Sunday, August 29, 2010

About 25% of 5-year-olds in the U.S. are Hispanic

According to this article, this year's class of kindergarteners are, as a group, about 53% white, down from 59% five years ago, while Hispanic students are up from 19% in 2000 to 25% this year, outnumbering black students of the same age by almost 2 to 1.

This belongs on my blog for two reasons:

1) The increase in the population of Latinos in the United States is a huge factor in some of the work Notre Dame is doing right now, and especially in what we're doing with the ACE Academies.  Combine the present national high school graduation rate for Latino students (less than 50%, depending on exactly who you ask) with the number of Latino students in the nation, and it doesn't take much specialized knowledge to guess what unfortunate fruits that coupling will eventually bear.

2) The article made me laugh out loud.  I'm quite sure it was unintentional and that the writer bears no malice toward Latinos.  Nonetheless, some of the phrasing made it sound like we're somewhat similar to a hoard of locusts, or we're carefully coordinating a slow invasion.  My favorite example (emphasis mine):
In addition, more Hispanic children are likely because the number of Hispanic girls entering childbearing years is up more than 30% this decade, Kenneth Johnson, demographer at the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute says. "It's only the beginning."
Hide your children!

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