How Can Schools Best Educate Hispanic Students?

Today nearly one-quarter of K‒12 students in the United States hail from Spanish-speaking families or communities, and their needs have taken on a prominent place in our schools. In this forum, two experts argue that getting smarter about literacy and charter schooling offers big opportunities to address the challenges facing Hispanic youth.

Nonie Lesaux: Focus on Higher-Order Literacy Skills

Recent research, however, has shifted our thinking: It’s not reading per se that impedes Hispanic students’ advanced literacy skill development; it’s actually the language of print—in the newspaper, the textbook, the magazine article—that proves difficult and demands instructional emphasis. Our task, then, is to redesign our model for teaching literacy.

Juan Rangel: Emphasize Civic Responsibility and Good Citizenship

A successful assimilation school model does not have to be unique to immigrant children. A quality public school that emphasizes civic responsibility and good citizenship will suffice to transition immigrants successfully, challenging them and the rest of us on our joint commitment to the welfare of our nation.