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The Case for Accelerating Latino Student Success in Arizona

Author: Helios Education Foundation

September 19, 2016

Helios Education Foundation recently released a new education brief, titled, The Case for Accelerating Latino Student Success

While we have seen many steps in the right direction toward improving education in Arizona, we still have work to do.  Too many students are graduating high school unprepared for success in college and career and too few students are completing a postsecondary degree. 

We believe education and, specifically, postsecondary degree attainment, is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, ensuring a strong, qualified workforce pipeline and putting Arizona back on the path toward economic prosperity.  While we know that we must increase degree attainment across the board, we see significant opportunity within the Latino community.

However, Arizona is experiencing a Latino student achievement gap. Latino students trail their White peers in almost every education assessment category.  In 2014, only 70 percent of Arizona Latinos graduated high school on time compared to more than 82 percent of Whites.  In addition, only 19 percent of Latino adults have an associate degree or higher compared to 40 percent of Whites.   
 
As the largest demographic group in our K-12 schools, Latinos comprise the foundation of Arizona’s workforce pipeline today and far into the future. Improving educational outcomes for Latino students is critical for our state to attract, expand and retain vital growth industries and, ultimately, transform Arizona from a low-skill, service economy to a high-skill, knowledge-based economy.  This is the opportunity that lies before us and the opportunity we must embrace. 

Click here to download the brief and to learn more about how we are working toward ensuring all students in Arizona, but particularly students from underserved, high poverty Latino communities, are prepared for success in college and career. 

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