Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cleveland schools need to get more Latinos into science, tech programs

The public school district for Cleveland reached an agreement this week that says schools officials must do more to get Latino students into the specialized high schools in the city with science and technology programs.

The Plain Dealer newspaper reported that the school district reached an agreement with the federal Education Department’s civil rights division, because the status quo is resulting in a disproportionate share of Latinos not getting into such programs.

UNDER THE AGREEMENT, the school district will have to keep track of exactly how many Latinos wind up wind up participating in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs now offered.

They will have to make efforts to encourage more Latinos to think about partaking of such programs.

Long-range, there may even be thought given to creating more of such programs, noting that many of the high schools in Cleveland that now have the programs are in neighborhoods apart from the bulk of the city’s Latino population – which was 10 percent, according to the most recent Census Bureau count.

The Plain Dealer reported that part of the reason that there aren’t more Latinos in the programs is that they are not easily accessible.

WHICH MAY ADD to the distance that many of those students feel – thinking of such programs meant to bolster the chance of students competing in technological aspects as something meant for “other” people, and not themselves.

There always are the few of any group who have the will to achieve something no matter how many obstacles are in the way.

But let’s be honest. Those who achieve -- regardless of ethnic factors -- often are the ones who had the most opportunities placed in front of them.

No matter how much the ideologically-inclined of our society are now ranting and raging while reading their computer screens – claiming that there aren’t more Latinos in the programs because they’re just not qualified – such attention is bound to bolster the numbers of people in the technology programs.

WHICH MEANS BETTER education opportunities for those Latino students. Which translates into a better educated society for our society’s future.

That ought to be something everybody in our society ought to desire!

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