More Disturbing Education Statistics – Few Hispanic HS Dropouts Earn a GED

May 14th, 2010 · 4 Comments

A New Pew Hispanic Center Report released this week shows that Latinos once again are behind their white and black peers when it comes to educational certification after dropping out of high school. Dropping out of high school is horrible enough, but only one in ten Hispanic high school dropouts has obtained a GED. And unfortunately, the problem isn’t just limited to immigrant Hispanics.

The Associate Press reports:

“Richard Fry, a senior research associate at the center, said some of the Hispanics who did not finish high school are immigrants who may not have had any educational training in the United States. For these students, it takes time to learn and access information about earning a U.S. educational credential.

According to the report, the longer foreign-born Latinos without a high school degree are in the United States, the more likely they are to earn a GED.

But Fry said a puzzle still remains: Hispanics born in the United States who drop out of high school are also unlikely to have a GED. The report found that only 21 percent earn the credential.”

There are several reasons people can point to for our lagging GED attainment including poverty and the immediate need to work, a lack of information about GED tutoring programs, ineffective community outreach for high school dropouts, and misplaced cultural priorities. But I think it’s time we start taking our educational destiny into our own hands instead of waiting for the schools, our leadership, and others to come to the rescue. I have flipped through a GED test book, and anyone who speaks English or who has a working knowledge of English should be able to pass this test. People can request GED sample tests online, and most public libraries have sample test booklets.

If we don’t commit to helping high school dropouts attain GED certification and continued education in vocational programs, we could face more trouble in the future. Overall, our high school and college completion rates have improved for all Americans. But at the bachelor’s degree level, just 13% of Hispanic adults have completed an undergraduate degree, while 17.5% of black adults and 31% of white adults have earned bachelor’s degrees. Asians blow everyone out of the water. For adults of Asian descent, 50% of them have earned bachelor’s degrees. We have to stop being comfortable with being last in terms of educational attainment, and that change starts at home.

Tags: African-Americans · Education · English language

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Leonard Goodman Isenberg // May 17, 2010 at 10:03 am

    It is 40 years after the Latino walkouts from East L.A. high schools and Latino education is worse than it has ever been in Los Angeles where my students continue to have their jaws broken for trying to get out of gangs while others are killed in drive bys.

    Since the only thing that continues to motivate White, Black, and Latino educators and politician is the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) money that is collected for warm Latino butts in schools where no education takes place, I would strongly support another Latino walkout.

    However, this time members of the Latino community and those who support them as the majority population in the State of California need to have a clear platform of what the eduction establishment must agree to in order to bring the walkout to an end.

    Creating Latino Studies programs at UCLA and CSULA to buy off the leadership of those who demanded an equitable public education system will not suffice this time around. Either their is a clear and enforceable commitment by all concerned to stop social promotion and institute pragmatic education by qualified teachers at the level of where the students are actually at or the LAUSD school daycare system must remain closed.

    Come to to help create the 21st century excellent public education system that we all are entitled to.

  • 2 Oscar // May 17, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Typical… latinos pols are worried about ethnic studies in high schools when fewer and fewer latinos drop outs get their GED. Thats right keep focusing on the important stuff.

  • 3 Chicano future tense // May 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm


    Yet another sickening,disgusting-extremely troublesome statistic concerning the state of Chicano education in America.
    For sure,it’s a huge problem which has no simple solution.
    IMHO,this problem is just one component of a larger problem..a problem systemically and dynamically connected to immigration,unemployment and other vital Latino issues. Being political and social time bombs their solutions are extremely complex and potentially extremely dangerous to the interests of the powers that be.That’s why such problems are cynically in a pretentious and charade-like fashion cautiously and fearfully avoided and sidetracked..because it could very well be that a correct unique solution found could have the power to shake and overturn the very foundations of American society,politics and economic structure.
    Expecting educational professionals and activists-teachers,politicians,school administrations etc. etc. to solve this problem is an exercise in frustration and futility-an incredible confusion-a ball of confusion..
    ..despite a general attitude of genuine goodwill and intentions..(let’s give the teachers the benefit of the doubt..God knows they are between a rock and a hard place ) the tools they are using are absurdly inadequate -just plain wrong.. can’t work on a Boeing jet airliner engine by using spoons and forks as tools..and unfortunately that’s how this problem is and has been approached and dealt with..
    Folks,simply put..this problem has no solution under the existing social,political and economic system!!
    We hear politicians,professional educators and social activists all the time talking and punting back and forth Chicano educational problem while things only getting worse as time goes by..
    I think this ball of confusion is one which has several properties..
    Cynicism,fear,avoidance,insincerity,fraud,ignorance and last but not least..confusion..
    This problem can never be solved under the current system’s political paradyne..
    Only through higher levels of unity and developing a higher political collective consciousness can Chicanos have a shot at solving their problems..
    All other attempts and solutions will be woefully incomplete and inadequate ..surely resulting in even more disappointment and failure..
    Now we see the Chicano people -their rapidly growing explosive movement struggling to solve these problems..only through their struggle will the proper analysis and intellectual tools be developed which can actually solve the Chicano educational problem.Their solutions will be the right ones..the only one’s that can work..
    Ultimately,the solution will be a political solution forged from the fire of the struggles of the Chicano people themselves which will resolve these problems..

  • 4 BettyM // May 18, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I believe that we begin educating our children at home. Without parental involvement it will continue to be difficult to ensure that Hispanic’s succeed. This is not “the” solution to this problem – but it does begin with the parents.

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