White House aides evaluate education programs for Latinos in New York

White House representatives were visiting New York on Friday as part of an initiative to improve education for Hispanic students, who make up close to 22 percent of the nation's public school population.

"We're in crisis in the Latino community in terms of education," Jose Rico, deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, told Efe.

Rico accompanied the executive director of the program, Juan Sepulveda, on a visit to four New York schools.

Recent studies indicate that even though Latino students have boosted their academic achievements over the last 10 years, they are still the farthest behind compared with other ethnic groups.

Only half of Latinos who start high school graduate on schedule and of those, only about half are prepared for college.

According to Rico, one of the reasons Latinos fall behind academically is the fact that they usually go to the poorest schools with the fewest resources.

He also said that young people don't have leaders, people that push them to continue their studies and help them understand the university system and the scholarships available, and who give them the support they need to meet their academic challenges.

"We know that only about 13 percent of Latino adults have a college or university diploma. It's the biggest minority but young people don't have anyone to guide them into the university system and give them the emotional and social support they need," Rico said. READ MORE

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