A Community-Based Approach to Understanding the Educational Experiences of Urban Latina/os
A recent report indicates that while 80% of high schoolers earn a diploma in the United States, African American and Latina/o learners still account for more than half of high school pushouts in the United States. Thus, although African American and Latina/o students make up only 38% of all high school students in the United States, 54% of these same students never complete high school (Swanson, 2014). I intentionally use the term pushout rather than the more common dropout to describe the school noncompletion process among youth of color. Referring to a youth as a high school dropout implies that this young person has decided on her own accord to leave school. Hence, suggesting that such a student has voluntarily chosen to cease her studies makes it easy to place the blame for this student’s greatly reduced life chances squarely on her own shoulders. In this foreword, I draw from my own work and research with Latina/o community-based organizations and the important roles they can play in the education of youth from this ethnic group (Antrop-González, 2011) in an effort to contextualize the content found within The Plight of Invisibility: A Community-Based Approach to Understanding the Educational Experiences of Urban Latina/os.
Much educational research describes the large extent to which the school-leaving process is much more complex in that most schools serve the primary function of reproducing social class and institutional racism. Thus, schools are actually systemically structured to fail...
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