THE HISPANIC DROPOUT RATE IN THE
CLEVELAND METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DISTRIC
IS 76 PERCENT (76%)
By: Luis Martinez
The dropout rate among Hispanic students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) stands at 76%, the highest in the nation according to Dr. Rosita Lopez of Northern Illinois University.
At the same time the Department of Defense, Personnel and Procurement Statistics reports that of 3,807 Americans that have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom between March 19, 2003 and October 6, 2007. Of these, 11 percent (11%) or 412 (the highest among any minority group) are Hispanic/Latino.
Is there a connection between these statistics? Is there a connection between the dropout rate and the incarceration rates?
What can we do to prevent 8 out of 10 Hispanic/Latino students from dropping out of the CMSD prior to graduation? What do these morbid statistics mean to the poor people of the world of whom 50% are malnourished and dying of starvation or the 80% who live in substandard housing? We live in the richest country in the world. We have such great opportunities to prepare ourselves to alleviate the conditions of the poor but are not, to the best extent of our ability, doing so!
Nationally, Hispanics are projected to represent 24 percent of the 5 to 19 year-old population by the year 2020. As Hispanic/Latinos we are known for our love of family. Let’s do more to extend the love within us and to nurture our children’s love.
We should not depend on others to find the resources needed for us to help our children. It is time that each one of us thinks of something unique and distinctive that we want to do to alleviate this problem. If needed, get your friends to help you do it or, it will never get done! We all have a gift to offer and that is a portion of ourselves. We must change what is happening to Hispanic children here, thereby making Cleveland a model for the rest of the nation. Time is short; while we are blessed to still be on earth let’s think about the love we have for children and the tools we possess that can help make a difference in their lives.
In 2008, Esperanza, Inc. will celebrate its 25th Anniversary as a non-profit corporation whose mission is to enhance the educational and economic opportunities for Hispanic- Americans by motivating academic achievement. Let’s give them a hand by volunteering to help in all the ways we can.
Find out about what it is one can do as a volunteer by going to the Esperanza, Inc. web site at: http://www.esperanzainc.com or call (216) 651-7178.