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School Districts with High Minority Populations Have Lower Graduation Rates

The national high school graduation rate increased by three percent – from 72 to 75 percent – between 2001 and 2008, according to a report by America’s Promise Alliance.

However, this is not as good as it sounds – at least for students who live in high-poverty urban districts. The report discovered that these districts have graduation rates below the national average.

What are these “high-poverty urban districts”?

“One county type stands out in sharpest relief… the counties with large African American populations called Minority Central, set heavily in the nation’s southeast,” according to a report by Patchwork National, a PBS-affiliated reporting project. “Those counties hold only about 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, but they hold more than 15 percent of the high schools with the highest dropout rates.”

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Espera Más Promotes Brighter Futures for Hispanic Teens

According to PregnantTeenHelp.org, the USA has the highest rates of teen pregnancies of any country in the western industrialized world. Every year, around 750,000 teen girls, or 33 percent of the female teenage population, gets pregnant. This percent is much higher for Hispanic teenagers; around 52 percent of Latinas will become pregnant at least once by age 20, according to the National Campaign. Even more sobering than the thought of teenage pregnancy is the fact that only one third of teenager girls who have a baby will graduate high school.

Luckily, there’s Espera Más. Espera Más (“expect more” in Spanish) is a campaign based in Oklahoma City, OK, that is dedicated to helping Hispanic teens navigate the steps to success in their own lives: graduate high school, attend college, start a career, get married, and start a family, in that order. Espera Más has partnered with local schools and health organizations to promote education, safe sex or assistance, and success for the individual and his/her community. Read the rest of this entry »





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