Monday, July 16, 2007

“Strengthening the Academic Pipeline Leading to Careers in Math, Science and Technology for Latino Students"

Patricia Gándara, Professor of Education at
the University of California, Davis writes;
"Access to a rigorous curriculum continues to
be a critical issue for Latino and other minority
students. Gándara cited evidence that Latino
and other underrepresented students are more
likely to be assigned to low curriculum tracks
independent of their test scores than are White
students. This is especially true in the case of
mathematics courses, where algebra continues to
be the major gatekeeper for entry into the college
preparatory track. Certainly Latino students will
not go on to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Mathematics)
careers if they do not have rigorous preparation in math;
but without such preparation they are not likely to go on to college at all.
Thus, while school reform aimed at offering
greater academic opportunities to Latino students
must form part of the solution to the leaks in
the pipeline to college and STEM careers, it will
not be enough to close the considerable gaps in
opportunity and outcomes for these students."

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