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Presidential Commission Targets Hispanic Achievement

Presidential Commission Targets Hispanic Achievement
By Charles Dervarics

To increase Hispanic student achievement, the nation should support new efforts on student retention and career programs that lead to college graduation, a presidential commission says.

Noting one of every three Hispanics fail to complete high school and just 10 percent graduate from four-year colleges, the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence outlined six major strategies for action, including career pathways. “This is a matter of great urgency, which requires immediate attention and an accountability for results,” says Frank Hanna, the commission’s co-chairman.

In higher education, the commission recommends that colleges set a goal to graduate 10 percent more Hispanic Americans each year over the next decade. Members also urge colleges to develop more retention programs to help keep students in school.

To help young Hispanics, the report also recommends that national policy-makers support the No Child Left Behind Act; set new and high expectations for Hispanic children; expand the number of high-quality teachers; conduct new research on Hispanic children; and promote increased federal accountability and coordination. Specific activities can include a national public awareness campaign and teacher-training programs that help instructors deal with students whose English proficiency is limited.

The report, “From Risk to Opportunity,” is based on input gathered at 11 meetings and four bilingual town hall sessions. For more information, call (202) 401-1411 or visit the Web site at .

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