MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Switching gears now, it’s Hispanic Heritage Month. That’s the time of year when we talk about the contributions and, sometimes, challenges facing people of Latino heritage in this country.
And, today, we want to point out a story that has both in the area of education. A new report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education says that only 58 percent of Latino male ninth graders graduate high school in four years. Only 52 percent of black males graduate in that length of time and that’s compared to 78 percent of white non-Latino ninth graders.
So that’s the challenge. The opportunity is that a number of organizations and individuals are trying to turn that situation around. I’m joined now by John H. Jackson. He is the president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. Also with us is Pilar Montoya. She is the CEO of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, which is also called SHPE, and she’s looking at ways to get Latino students more involved in the so-called stem fields, which is science, technology, engineering and math.