If you’ve been reading my blog regularly, you know that I have an interest in community centers that cater to the educational and developmental needs of the city’s youth. Yesterday I learned about yet another one. The New York Times recently had an article on how the children of Mexican immigrants in New York City have significantly lower educational outcomes than the general student population. Problems of lagging grades and test scores and high drop-out rates begin in primary and secondary school but persist in college.
Mexicans currently represent the highest percentage of 16- to 19-year-old youth not graduated and not in school in the City: 47%, as compared to 22% for Puerto Ricans, 18% for African-Americans, and 7% for whites. Furthermore, students frequently drop out after enrolling in high school: while 95% are in school at age 14, just 25% are still in school at ages 18 to 19. That’s a drop of 70%.
Those figures are provided by MASA-MexED, an organization set up to serve the educational needs of students of Mexican descent in New York. They provide educational support at all levels: offering a range of services from an early childhood playgroup to tutoring, mentoring, test prep, and college counseling. In addition to special classes in art and science, they also run peripheral programs such as ESL classes for students and parents alike, and an outreach effort for the 2010 census.