LatinaLista — Whenever surveys about Latinos and education are done, the findings are all the same — parents want their children to be educated or Latino students want to go on to college.
But the intention almost never translates into action. A new study released by Pew Hispanic — Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap reveals that most Latinos say they don’t fulfill their dream of a higher education because of the financial pressures to provide for their families.
What does this really mean?
It means that too many young Latinos/as are starting families too early. It also means that traditional college courses are not the answer for some students whose thirst for learning may not entail what can be found in textbooks.
When asked why Latinos on average do not do as well as other students in school, more respondents in the Pew Hispanic Center survey blame poor parenting and poor English skills than blame poor teachers. The explanation that Latino students don’t work as hard as other students is cited by the fewest survey respondents; fewer than four-in-ten (38%) see that as a major reason for the achievement gap.
It’s curious that this survey cites poor English skills as being a contributing factor with poor Latino school performance. Ordinarily, poor English skills would affect only first generation Latinos who were not born here. Even then, if they were brought here early enough, by the time they reach high school, they should have a good command of the English language.
Is it fair to the rest of the Latino student population to conduct a survey among predominantly Spanish-speakers, or those who have significant enough trouble with their English that it paints an overall bad picture of Latino students in general?
It leads to wondering what other underlying problems exist or which reason is really the main one for keeping Latino students from achieving higher goals.