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American Educator, v41 n1 p4-11, 42-43 Spr 2017

By now, it is pretty much common knowledge that Latinos comprise the nation's largest minority group, both as a percentage of the population (17.6 percent) and as a percentage of school-age students (25 percent). That is, one in four K-12 students in the United States is Latino or Latina. While the related challenges are often overemphasized, the tremendous assets these young people bring with them are often overlooked. How we view these students--primarily as challenges or as assets--will determine to a large extent how we choose to educate them and the kind of success they are able to achieve. This article describes recent demographic shifts in where Latinos reside, the challenges Latino students face as well as the achievement gains made, why Latino students fall behind in schools, the impact of immigration on the well-being of Latino children, ways that these students are primed for "deeper learning," what we know works, and what we must do to provide Latino children with a strong academic foundation, to ensure they have access to high-quality education, and to make it easier for them to earn college degrees.

Descriptors: Hispanic American Students, Demography, Barriers, Educational Opportunities, Achievement Gains, Achievement Gap, Immigration, Well Being, Child Welfare, Best Practices, Change Strategies, Minority Group Students

American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail: amered[at]; Web site:

Autor: Gándara, Patricia


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