First look: Biden orders new panel on Hispanic education

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President Biden is launching a new take on Hispanic education as the percentage of Latino students in US public schools continues to grow.

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big picture: Latinos make up about 27% of all public school students and about 20% of college students. Most of them are expected to be US residents by mid-century, but are now lagging behind in graduation rates and student achievement.

running news: Biden on Monday signed an executive order to create a White House initiative, “Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics,” which will be placed within the US Department of Education.

  • It will focus on breaking down the barriers and systemic challenges faced by Hispanic students from childhood through college, the White House told Nerdshala.
  • Melody Gonzales, an Obama administration official and former San Diego journalist, will lead the effort and collect data on the state of Latino education as schools reopen from the pandemic.

of note: The order also creates a new Presidential Advisory Commission on Advance Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics, which will be composed of business, education and community leaders.

  • The commission will make recommendations to the President and the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona.

by numbers: The national adjusted cohort high school graduation rate among Latinos during the 2018–19 school year is 82%, the last number available, according to National Center for Education Statistics.

  • This rate was four percentage points below the overall national average and seven percentage points below the whites.
  • In 2019, about two in ten Hispanic children (21%) were living in poverty, The Pew Research Center reported last year. This is higher than the national average of 14% for all children.
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do not forget: New Mexico, the state with the largest percentage of Hispanic residents in the country, is locked in a legal battle called Yazzy/Martínez Sue.

  • The lawsuit alleges that New Mexico has failed to provide an adequate and equitable system of education to all New Mexican children, as guaranteed by the state’s constitution.
  • New Mexico is regularly ranked as 49th or 50th yearly in the field of education.


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