2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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TC and the Latino Educational Crisis


Regina Cortina Image

Regina Cortina

Teachers College and the Latino Educational Crisis

Regina Cortina, "In a world increasingly marked by immigration and globalization, effective education for Latinos isn't just a moral imperative; it's essential to improving the nation's ability to maintain a leading role in the global economy.”

As the largest U.S. minority, Latinos are critical to the future of the nation’s economic strength and democratic vitality, yet they face formidable barriers to educational opportunity. With an average annual household income of just over $15,000, Latinos—nearly half of whom are immigrants—disproportionately attend the most under-funded, resource-deficient and segregated schools, as well as those with the poorest students. Latinos are twice as likely as blacks to drop out of high school and four times as likely as whites and Asians. Only half of Latino adults enroll in four-year colleges; only one in 100 Latino elementary school students ever attains a doctorate, and Latinos account for less than three percent of higher education faculty.
In a world increasingly marked by immigration and globalization, effective education for Latinos isn’t just a moral imperative; it’s essential to improving the nation’s ability to maintain a leading role in the global economy. Teachers College, as the top graduate school of education, must be a national leader in this endeavor.
Toward that end, TC has established a new academic concentration on Latin America and U.S. Latinos. However, the College also must increase its Latino enrollment, which is significantly less than that of African Americans and Asian Americans. Over the past year, a Faculty Working Group on Latina/o and Latin American Education has been helping to recruit and retain more bilingual and bicultural students. We also hope to unify and expand TC’s contributions to research, teaching and service in the field of Latina/o and Latin American Education. The election of an African-American president of the United States has proven that the American dream can be attainable for citizens of every kind. This historic change also reminds us that education is the stuff that dreams are made of. We must renew our commitment to educating all children.

The views expressed in the previous article are solely those of the speakers to whom they are attributed. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the faculty, administration, or staff either of Teachers College or of Columbia University.

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