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Claremont : Shortage of Latino Teachers

A report released last week in Washington by the Claremont-based Tomas Rivera Center decries the lack of Latino teachers in the United States, and links them to greater academic success and reduced dropout rates among Latino students.

The five-year research project, funded by the Exxon Education Foundation and titled “Resolving a Crisis in Education: Latino Teachers for Tomorrow’s Classrooms,” found that in 1991 Latinos comprised 11.8% of the K-12 enrollment nationwide, while only 3.7% of the teachers at the schools were Latino. That disparity is increasing as the Latino population continues to grow, the report says.

According to research cited in the report, the presence of Latino teachers improves the academic performance of Latino children and decreases their dropout rate.

The report calls for efforts to track the progress of Latino students in order to identify their needs, and recommends that state certification programs emphasize teachers’ ability to relate to children of diverse backgrounds. It also calls for recruitment of Latino teachers.

The Tomas Rivera Center is an affiliate of the Claremont Graduate School, and Trinity University, in San Antonio, Texas.

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Henry Cisneros, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former chairman of the Tomas Rivera Center’s board of trustees, presented the center’s recommendations Tuesday.


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