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First Lady Talks Education To LULAC Audience


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First Lady Michelle Obama, featured speaker at the League of United Latin American Citizens convention, which concluded here this past week, didn’t venture into the national debate about the 50,000-plus Central American children clogging the U.S.-Mexico border. She left that contentious politicized subject up to husband Barack.

Instead, addressing 1,200 LULAC members at a unity luncheon here, she chose to talk about education and Latino youth. After commending LULAC for its consistent civil rights advocacy on Latino and black education issues, she shifted, “While all of you are proud of what you did, you are by no means satisfied.”

A U.S. Department of Education study released in April showed the high school graduation rate for Hispanic students nationwide was 73 percent, 13 points lower than for white students in the school year ending in 2012. For African-American students it was 69 percent.

For English-language learners, the rate plummeted to …

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Online Resource Center Aims To Improve Latino College Student Success


Most people are probably not aware that more than six-in-ten of the nation’s Latino undergraduates are enrolled in only 11 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities. A new online resource center, the Hispanic SERVING Institutions Center for Policy and Practice, will provide comprehensive information on these Hispanic-Serving Institutions, also known as HSIs, whose student bodies are over one quarter Hispanic.
“This new center will help us fill an important void for policy makers and institutional, community, philanthropic, and business leaders seeking to better understand HSIs in order to improve Latino student success,” said Excelencia in Education vice president Deborah Santiago.

Excelencia in Education, a national nonprofit that uses data and analysis to identify and promote best practices in order to increase Hispanic college completion, will launch the online center in September with a grant from the nonprofit TG corporation.

Nationally, only 20 percent of Latino adults have …

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Why They Shouldn’t Be Called “Dropouts”


From the moment Luis E. Mateo started high school in Lowell, Massachusetts, almost ten years ago, he never felt safe. He remembers being bullied almost immediately—first for simply being a scrawny freshman, and later because of his race. Meanwhile, his home life was chaotic; he and his mother frequently fought.

“It was like, ‘where do I belong?’” he said. “I didn’t have support from [school] friends, and didn’t have support when I came home.”

Mateo went to the guidance counselor’s office a couple of times to address the bullying, but says he only felt lectured there. One day, after a blowup with his mother, Mateo says she kicked him out of the house. The next day, he got in a physical fight with one of his bullies. That’s when he went to the guidance office and announced that he was leaving school. The counselor urged him to stay, …

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