USA Today Op-Ed by Sharon Darling, NCFL President

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USA Today just published a letter written by Sharon Darling, the president & founder of the National Center for Family Literacy. The letter was in response to an article last week (8/9/07, Hispanic growth extends eastward) about Hispanic population growth in the U.S. – here’s an excerpt:

…Questions were raised about how this population pattern will affect school budgets and how newcomers can be transformed into workers and taxpayers. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the statistics: The nation’s largest and fastest growing minority is also the only one that experienced a decline in literacy from 1992 to 2003. It’s no coincidence, then, that in 2001, Hispanic dropout rates were about four times higher than those for whites. But the dropout rate for Hispanic students who speak English well is only 16%, compared with 59% for those who do not, according to a 2003 report by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The key to meeting the immediate and long-term needs of this population is to focus on intergenerational learning. The National Center for Family Literacy has piloted programs in large cities with substantial Hispanic populations … Family literacy is a solution on which everyone can agree.

Click here to read the article in full on USA Today’s website.

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