Education

Latinos are by far the fastest growing chunk ofthe U.S. school population. A new report by the National Council of La Raza gives a fascinating snapshot of this fast-growing population.

Here are some highlights:

Demographics

  • Over the last 15 years, Latino enrollment has significantly outpaced that of whites and African-Americans.
  • Latinos under the age of 18 now total 18.2 million, a 47 percent jump since 2000.

Ryan E. Poppe

Reducing the number of deaths and injuries that happen during routine police stops is one of the policy discussions at the state capitol this week.  One of many possible solutions being discussed would be to create a ninth grade course that teaches students how to behave when stopped by police.

The chair of the state senate’s Criminal Justice committee, Houston Democrat John Whitmire says the course would also instruct students on what their rights are when they are stopped by a police officer.

Picture this: You're in the supermarket with your hungry preschooler in tow. As you reach into the dairy case, you spot a sign with a friendly cartoon cow. It reads: "Ask your child: Where does milk come from? What else comes from a cow?"

In a small study published last year, signs like these, placed in Philadelphia-area supermarkets, sparked a one-third increase in conversations between parents and children under 8.

There’s room for improvement for Texas public school children according to Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. He was in Dallas on Wednesday talking about the state of education in Texas. Morath said the state needs to do more to better prepare students for the future.

The good news: There's an uptick in the hiring of new teachers since the pink-slip frenzy in the wake of the Great Recession.

The bad news: The new hiring hasn't made up for the teacher shortfall. Attrition is high, and enrollment in teacher preparation programs has fallen some 35 percent over the past five years — a decrease of nearly 240,000 teachers in all.

Parts of most every state in America face troubling teacher shortages: the most frequent shortage areas are math, science, bilingual education and special education.

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