Home / Media / ePiñata / October 17, 2016

HF Launches New Initiative to Close Latino Education Gap

According to data from the Census Bureau, nearly one in four U.S. children are Hispanic. By 2030, that proportion will likely rise to one in three. Not surprisingly, the educational performance of Latino children has and will have a profound effect on the United States. Unfortunately, Latino children face a serious achievement gap when compared to other U.S. students. Data from the Child Trends Hispanic Institute, shows that only 21 percent of Latino fourth-graders were proficient readers, compared to 46 percent of white students. The consequences of this reading gap are profound. Students who struggle to read early in their education are more likely to perform poorly on assessment tests and drop out of school.

Hispanic Federation has leveraged a two-year, $350,000 investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the Latino Educational Advancement Project – NY (LEAP-NY), an initiative which uses advocacy, coalition building and public education-focused activities to promote high quality educational standards and practices which improve the long-term success of Latino K-16 students in New York State. The long-term goal of LEAP is to narrow the achievement gap of Latino students throughout the educational continuum.

LEAP-NY will develop and present a multifaceted reform agenda to catalyze changes aimed at enhancing New York’s K-16 college access and success pipeline, and improve the academic outcomes of Latino students.

“Long-term economic stability begins in the classroom,” said HF President José Calderón. “We know that the ripple effects of poor educational performance in the early school years can be felt into adolescence and beyond. Our hope with LEAP-NY is to put the Latino achievement gap on the front-burner for policymakers, educators and parents and create practical interventions that improve our kids’ performance.”