chapter  5
17 Pages

How Paola Mad e It to College: A Linguistic Minority Student’s Unlikely Success Story

ByLinda Harklau, Shelly McClanahan

Latinos/as, the fastest growing demographic group in U.S. schools, leave the educational pipeline at disproportionate rates at every stage of the educational system. Researchers cite a litany of grim statistics. While more than 75% of White students nationally earn high school diplomas, only 56% of Latinos/as do (Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, 2010). First generation immigrant Latinos/as are particularly vulnerable to dropping out (American Federation of Teachers, 2004). While the high school graduation rates for Latinas have of late surpassed those of Latinos, they nevertheless continue to have among the lowest proportions of high school graduates compared to all other racial and ethnic groups (Zambrana & Zoppi, 2002). Nearly one in fi ve (19%) young adult Latinas in 2007 were neither in school nor in the workforce, a proportion that is rivaled only by that of young Black men (16%) (Fry, 2009).