Despite Sotomayor Nomination, Latino Academic Gap Still Huge

Sunday, May 31, 2009 , Posted by LATINO EVENTS Y TESPIS MAGAZINE at 11:28 PM

I wanted to share this article with you all.I read it at the HuffingtonPost We need to re-double our efforts to make sure more Latinos get the best education and the best possibilities. Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco and Carola Suarez-Orozco, Co-Founders of the Harvard Immigration Projects and Co-Directors of Immigration Studies at NYU wrote this piece. Let me know what your thoughts are after you read the article.

"President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is inviting glossy-eyed "only in America" commentary domestically and throughout the world. But as the likely confirmation storm gathers force, biography will surely be pitted against ideology. To her opponents Judge Sotomayor's judicial philosophy -- particularly her flirtation with identity politics -- raises red flags of judicial activism and the impulse to legislate from the bench. To her supporters, the President above all, biography trumps everything else.
The President's choice embodies a powerful life history of triumph over considerable adversity: a child of Puerto Rican working class immigrants, Judge Sotomayor went from the housing projects in the Bronx where she grew up, via Catholic School, and the most exclusive of Ivies (Princeton and Yale Law School) into the pinnacle of American legal power. While many are celebrating her journey - above all Latinos for whom her story captures the dreams and ambitions of America's largest yet still strangely invisible minority, the nomination should also be a cause for concern. Plotting Judge's Sotomayor journey against the realities of most Latinos and Latinas reveals just how much the Obama administration will need to do to bring the promise of the American Dream to the vast majority of the over 46 million Latinos (now 15 percent of the population and projected to reach thirty percent by 2050).

Although some Latinos, especially Latinas, are successfully navigating the American educational system, the majority are struggling academically and leaving schools without acquiring the skills necessary to function in the new unforgiving global economy. Nationwide Latinos represent nearly 25 percent of public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade. They have the highest high school dropout rates and the lowest college attendance rates of all racial/ethnic groups. Many will face lives at or below the poverty level laboring at the lowest echelons of our increasingly competitive economy.more

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