By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/10/2014 (11 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
For the first time in the United States as kids get on the bus this month to begin the school year, there will be more racial minority students enrolled than whites. It's estimated that a quarter will be Hispanic, 15 percent will be black and five percent will be Asian or Pacific Islanders. This fact highlights a rapidly changing national demographic.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - U.S. public schools are projected this school year l to have more minority students than non-Hispanic whites. This has been dictated in the growing number of Hispanic children.
The National Center for Education Statistics says minority students altogether will make up the majority.
SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --
"We can't talk about other people's children. These are our children," Education Secretary Arne Duncan says. He calls the shift a seminal moment in U.S. education.
The shift will lead to many changes in education, such as the need for more English language instruction. Other social issues, such immigration, poverty, diversity and inequity will also need to be addressed is school curriculum.
There will also be the expected tension between minority and white students. There have already been incidents of racially charged incidents disrupting U.S. schools.
Private schools nationally are facing these challenges as well. There has been a smaller number of white students enrolling and a greater number of Hispanic students in their decreasing pool of children.
The Census Bureau estimates that the country's population will have more minorities than whites for the first time in 2043, a change due in part to higher birth rates among Hispanics and a stagnating or declining birth rate among blacks, whites and Asians.
Today, slightly more than one in five children speaks a language other than English at home.
There are educational disparities shown in the youngest of black, Hispanic and Native American children. On average, minority students enter kindergarten academically behind their white and Asian peers. They are more likely to attend failing schools and face harsher school discipline.
In turn, they will also have lower standardized test scores, on average, fewer opportunities to take advanced classes and are less likely to graduate.
In response, some schools are seeking teachers to help reflect the demographics of their student population. Today, fewer than one in five of the public schools teachers is a minority.
There is one thing that educators - and the U.S. public can agree upon: Education must be made freely available to everyone, addressing and improving basic skills in order to keep the nation strong.
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