Native college-bound seniors.

While significant strides are being made to close the achievement gap for Latino students, an important question remains: What must schools and/or districts serving large Latino student populations do to eliminate the achievement gap for Latino students?

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