I’m Steve Ember with the VOA Special English Education Report.
The United States government says Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the country. Hispanics are people of Spanish ancestry. Latino is another name for those with roots in Spanish-speaking countries.
The Hispanic population in the United States has increased by almost six million since the last national population count in two thousand. More than forty-one million Latinos live in the United States. That is fourteen percent of the population.
One important concern among American educators is improving the school performance of Latinos. One organization that carries out research on such issues is the Pew Hispanic Center. On November first, the Pew Hispanic Center released three reports about Hispanics and the United States education system.
In the first study, the organization found great differences among the educational environments of Latinos, blacks and whites. It says Hispanic teenagers are more likely than others to attend public schools with the most students, the most low-income students and the fewest teachers.
The study says fifty-five percent of Latinos attend the nation’s largest high schools. And it notes that studies have shown that large schools are linked to low student performance and higher dropout rates.
The second report examines the importance of schooling outside the United States. It says eight percent of the nation’s teenagers are foreign-born. But foreign-born teens make up nearly twenty-five percent of those who never finish high school.
And nearly forty percent of foreign-born teens are recent arrivals who did not finish their educations before they came to the United States. The report says young people in this situation are not likely to finish their educations once they come to the United States.
The third report found that an increasing number of young Hispanics in the United States are going to college. But it also found an increasing difference between the numbers of Hispanics and whites in colleges around the nation.
Internet users can get more information about the reports from the Pew Hispanic Center at its Web site, pewhispanic dot o-r-g. Pew is spelled P-E-W.
This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. Our reports can be found online at voaspecialenglish.com. And if you have a general question about the American education system, send it to [email protected] We cannot answer questions privately, but we might answer them on our program. I'm Steve Ember.