Hispanic Educational Progress Since 1990 - June Newsletter

Sign up for Nuestra Iniciativa


Initiative 25th Anniversary

Nuestra Iniciativa

June 2015 Issue

 Broward County Public Schools Answers White House Call to Action


Executive Director, Alejandra Ceja and Chief of Staff Maribel Duran, joined Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) in Florida to announce its Commitment to Action in support of the Initiative's anniversary year of action by launching “Latinos in Action."

“Latinos in Action” is an elective high school course that will empower Latino students to graduate from high school and matriculate into postsecondary education.  The course focuses on leadership, literacy and service. BCPS will start the pilot program at six high schools during the 2015-16 school year. Students across the state of Utah, who participated in Latinos in Action, demonstrated a 99% on time graduation rate. 

25 Years of Fulfilling America's Future

90-2015 Timeline

This Fall marks an important milestone for the Initiative and its Present's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (Commission).  

Established in 1990 to address the alarming dropout rate in the Hispanic community, the Initiative has helped ensure Hispanics reach their full potential the past quarter century. Hispanic students have shown tremendous progress over the past two decades and their success is inextricably linked to that of the nation's. 

Learn more about Hispanic educational progress since 1990

Approaching Deadline!

Commitments to Action

Deadline: June 30th

  • Are you looking to invest in education? 
  • Are you a business or corporation seeking to diversify or further develop your workforce? 
  • Are you a nonprofit seeking support to expand or replicate a program that improves educational outcomes for Latinos? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions -- join us in answering the national call for Commitments to Action in support of the Hispanic community.

Approved Commitments to Action will be recognized during our 25th anniversary celebration this September.


Over the past six years,the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has taken unprecedented steps to hold career colleges accountable for providing students what they deserve: a high-quality, affordable education that prepares them for their careers.  It has established tough regulations targeting misleading claims by career colleges and incentives that drove officials to enroll students through dubious promises.  It has cracked down on bad actors through investigations and enforcement actions.
Students who have been defrauded by their college or attended a school that has closed down will receive every penny of the debt relief that they are entitled to, as efficiently and easily as possible.

Please read our fact sheet for more information regarding this announcement: Fact Sheet: Protecting Students from Abusive Career Colleges

In addition, Under Secretary Ted Mitchell’s blog “Debt Relief for Corinthian College Students,” has further details regarding how debt relief for students will work. 

Bright Spots in Hispanic Education

Know a program that invests in key education priorities for Hispanics? Nominate them as a Bright Spot!

This fall the Initiative will shine a national spotlight on the efforts taking place across the nation that are improving cradle-to-career opportunities for the Hispanic community.

Nominate a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education by July 17 to become a part of our online national catalog to be released this fall.


22% of young Latino adults have an Associate’s degree or higher, 8.1% completed a Master’s degree, and 6.5% completed a PhD.


Data indicates that now, more than ever before, Latinos are graduating high school and enrolling in college at higher rates, becoming the largest minority group in our nation’s colleges and universities. Learn more through our College Completion Webinar Slides and Transcript. Though the progress has been tremendous we are committed to ensuring that there is a continuous stride in college completion. 

Bucking the High School Dropout Rate

“We are making progress in increasing graduation rates not because of broad demographic and economic trends, but because the leaders of schools, districts, communities and states are working hard to drive change.” -- Dr. Robert Balfanz, Johns Hopkins University School of Education

Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates

According to the 2015 Building a Grad Nation report the national high school graduation rate hit a record high of 81.4 percent, and for the third year in a row, the nation remained on pace to meet the goal of 90 percent on-time graduation by 2020. The graduation rate for Hispanics peaked at roughly 75 percent in 2013, falling six percent short of the national average. Grad Nation suggests expanding early education opportunities for populations such as Hispanics are necessary to narrow the graduation gaps even further.

Celebrating Opportunity

Getting a Head Start

Head Start

Fifty years ago on May 18, President Lyndon B. Johnson stood in the White House Rose Garden to announce the creation of Project Head Start, a federal effort designed to ensure at-risk children across the nation received a quality early childhood experience. 

In honor of the occasion, the White House released a Presidential Proclamation reminding us that investing in the future of all our children, strengthens the economy, bolsters our communities, and gives every young person the chance to build a better life. Be sure to check out the Head Start Timeline and Historic Video, as well as the new Head Start blog from Office of Head Start Director Blanca Enriquez and an Op Ed by Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell.




Did You Know? 

The Initiative created the ¡Gradúate! Financial Aid Guide to Success (Guide) in both English and Spanish to help Hispanic students and families navigate the college application process? The Guide provides tools such as the College Scorecard, which helps students search for a college that is a good fit, considering key information such as cost size, location, and the type of institution as well as recommended steps for the college enrollment process, helpful tips on filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and key financial aid resources available to better support Hispanics, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and non U.S. citizen students, in their efforts to access a postsecondary education.


During the school year, more than 21 million children rely on free and reduced-price school meals.  However, during the summer, only 3.8 million children participate in the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program.  This means that too many children are at risk of hunger because they are out of school.  To help prevent summer hunger, the USDA partners with schools, local governments, and community organizations to offer free meals.  Any child -- under the age of 18 -- can walk into designated summer meal sites and eat for free. 

In a joint letter, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary Duncan urge leadership to make sure that children do not go hungry this summer.

To help:

 ED's Blogs



Duncan Inspired Again During Second Visit to School Impacted by Hurricane

Student Chefs Compete in Cooking Up Change National Finals

Duncan Praises Sustainable Schools and Announces New Green Strides Site

Grant Opportunities

$60 Million Available for First in the World Grant Competition

As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to drive innovations in higher education and increase college completion, affordability and quality outcomes, ED announced the availability of $60 million in Fiscal Year 2015 in the First in the World (FITW) program. 

$3 Million in Grants Available to Help Native Youth

ED announced the availability of an estimated $3 million in grants to help Native American youth become college- and career-ready. Funding for the new Native Youth Community Projects is a key step toward implementing President Obama’s commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaskan Native children.

$24.8 Million Awarded in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grants

ED awarded more than $24.8 million to 67 schools districts in 26 states across the country to establish or expand counseling programs. Grantees will use funds to support counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools. Specifically, the new Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grant awards will aid schools in hiring qualified mental-health professionals with the goal of expanding the range, availability, quantity and quality of counseling services 

History with #HispanicED

Herman Badillo

In 1970, Herman Badillo is elected into the U.S. House of Representatives, making him the first Puerto Rican to serve in Congress. Learn more about it here.

Invitation: Webinar on STEM Education

The featured topic for the Initiative's monthly webinar is STEM Education. Join the discussion on Wednesday, June 24 at 2pm EST/11am PST. To RSVP, please contact whieeh@ed.gov

Google Hangout with the Initiative

Access the Initiative's Google Hangout on Community Colleges. The recorded session begins with a presentation on the Administration's efforts to strengthen community colleges by Mark Mitsui, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges at ED.

Happy Father's Day, on behalf of the Initiative!

We take a moment this month to recognize and thank fathers for all that they do to nurture and develop Hispanic children. Fathers play a critical role – serving as role models, providing various types of support, and partnering with mothers, extended family members, and other women and men in communities to help young people succeed in school and in life. In the Latino community, nearly two-thirds (65%) of children live with two parents at home. We salute all the fathers who contribute to the Hispanic community, ensuring that their children reach their full potential, and helping fulfill America’s future.

Hispanics & Early Learning

Children with books

Hispanics make up more than 22 percent of all pre-K-12 public school students and are the largest segment of the early childhood population in the nation, yet less than half of Hispanic children are enrolled in any early learning program. The Initiative will be hosting an Early Learning Research Symposium this week to discuss the current research and practice initiatives as well as ways in which communities can support programs of early learning throughout the U.S.

54 Million and Counting

Hispanics accounted for more than half of the population growth between 2000 and 2012 in the U.S. As the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, it is vital that we support our Hispanic youth with the adequate resources that are needed to prosper in a competitive economy.  To learn more, please visit the Initiative's K-12 and College Access page. 

Hispanics and STEM Education

Latina Student Cap and Gown


Between 2010-2020 the overall employment in STEM occupations is projected to increase by 17 percent, yet not enough Latino students are pursuing degrees and careers in STEM fields to meet the increasing demand.  The lack of STEM representation is more prevalent at the postsecondary level with only 16 percent of Hispanics and 8.8 percent of Latinas completing their STEM bachelor's degree.  You can view more information on the Initiative's Hispanics and STEM Education Fact Sheet.


The White House on Climate Change

#ActOnClimate via Twitter

President Obama recently launched the "I #ActOnClimate because. . . ." social media campaign at his Twitter Q&A #AskPOTUS session in Miami during his visit to the National Hurricane Center. All of the agencies have a connection to climate change and the President asks people what they're doing to #ActOnClimate. Got ideas? Tell @POTUS yourself while welcoming him to Twitter.

Solutions That Can Broaden Opportunity

GT Summit

The President participated in a summit at Georgetown University, where he sat down with Harvard professor Robert Putnam and American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks to share his views on poverty in America and what we can do to ensure every American — no matter who they are, where they come from, or where they live — has access to the opportunities they deserve. He touched on economic solutions that can broaden opportunity, the political will to support initiatives that expand those opportunities, and the minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by the decision or indecision to make those investments.

"I Have a Dream" Foundation 

I Have a Dream

Executive Director, Alejandra Ceja, providing remarks at the "I Have a Dream" Foundation's Spring Gala in NYC.

NCES Releases "The Condition of Education 2015"

The Condition of Education 2015 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The report presents 42 indicators on the status and condition of education. The NCES provides great data sets that range from School Characteristics and Climate in Elementary and Secondary Education Characteristics of Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions.

Clave Al Éxito: Guía Educativa Para Padres


Con esta guía podrás involucrarse en la educación de su hijo desde pre kínder hasta doceavo grado. Podrá seguir su progreso, comunicarse con sus maestros y prepararlo para la universidad.