This report by the Pew Hispanic Center documents a little-discussed fact of Latino student life: badly-funded schools are pushing them out. The report, The Role of Schools in the English Language Learner Achievement Gap, thoroughly documents how several factors-economics, class, race, to name a few. The report identifies one of the fundamental problems lies not with students, but with schools or what it calls “the concentration in low-achieving public schools and the degree to which this isolation is associated with the large achievement gap in mathematics between ELL students and other major student groups.
Especially interesting is the racial factor in Latino education, specifically how Latinos who went to schools with a higher percentage of white students tended to perform better. In the words of Richard Fry, author of the report,
In all five states investigated and irrespective of grade levels ELL students were much less likely than white students to score at or above the state’s proficient level. However, when ELL students attended public schools with at least a minimum threshold number of white students, the gap between the math proficiency scores of white students and ELL students was considerably narrower, the Pew Hispanic Center analysis has found. This suggests that the lag in test score achievement of ELL students is attributable in part to the characteristics of the public schools they attend.”
So, next time you find yourself in a discussion with someone subscribing to the Darwinian view (ie; Latinos are genetically predisposed to academic failure) show them the report. That is, if they themselves can turn off Fox News for a minute to read something.