Saturday, May 11, 2013

The nativist nightmare? We’re going to school!

More of the high school graduates from last year who are Latino enrolled in college than did white graduates.

I’m sure that statement makes some shudder, because it goes a long way toward stomping all over the nativist rhetoric they so often spew about people who just don’t fit into this society – and shouldn’t be given a chance to.

THE STATEMENT IS based off a new study by the Pew Hispanic Center, which found that 69 percent of the Latinos who graduated from high school last year enrolled in college for this academic year.

That compares to 67 percent of white students who graduated.

It’s also one heck of a boost from the year 2000 – when only 49 percent of Latinos who graduated from high school immediately enrolled in college. Continued education really is the means to getting ahead in life. The high school diploma, by itself, just doesn’t cut it anymore in 21st Century life.

Although personally, I find another part of the Pew study to be even more significant – the drop-out rate is significantly on the decline for those same Latino high school students.

THE IMAGE OF a growing Latino population born in this country creating a larger number of misfits that drag down our society. It’s just a bunch of bunk – although I suspect the nativists who spew that kind of talk are really looking at themselves in the mirror and projecting themselves onto us!

For the record, the Pew study says that 14 percent of Latino high school students dropped out in 2011 – half of the 28 percent who dropped out in 2000.

Yes, it’s true that the number of white high school students who dropped out also declined during that same time period. But going from 7 percent to 5 percent isn’t anywhere near as significant as those 28 to 14 figures.

Now obviously, there’s still a gap – for it seems that Latino college students, as a whole, are less likely to be enrolled in college as full-time students and are more likely to fail to complete work on a bachelor’s degree.

BUT JUST THE facts that the drop-out rates are on the decline, along with the increase in those enrolling for higher education, it means it’s likely that the gap is closing and we’re more likely to see better rates of degree completion.

Which is a part of the assimilation that our critics want to believe we’re incapable of.

Mostly because they don’t want it. They’d rather see this society held back by people just like themselves, rather than be advanced further with our growing – and developing – numbers of people.

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