Article Review: Why Hispanic Children Lag Behind (March 16, 2007)

The first article taken for review is titled ‘Why Hispanic Children Lag Behind’ (March 16, 2007). The article takes up a key issue facing educators in America – namely, creating a level playing field for pupils of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. The underperformance/under-education of Hispanic children is a concern, as they consistently lag behind non-Hispanic Whites in academic performance. In light of this disparity, the recommendation given by the National Task Force on Early Childhood Education for Hispanics (www.ecehispanic.org) is quite salient. The organization encourages Hispanic parents to enroll their children in high quality education programs at the earliest stage possible so that their children can make quick progress and close the Hispanic-White achievement gap. The article goes on to cite the success of state-funded prekindergarten programs (which have helped Hispanic children toward school readiness) as proof of effectiveness of early intervention. In this regard, programs such as Head Start have great potential for impact. Sadly though, despite such great education opportunities available for Hispanic children, they are not properly being availed. This situation is brought about by a combination of factors, including – language barriers and lack of awareness on part of parents, the reduced number of slots allocated in locales inhabited by Hispanic Americans, etc.

The article was concisely written, with a good logical flow of points. It implores Hispanic parents to take a pro-active role in providing high quality education for their children, as a failure to do so will keep the community backward. While the article neatly captures the issue at hand and the remedial programs in place, it does not give suggestions for satisfactorily resolving the issue. In other words, there are no constructive suggestions on part of the author for overcoming parents’ inadequacies such as language barriers and lack of awareness. On the other hand, the issue of disproportionate number of slots in certain public-schools is something for the authorities to look into. Had the author articulated these concluding thoughts, the article would have been more comprehensive.