Contact: Andrea Magaña Lewis

The growing Hispanic population has led to an increasingly diverse student body. Today, Hispanic students comprise over a quarter of the nation’s public school students[1]. At the start of the 2016 school year, Ohio was home to 95,909 Hispanic K-12 students, representing over 5 percent of the total student body[2]. These numbers are expected to continue growing in years to come, with the graduating class of 2024 predicted to be 51 percent more Hispanic and 11 percent less white than the class of 2014[3].

Despite the ubiquity of this population, a variety of barriers serve to hinder their academic success. Discrepancies in achievement can be noted as early as Kindergarten, where Hispanic students score significantly lower on the Ohio Kindergarten Readiness Assessment than their non-Hispanic peers[4]. This trend continues through primary and secondary school, with Hispanics scoring below average on the Ohio Achievement Assessments (OAAs)[5], the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGTs)[6], and the SAT/ACT[7].

Nationally, Hispanic students are 10 percent less likely than their white classmates to graduate high school[8], and nearly 30 percent less likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree[9]. While Hispanic Ohioans attain bachelor’s degrees at a slightly higher rate than Hispanics residing in other states[10], barriers such as the rising cost of attendance, feelings of isolation and exclusion on campus, and lack of academic preparedness affect this community at a disproportionate rate[11]. Students who are undocumented and/or English Learners (EL) face additional challenges as they pursue higher education.

 

Perhaps due to the barriers they face along the way, Hispanics are also underrepresented among educators. In Ohio, 93 percent of Ohio’s teachers are white, 4 percent are black, and only 0.7 percent are Latino[12]. Of the nearly 15,000 students enrolled in Ohio’s 13 public and 38 private approved teacher preparation programs[13], less than 500 were Latinos during the 2013-2014 academic year[14]. While the task of reducing racial and ethnic disparities within the education system should not fall solely to teachers of color, increasing diversity among teachers is an important step towards achieving education equality.

 

As Hispanic enrollment in Ohio schools continues to increase, so does the importance of addressing the significant barriers and opportunities related to academic achievement. Educators, families, and community and state leaders alike must purport the support and guidance needed to ensure that Latino students succeed from the day they enter the Kindergarten classroom until the moment they walk across the stage to receive their diploma.

 

 

[1] Hussar, B., McFarland, J., et al. The Condition of Education 2017. U.S. Department of Education. 2017.

2 Enrollment Data. Ohio Department of Education. 2016.

3 Livingston, D. Racial divide widens in Ohio classrooms. Minority students less likely today to be taught by own race. Akron Beacon Journal. 4 January 2015.

4 Ohio Annual Report on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. Ohio Department of Education. 2017.

5 Highlights- Ohio Achievement Assessments Preliminary Results. Ohio Department of Education. 2014.

6 Ohio Graduation Tests Preliminary Results – March 2015 Test Administration. Ohio Department of Education. 2015.

7 Snyder, T. de Brey, C., Digest of Education Statistics 2015. National Center for Education Statistics. 2016.

8 Public High School Graduation Rates. National Center for Education Statistics. 2017.

9 Ibid. Digest of Education Statistics 2015.

11 Digest of Education Statistics. National Center for Education Statistics. 2016.

12 Getting In, Staying In – Community Perspectives on the Barriers to Latino Postsecondary Education. National Council of La Raza. 11 July 2015.

13 Gilchrist, Shannon. Ohio students are far more diverse than their teachers. The Columbus Dispatch. 16 Jul. 2017.

14 2016 Title II Reports: National Teacher Preparation Data. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 1 Dec. 2017.

15 King, J., McIntosh, A., et al. The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce. U.S. Department of Education. July 2016.

 

 

[1] Hussar, B., McFarland, J., et al. The Condition of Education 2017. U.S. Department of Education. 2017.

[2] Enrollment Data. Ohio Department of Education. 2016.

[3] Livingston, D. Racial divide widens in Ohio classrooms. Minority students less likely today to be taught by own race. Akron Beacon Journal. 4 January 2015.

[4] Ohio Annual Report on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. Ohio Department of Education. 2017.

[5] Highlights- Ohio Achievement Assessments Preliminary Results. Ohio Department of Education. 2014.

[6] Ohio Graduation Tests Preliminary Results – March 2015 Test Administration. Ohio Department of Education. 2015.

[7] Snyder, T. de Brey, C., Digest of Education Statistics 2015. National Center for Education Statistics. 2016.

[8] Public High School Graduation Rates. National Center for Education Statistics. 2017.

[9] Ibid. Digest of Education Statistics 2015.

[10] Digest of Education Statistics. National Center for Education Statistics. 2016.

[11] Getting In, Staying In – Community Perspectives on the Barriers to Latino Postsecondary Education. National Council of La Raza. 11 July 2015.

[12] Gilchrist, Shannon. Ohio students are far more diverse than their teachers. The Columbus Dispatch. 16 Jul. 2017.

[13] 2016 Title II Reports: National Teacher Preparation Data. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 1 Dec. 2017.

[14] King, J., McIntosh, A., et al. The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce. U.S. Department of Education. July 2016.

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