In politics, we hear how important the Latino vote is in elections. In education, we’ve been talking about minority-majority districts. So when the Education Writers Association hosts a Spanish-Language Media Convening in Texas, we know that is going to leave us with some terrific takeaways.
Over on its Latino Ed Beat blog, Natalie Gross offers some great content from Pew Research Center’s Mark Hugo Lopez on Latino student demographics.
Among the highlights:
- There are now 13 million Latinos enrolled in public preK-12, up 58 percent from 2000
- Latinos represent one-quarter of our public school enrollment
- The number of Latinos, age 18 to 24, in college has increased 175 percent since 2000, up to 2.4 million
- And, as we have been hearing, Hispanics are projected to be the largest school-age population by 2050
So why is all this important? First, it makes clear that change is occurring and will continue. Second, we need to recognize that Latino students are not homogeneous. It has different meaning in NYC compared to Miami compared to Phoenix compared to Los Angeles compared to Witchita. And third, if we continue to think that these shifting demographics means “offer more ELL,” our districts and our children are going to be losing out.