Latino Education Advocacy Coalition Takes Off
The last decade has been one of improvement for Latinos in classrooms across the United States. The Latino drop-out rate has declined from 32 percent in 2004 to 12 percent in 2013. And in 2014, 35 percent of Latinos between 18 and 24 were enrolled in college compared to just 22 percent in 1993. Despite these gains, there are significant achievement gaps between Latinos and other ethnic groups.
Recently, Hispanic Federation, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, announced the launch of a two-year education advocacy campaign to help close the achievement gap for Latinos in New York State. The initiative will utilize coalition building, advocacy, and public education as its approach to rolling out this full-scale advocacy movement. Twenty-three organizations across the state, both Hispanic Federation member and non-member agencies will form the core of the new program called the Latino Education Advocacy Directors (LEAD) Coalition.
“We have made some incredible progress in the classroom in recent years,” said Hispanic Federation President José Calderón. “but we have a great deal of work to do to close the gap between Latino students and their peers. The LEAD Coalition uses the vast knowledge of our community-based organizations to create a statewide advocacy campaign that will address K-16 education issues with Latinos and other underrepresented groups.”
The coalition will meet monthly, through August 2018, and will identify and advocate for policies that address Latino student standards and achievement, as well as promote high quality educational standards and practices that improve long-term success of Latino students. Additionally, the coalition is charged with narrowing the knowledge gap within the Latino community, ensuring that Hispanic families and students clearly understand how vital a high quality education is, from early childhood through high school and college. For its part, Hispanic Federation will be developing a policy brief to support advocacy efforts.
To help facilitate our advocacy efforts, the Hispanic Federation will launch a multi-media public education campaign that will utilize print, radio, television, online, and social media efforts to inform Latino families of education policies and practices across the state with the goal of reaching over two million people by the end of this initiative.