Archive for July 31st, 2009

There is an interesting but not surprising piece in today’s Austin American Statesman about the state of Latino educational achievement in the Lone Star State. Check it out. 

Here are parts of the piece:

“Hispanic enrollment at colleges and universities in Texas would need to almost double by 2015 to meet the state’s higher education goals — a daunting challenge in light of high dropout rates, poverty and other problems facing the fastest-growing segment of the population.

“The coordinating board has long considered lagging Hispanic enrollment and graduation rates a major problem. But the staff-generated report, which board members approved at a meeting Thursday, sought to convey a new sense of urgency.

"’Texas is not one of the highest-achieving states in terms of overall education attainment,’ said Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes. ‘And Hispanics are the lowest-achieving of the three major ethnic groups in Texas.’

"’There’s a growing awareness that unless we significantly improve Latino educational attainment, Texas is going to decline even further in its educational attainment compared to other states and … in its capacity for economic development and economic competitiveness,’ he said.

“A leading researcher of Hispanic educational achievement warned the board that it would be difficult to make sweeping improvements without addressing poverty, health insurance, a high proportion of unwed mothers and educational shortcomings that start early in life.

"’Latino youth begin kindergarten far behind their peers,’ said Patricia Gándara, a UCLA professor of education. ‘Latino students require more investment by the state.’

“Texas’ spending on kindergarten-12th grade education ranks 42nd in the nation, said Gándara, who is co-author of ‘The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies.’

“’We need to do a better job of making sure that the leadership of Texas recognizes that educational attainment occurs within a broader socio-economic context and that those socio-economic contextual factors have to be addressed in order for us to achieve our educational goals,’ Paredes said.”

Hmmm, we’ve heard this before. This is the biggest challenge facing the Latino community in the Lone Star State. If we can’t properly address the biggest issue facing a community that is 40% of the state, then we’re going to have big problemos in the future. We can no longer ignore this.

The issue is the willingness on the part of the state to commit resources. We know that Guv Dude has never shown a willingness to lead on this. We know that Hutch won’t. The fellas that are running for Guv in the Dem Primary won’t address this because they think it will hurt them or maybe they feel they have to run Repub Lite.

I am convinced that if a Dem – preferably a Latino Dem – steps forward and honestly addresses this challenge it could excite Latino voters and maybe, just maybe, help us win. If the Dem candidates continue to ignore this we will not only lose the election, but we will continue to lose our children. Take that.

Speaking of, yesterday’s beer get together at The White House, of the four beers served, you can get two at The Yard – Blue Moon and Bud Light.

The ‘Stros said adios to pitcher Russ Ortiz yesterday – so much for the Russ Ortiz experiment. Hey that happens after you get shelled for nine runs in less than three innings. It looks like they are also going to be hoping that the rookie they just brought up, Bud Norris, can fill the void. Another reason I love baseball is because Norris gets a call to hop on a plane and get to the team and the next day he makes his major league debut during the afternoon at Wrigley, arguably one of baseball’s most hallowed grounds – cool. We’re four games out and in San Luis for three this weekend.

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