Document Type

Research Report

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Schools are critical public institutions for Latino youth in the Commonwealth, who make up 15% of the public school enrollment in the state. Sadly, despite leading the nation in student achievement, Massachusetts is still leaving its Latino students behind. This is evident from several indicators of Latino students’ academic success. School attendance is a significant concern since Latino students lose an average of more than two and a half weeks of school each year due to absences. Latino students are also frequently disciplined for behavioral is- sues at school. Latinos account for 23% of the incidents that result in disciplinary removals for serious offenses and have the highest in-school suspension rate in the Commonwealth. Many of the highest disciplinary rates are noted in school districts with large Latino student populations. Many Latino students are not academically successful in the Commonwealth. The failure rates for Latino students on the reading/English Language Arts and mathemat- ics MCAS tests far outpace those for other student populations. Also, a greater percentage of Latino students perform at the lowest levels on the NAEP exams in reading and math than do any other students in the Commonwealth.The cumulative effect of this persistent underperformance is reflected in Latinos’ high school graduation and dropout rates. Latino students have the lowest four-year cohort graduation rate in the Commonwealth. Among Latinos, females are faring better than males and English Language Learners are the least likely to graduate.


This research report is part of Securing the Dream, a research book presented by the Gastón Institute at the Statewide Latino Public Policy Conference 2010, DCU Center, Worcester MA.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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