Eric.ed.gov – A Matter of Trust: Ten Key Insights from Recent Public Opinion Research on Attitudes about Education among Hispanic Parents, Students and Young Adults

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In many respects, Hispanic families share the aspirations and anxieties of many other families nationwide: They are keenly focused on the role completing high school and going to college will play in their children’s future. Students and young adults see success in school and college as key to interesting work and a prosperous future, and most are optimistic about their prospects. Yet Hispanic parents, students and young adults also describe concerns, ideas, approaches and relationships with the public school system in ways that are sometimes distinctive. This brief, graphical summary, based on Public Agenda surveys taken over the last few years, lays out the chief differences and similarities. Summarized findings are taken from three different Public Agenda reports: (1) “Life after High School: Young People Talk about Their Hopes and Prospects” (2005); (2) “Reality Check 2006” series; and (3) “Squeeze Play: How the Public and Parents–White, African-American and Hispanic–View Higher Education” (2007). Unless otherwise indicated, analysis compares results from Hispanic respondents with those from all other populations combined. Reported findings include: (1) Hispanic parents place a very high value on college, and they are more likely than other parents to believe that a college degree is necessary for a decent job and middle-class life; (2) Most Hispanic parents trust and respect educators; they are more likely than other parents to believe that teachers and school officials are doing a good job in many key areas; (3) Despite their respect for educators, Hispanic parents are substantially more likely to say that a lack of resources and dropout rates are “very serious” problems at local schools; (4) Hispanic parents are more likely to question whether local schools are preparing their children for high school, teaching English quickly and effectively and offering strong math and science education; (5) Hispanic parents are considerably more likely than parents in general to voice concerns about safety and discipline in local schools; (6) Hispanic parents voice strong support for continuing to raise standards and other measures to improve high schools, but they are somewhat more concerned than other parents about toughening requirements for a high school diploma; (7) Hispanic middle school and high school students, like other students nationwide, voice many positive views about their schools and teachers; (8) Hispanic students confirm many of the key problems their parents see in local schools; (9) Most Hispanic young adults say their parents and teachers encourage them to go to college and that their friends respect people with college degrees; however, they are considerably less likely to have friends who are going to college; and (10) Hispanic young adults are more likely to voice concerns about getting enough money to go to college. (Contains 4 footnotes and 43 figures.) [For designated sourced reports, see ED485309 (“Life after High School: Young People Talk about Their Hopes and Prospects”), ED493658, ED493659, ED493660, and ED494314 (“Reality Check 2006” ).]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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