NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 28, 2008

Latino students are leading the pack when it comes to dropping out of high school, and school choice could help solve the problem, according to a study by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

According to authors Madison Jones and Renee Bou-Waked, using statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • With a dropout rate of more than 22 percent, Latino students are leaving high school at twice the rate of African-Americans and three times that of whites.
  • More than 36 percent of Hispanics born outside of the United States were high school dropouts.
  • About 13 percent of first-generation Hispanics were dropouts, with the figure reaching just over 11 percent for second-generation Hispanics.

Jones and Bou-Waked suggest school choice is one way to address the Hispanic high school dropout rate.  Citing data from the Center for Education Reform, a charter school advocacy group, Maryland, they noted Latino students are more likely to be proficient in math and reading if they attend a charter school.  A closer look at test schools in Texas revealed charter school students in grades six through nine did better on state reading and math tests than their public school counterparts. 

Source: Aricka Flowers, "School Choice Could Help Slow Latino Dropout Rate," Heartland Institute, February 1, 2008.

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