The Islamic Post Blog

American Latino Numbers Swell, New ‘Majority Minority’ by Khalida
May 10, 2009, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Latino/Caribe, May Volume I - 2009, National

By Asma A. Adl

Islamic Post Staff Writer

Elementary schools’ populations are nearing Latino/Hispanic majority in nine of the nation’s largest cities according to a study by the Thomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California. The Thomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) is a non-profit independent institution founded in 1985 that specializes in key issues affecting the Latino community; issues such as education, political participation, access to health care, economic well being, mass media as well as immigration. The institute is affiliated with the School of Policy Planning and Development at the University of Southern California in L.A. and also has an office at Columbia University in N.Y.
The percentage increase is high in large cities such as Los Angles and Dallas. Hispanic first graders are the highest, as quoted by TRPI; “three out of four first graders in the school district are Latino.” TRPI states as well, “In 2020 this demographic wave of Latino first graders will graduate high school and enter collegiate education or the labor market.” The president of TRPI and a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California, Harry Pachon, stated, “The future is now in terms of challenges presented to school districts across the nation by this influx of Latino youth.” He also stated that a large percentage of these students are U.S citizens by birth and paradoxically our public schools are in the position of teaching English to native born American children.
The Census Bureau states that Hispanics are also becoming more prevalent on college campuses as well. Students comprised 12% of full time college students (both graduate and undergraduate) in 2007, an increase from 10% in 2006, according to Bureau tables recently released. Hispanics also comprise 15% of the nation’s total population. In 2007 students in grades 1-12 made up 64% of the people three and older enrolled in school. The TRPI research compiled this spring by from Hispanic public school enrollment revealed the following information:
Columbia Professor Rodolfo de la Garza and vice president of research at the TRPI observed, “This is a profound demographic change, which provides a challenge for American education, just as European immigrants created a new foundation for New York through their ambition to excel and succeed. Latinos, if provided support and respect, will be in a position to strengthen our cities and our nation.”
Sources: US Census Bureau, Thomas Rivera Policy Institute.In the following major US states Hispanic enrollment rose significantly in the following grade (Gr.) levels:

1st Gr. 6th Gr. 12th Gr.

New York        40.6%   39.3%   34.9%
Los Angeles    74.5%   74.1%   65.1%
Chicago            45.1%   41.1%   35.2%
Houston           63.1%   59.8%   52.1%
Philadelphia   17.8%   18.2%   14.3%
Phoenix            43.9%   42.1%   37.0%
San Antonio    89.4%   89.8%   86.5%
San Diego         45.8%   45.4%   35.1%
Dallas                68.6%   65.3%   55.0%
San Jose           53.6%   49.3%   47.5%

(Data Sources: New York Dept. of Education Research and Policy Support Group; California Dept. of Education; Chicago Public School Office of Research, Evaluation, and Accountability; Texas Education Agency; Philadelphia School District Office of Accountability; Arizona Dept. of Education Research and Evaluation Section; Texas Education Agency.)


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