WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the upcoming confirmation of Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education, the ASPIRA Association, the nation’s largest national education non-profit, is urging the incoming secretary to place special emphasis on the education of low-income Latino students to reduce the drop-out rate, increase student achievement and open pathways to college.
“Latinos are the fastest growing group in the country. They already represent a quarter of all elementary school students nationwide. Therefore, the education of Latinos will be increasingly crucial to the continued economic and social well-being of the nation.” indicated Ronald Blackburn Moreno, ASPIRA President and CEO. “While there have been some gains, Latinos still lag significantly behind their white peers in achievement, high school graduation rates, and college admission and completion. The Department of Education has a crucial role to play in improving public schools that serve significant numbers of low-income Latino students. We hope that the new secretary will focus attention on improving schools in low income communities, especially low-income Latino communities, to address the underachievement of large numbers of Latino students. This will mean a continued emphasis on school accountability innovation and teacher quality.
As an operator of public charter schools, ASPIRA welcomes the new secretary’s support of charter schools as an alternative to regular public schools in specific low-income areas where the regular public schools have failed their communities. We trust that she will continue to support effective public charters by providing the additional resources these schools need to serve large numbers of disadvantaged Latino students. We also urge the secretary to work with Congress reduce barriers to postsecondary education for Latino students, including increasing support for Hispanic Serving Institutions, and supporting programs that make college affordable for Latino families.
“ASPIRA is committed to working with the Department of Education on these priorities. We trust that the new secretary will be open to working to bring together states, local communities, parents, schools, teachers, and non-profits, to make significant progress in the education of Latino children and youth.” said Blackburn Moreno.
Founded in New York in 1961, ASIPIRA is the only national Latino organization dedicated exclusively to the education and leadership development of Latino youth. For over 50 years, ASPIRA has fostered educational excellence and civic engagement among Latino youth and to build a new generation of Latino leaders.