A new report from All in Education, a local nonprofit, highlights the need for Latinos in education.
“Representation matters,” said Stephanie Parra, the group’s executive director.
“45% of our student population is Latino but our administrators and teaching workforce at 16% Latino and if you look at school board members it’s 14% at the state level,” she added.
Parra told ABC15 by closing the representation gap, you close the opportunity gaps and start helping students of color.
The group also looked at the state’s recent test scores which were released in October 2021.
According to the 32-page report, “the data demonstrates a significant drop in 3rd grade reading levels and 8th grade math scores for all students but especially for Latino students.”
“Latino student academic outcomes have fallen to unprecedented levels. In fact, the data released demonstrates that 20 years of progress in reading and math scores have been set back,” the report said.
Parra hopes decision makers will use the information to help students in Arizona.
“We have to be intentional about how we support students, how we invest in schools and make sure the students that need the most resources get the resources to be successful,” she said.
Meanwhile, Liz Gonzalez, a local teacher and parent, said she supports more Latinos as educators.
“It’s very important that we show our students we did it, they can do it as well,” she said.
Gonzalez told ABC15 that teachers are important.
She said her father graduated with a Master’s degree but her mom dropped out.
“Education opens doors and it’s empowering for the whole community,” she added.
Original article published in ABC 15.