New Report: Young Hispanic Children: Boosting Opportunities for Learning

Posted by on June 2, 2009

A rapidly growing demographic that needs immediate intervention

Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing racial-ethnic group in the United States, but they trail whites and Asian Americans at all proficiency levels of reading and math, according to a new report from the Society for Research in Child Development. The authors urgently recommend an expansion in educational opportunities for three- to eight-year-old Hispanics. The federal government should develop programs to raise the number of preschool and early-elementary teachers proficient in English and Spanish, they say, as well as recruit more Spanish speakers to work as classroom language specialists. The feds should also expand dual-language programs through Head Start, Early Head Start, and the like. State governments must collaborate with communities to offer educational experiences at different times of the day and week, and provide free, state-funded, high-quality preschool programs to Hispanic three- and four-year-olds. Local governments should work with federal and state governments and Hispanic organizations to give parents information on pre-kindergarten, Head Start, and Early Head Start programs, boosting Hispanic enrollment.

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