Jul 14, 2011

Working Together, We Can Improve Educational Outcomes For Hispanic Students [Or, As A Member Of The Chamber Of Commerce, I Like Money]

Julio A. Fuentes is President & CEO of the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (Hispanic CREO). The group's mission is to improve educational outcomes for Hispanic children by empowering families through parental choice in education. Mr. Fuentes previously served as the President & CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which he founded. He currently serves on the Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors, the Board of Directors for Florida Kidcare, Chairman of Latin CEO, and most recent appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist as a Commissioner for a Blueprint for Juvenile Justice reform. Mr. Fuentes resides in Wellington, Florida with his wife and two kids.

America's Hispanic population is our largest, youngest and fastest growing minority group. In the classroom, one in five students is Hispanic.

But experts say about half of Hispanic students don't graduate with their peers each year from high school. And the problem persists beyond high school. Only 13 percent of Hispanics hold a bachelor's degree.

What's more the achievement gap between white and Hispanic students isn't budging, according to a recent report by the federal government.The report found a consistently large gap between Hispanics and Whites in reading and math among elementary- and middle-school children.

To bring national attention to this education crisis, the Hispanic Counsel for Reform and Educational Options is working with StudentsFirst and others to launch the Coalition to Ensure Educational Opportunities for Hispanic Children to Succeed.

The coalition will come together this Friday in Fort Lauderdale for a series of panel discussions with education and business leaders as well as policy makers. Together, we hope to come up with ways to ensure our Hispanic students succeed!

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