To understand one of the most difficult challenges American public school teachers face, it is time to examine the Hispanic/Latino culture, one of largest student subgroups in America
In fact, Hispanic/Latino students as a subgroup often do not achieve the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) benchmarks and there is a reason why this happens.
According to American Renaissance.com, Only 33 percent of citizens of Hispanic/Latino origin consider themselves “Americans” first. The rest consider themselves either “Hispanic/Latino” or their former nationality first.
The host of this Blog taught in California public schools (for thirty years – 1975 to 2005) with large Hispanic/Latino student populations and often heard Mexican students complain about having to learn English since they weren’t Americans and did not plan to stay—many came with their families to make money and not to attend school. Those schools also had White, Asian and African-American/Black students attending the same classes.
It is obvious that two-thirds of these Hispanic/Latino students bring their attitudes of education, cultural beliefs and biases with them when they enter the United States.
American Renaissance says, “Hispanics drop out of high school in the United States at (more than) three times the white rate and twice the black rate. Even third-generation Hispanics drop out of school at higher rates than blacks and are less likely to be college graduates. From 1992 to 2003, Hispanic illiteracy in English rose from 35 percent to 44 percent. The average Hispanic 12th-grader reads and does math at the level of the average White 8th-grader.”
In California for 2010, 41.7% of Hispanic/Latino students achieved the NCLB benchmarks in the English Language while 46.7% made the benchmark for Mathematics. There were 2,385,282 Hispanic/Latino students enrolled in the public schools, which means 994,662 met the NCLB benchmark for English Language and 1,113,927 met the benchmark for Mathematics, but according to Mr. Morally Correct, teachers should quit their jobs because they are frauds and thieves if they cash their monthly checks since this subgroup did not meet the NCLB benchmark.
Unsupervised children are at increased risk for violence, drug abuse, and sexual activity.
Since this subgroup did not meet the benchmark set by California, many schools in the state are considered failures by the NCLB Act and the teachers/educators may be punished when 2014 arrives by possibly losing their jobs and/or having their schools closed. The students may then be bused to other schools that made the benchmarks as if the teachers are the reason one school succeeds and another one fails.
It doesn’t matter that the failing schools may have met the benchmarks for the White and Asian subgroups attending the same classes with Hispanics/Latinos. All it takes is one subgroup not achieving the benchmark to be considered a failure.
Since most of the Hispanic/Latino students in California come from Mexico, it helps to understand a little of the culture that gave birth to and raises these children that drop out of US schools more than three times the rate of the White race and two times that of the African-American/Black race.
The results of the 2009 PISA reading literacy test for students age 15 in Mexico reveals that only one percent (1%) earned a 5, which is the highest possible score, while 28% scored a one, the lowest possible score. The CIA Factbook says only 86.1% of the population of Mexico age 15 and over can read and write.
In Mexico, most young children attend primary school but only 62 percent reach secondary school. At secondary level, about half drop out, which means 31% of students that started school at age six will finish high school, according to non-governmental organization Mexicanos Primero (Mexicans First). Source: Reuters
The dropout rate in Mexico’s schools is almost 70% compared to 8.1% in the United States.
However, in the United States, the Hispanic/Latino drop our rate is 17.6%, which is four times better than Mexico’s drop our rate. This evidence suggests that America’s public school teachers are doing an incredible job with the Hispanic/Latino subgroup even if it is not making its NCLB benchmark.
According to a Pew Hispanic Center report, in 2005, 56% of illegal immigrants were from Mexico; 22% were from other Latin American countries, primarily from Central America; 13% were from Asia; 6% were from Europe and Canada; and 3% were from Africa and the rest of the world.
In addition, about 3.5 million of those illegal immigrant students were from Mexico or Central America and almost a million were in California’s public schools, and there is nothing the public schools can do about this situation because in 1982, the US Supreme Court ruled that states and school districts cannot deny education to illegal alien children residing here.
Continued on August 7, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 8 or return to Part 6
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves
Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).
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