National education symposium to cite ILS Latino Equity Report

Author: Arts and Letters


Data from the recently released “Latino Equity Report” from the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) will be discussed during a symposium of nationally recognized education scholars today in Las Vegas.

The symposium, “ELLHow Students Learn to Achieve,” will explore successful approaches and achievement gap challenges in English Language Learners (ELL) curriculum design.

A comprehensive ILS study sponsored by EdisonLearning led to the creation of “Latino Education Equity: A Web-Based Index and a Compendium of Best Practices in Latino Education in the United States,” which highlights the significant role Latinos play in the economic future of the United States.

Using educational achievement as a predictor of a worker’s future lifetime earning and career potential, “Latino Education Equity” reviews the implications for the U.S. workforce if schools continue to under-serve the Latino population.

“Latinos are the fastest growing segment of this nation’s population, and major gaps in educational achievement seriously limit the potential of Latinos,” ILS director Gilberto Crdenas said. “Unless progress is greatly accelerated in narrowing these gaps, the enormous potential contribution of Latinos to the nation’s economic and cultural life will not be realized to its full potential.”

The report identified the following issues as crucial to better serving the Latino population:

  • Educators and policymakers must address the lack of appropriate teacher education coursework and programs in institutions of higher education.
  • Low levels of parental education and lack of support from parents, teachers and the community are key contributors to high dropout rates among Latinos. Pointing to potential progress, the report notes a significant increase in community-centered approaches to engaging Latinos in education.
  • By empowering Latino students with work-readiness skills, schools can help them overcome the social and cultural barriers that obstruct Latinos from higher paying, skilled jobs. Community colleges are singled out as institutions that can play an important role in this area.

“Through our partnership with Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, we have uncovered rich findings that can inform our work with English Language Learners in Las Vegas and across the United States,” said EdisonLearning chief education officer Joseph Wise. “Using the research as our guide, we are bringing together local educators to put ideas into action among the growing ELL population, to build a stronger workforce of tomorrow.”

EdisonLearning is the nation’s leading public school innovator and partner for school districts and charter schools serving more than 350,000 children in 24 states.

Founded in 1999, the ILS is committed to providing policymakers, community leaders and the general public with accurate, current information to facilitate decision making across all levels of government and community. In addition, the ILS promotes understanding and appreciation of the social, cultural and religious life of U.S. Latinos by advancing research, expanding knowledge and strengthening community.

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on February 26, 2009.