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Poverty, Ignorance, and College
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June 24, 2007, 09:42 PM
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This San Francisco Chronicle piece talks about why Latinos aren`t going to college in large numbers even if they`re American citizens and are legally entitled to the money the American taxpayer pays to send people to college.

Two of the reasons are

  • They don`t speak English very well, in spite of being native-born, probably because not only were they raised by Spanish-speakers at home, but went to majority Hispanic schools, in majority Hispanic neighborhoods. That`s not only not a recipe for assimilation, it`s not even a recipe for learning English.
  • Their parents aren`t that interested in their schooling, using them as child labor. A teacher is quoted as saying "I ask why they`ve been absent and they say, `I`ve been helping my dad with work. I`ve been too tired for homework.`"

I`ve italicized a couple of the points that struck me, below.

Attending college sets Veronica and her 20-year-old sister apart from most of the state`s Latinos, who are expected to become a majority of California`s population in another generation, according to state estimates, but who currently have the lowest levels of education of any racial or ethnic group in California.

Veronica is among just 1 in 7 California Latinos who graduated from high school after four years and completed the courses required to enroll in a four-year college, according to the California Department of Education. If she completes college, she will be among only 13 percent of U.S.-born Latinos in California with a bachelor`s degree, the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found.

The statistics for African Americans are similar to those of Latino students, but the societal impact is less broad. Blacks make up 8 percent of the state`s public school students, while Latinos represent 48 percent. [College seems out of reach to most Latinos,By Tyche Hendricks, June 24, 2007]

The part about Latinos being expected to "become a majority of California`s population in another generation" assumes, of course, both that mass immigration continues, and that none of the several million illegals in California is deported.Of course, these trends will only get worse with amnesty.