Secondary Education Programs
Latinos currently number nearly 10 million in American public schools – the second-largest segment of U.S. school population after Whites – and are 17% of all secondary public school students. Latino students are also the least likely to complete high school – 47% do not receive a diploma. Of those who do make it to 12th grade, the vast majority will graduate performing far below proficient levels on most academic subjects. In fact, by their senior year in high school, the average Latino student has skills in English and mathematics similar to those of a 13 year-old white student.
NCLR is committed to improving high schools around the country so all students, especially some of those most at risk, are prepared for success in college and work. Targeting the unique needs of Latino and English language learner (ELL) students, NCLR works through a network of community-based charter schools and Early College High Schools. Through this network, NCLR is developing and implementing cultural and linguistically-appropriate practices and policies for ELLs like rigorous curricula and improved testing and accountability systems. By doing this, NCLR expects to see an increase in the Latino high school graduation rate of ten percentage points over the next twenty years.
Charter School Development Initiative (CSDI)
In 2001, as a direct response to the increasingly alarming educational outcomes of Latino students and to the growing involvement of NCLR Affiliates in offering educational services and programs to students in their communities, NCLR launched a visionary and ambitious initiative to support the development of 50 charter schools throughout the country. These 50 new schools form part of a larger network of existing NCLR-affiliated charter and alternative schools, with a total of 100 schools. As a means to significantly increase educational opportunities and high school graduation rates for Latinos, the NCLR Charter School Development Initiative advocates for the academic success of Latino students.
Early College Project (ECP)
As a means to significantly increase educational opportunities and to increase high school and college graduation rates for Latinos, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is implementing the Early College Project, which focuses specifically on Latino students. This initiative grew out of NCLR’s work in developing a national network of Latino-serving charter schools.
Leadership Institute for Latino Literacy
NCLR hosts a summer multi-day institute to equip charter school teachers in the NCLR network with knowledge, tool, and resources on how to implement effective literacy strategies with Latino students.
Parents as Partners (PAP)
NCLR’s PAP program is based on a successful model developed by the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) in which parental involvement in a child’s educational process is strengthened by forging a working partnership between parents and schools. The program looks to train low-income, ethnically-diverse parents of elementary and middle/high school students. PAP encourages these parents to take a participatory role in assisting their children to stay in school; improve their academic performance; improve parent/child relationships; and attend college or other forms of higher education. Through this program, parents gain new knowledge and skills. Their confidence increases in their ability to improve the learning environment at home and advocate for services at school. In turn, these parents can help improve their child’s chances for school success.