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Achievement Gap Isn't Just Black And White

NPR’s “School’s Out: America’s Dropout Crisis” focuses on the nation’s dropout problem, recognizing that the crisis has a lifelong impact on far too many people, including our economy and our community, as dropouts earn significantly less than a high school or college graduate and are more likely to commit crimes, live in poverty, and become teen parents.

A recent NAEP study found that a significant gap remains between Hispanic and white achievement levels. Well aware of the dropout and achievement of Hispanic youngsters, the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (HCREO) hosted an education summit in Florida to examine how school choice options can help Hispanic students not only stay in school, but achieve at higher levels. By creating coalitions with parents, teachers, schools, faith-based organizations, and corporate America, HCREO has been able to educate, inform, and mobilize Hispanic parents.

Florida’s new education commissioner Gerard Robinson, formerly president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options and Secretary of Education in Virginia, advocated in favor of all forms of choice for minority students from low-income families. Wonder what the NAACP thinks about that? The goal is to put the pressure on at a national level, which HCREO hopes to do with its Coalition to Ensure Educational Opportunities for Hispanic Children to Succeed.

Let’s hope they, and NPR, can shake the status quo to do just that.

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