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Book Notes: The Latino Education Crisis

Editor's Note: The following is from the Harvard University Press online catalog.

Will the United States have an educational caste system in 2030? Drawing on both extensive demographic data and compelling case studies, this powerful book reveals the depths of the educational crisis looming for Latino students, the nation’s largest and most rapidly growing minority group.

Book cover

Richly informative and accessibly written, The Latino Education Crisis by Patricia Gándara and Frances Contreras describes the cumulative disadvantages faced by too many children in the complex American school systems, where one in five students is Latino. Many live in poor and dangerous neighborhoods, attend impoverished and underachieving schools, and are raised by parents who speak little English and are the least educated of any ethnic group.  

The effects for the families, the community, and the nation are sobering. Latino children are behind on academic measures by the time they enter kindergarten. And while immigrant drive propels some to success, most never catch up. Many drop out of high school and those who do go on to college—often ill prepared and overworked—seldom finish.

Revealing and disturbing, The Latino Education Crisis is a call to action and will be essential reading for everyone involved in planning the future of American schools.*

Patricia Gándara is professor of Education at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Frances Contreras is assistant professor of Education at the University of Washington.

February 2009  |  Return to issue home

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