Recently in Latino Initiative Category
May 13 2013Latino High School Dropout Rate at an All-Time Low
Back in February, I blogged about the study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and how the national Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) for Latino high school students had increased 71.4%. Now, I'm elated to follow-up with a blog regarding a new report released last week by The Pew Research Hispanic Center that builds upon NCES's findings. According to Pew, the Latino high school dropout rate is at an all-time low and has dropped 50% from its rate in 2001 (28%) to its current level in 2011 (14%)!
Furthermore, Pew states that 69% of Latino high school graduates in the Class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, at a rate that surpassed those of non-Hispanic white high school graduates (67%).
With Latino teen educational attainment on the rise and Latina teen pregnancy rates continuing to decline, I hope that these findings indicate the beginning of what will be a long-term, ongoing trend. With an ever growing number of Latino teens delaying parenthood, graduating from high school, and enrolling in college, this generation of youths has a future that's full of promise and prosperity.
Apr 23 2013Latino Families Working Together to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Despite a 34 percent decline in teen pregnancy over the past two decades, four out of 10 Latinas get pregnant at least once before age 20--more than one and a half times higher than the national average. Research makes clear that there is much parents can do to help their children avoid teen pregnancy. Unfortunately, there are few resources that help Latino parents navigate this critical area. Therefore, in 2011, The National Campaign developed the Latino Parent Teen Communication project. Through the project, which is generously supported in part by The California Wellness Foundation, The National Campaign and partners worked with stakeholders in California to develop, test, promote, and distribute resources for Latino parents that will help them reduce teen pregnancy in their families and communities.
Families Talking Together (FTT), an evidence-based program specifically designed for Latino families, was chosen for use with the project because it responded to all of the needs identified through a series of focus groups, interviews, and literature review. The question left unanswered was, what is the best way to deliver FTT to Latino families? How can we make sure that parents can learn from FTT that would ensure they will talk to their kids?
Feb 05 2013Latino Teens and Graduation Rates: What's Missing From This Picture?
In a recent statement regarding the latest report released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, revealed "that high school graduation rates are up for all ethnic groups in 2010--especially for Hispanics, whose graduation rate has jumped almost 10 points since 2006." Currently, the national Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) for all students is 78.2%, which according to Secretary Duncan "is the highest it's been since at least 1974." The AFGR for Hispanic students is 71.4%.
Although the NCES report does not identify the causation for the bump in the number of Latino students receiving high school diplomas, an article posted on ABC/Univision explored some of the possible factors that may have played a role. Among the variables mentioned are: the Latino community's increased emphasis on the need to graduate from high school, improvements in demographically assessing graduation rates, and the accountability standards schools have had to adopt stemming from the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002.
However, two variables that deserve much attention and celebration, as well as recognition for contributing to increasing Latino high school graduation rates, were overlooked--the significant decreases in Latina teen pregnancy and birth rates. Both of these rates recently reached historic lows and, since 1990, both have fallen nearly continuously. Although I was disappointed by the omission, I was not surprised by it. What it illustrates is the fact that, despite all the data being readily available, there continues to be an ongoing need to make people aware of the links between teen childbearing, education attainment, and economic well-being.
Despite the progress being made in the education and teen pregnancy prevention fields, there is no time for complacency. At a time when many programs throughout the country are facing budget cuts or elimination, helping others "connect the dots" remains as important as ever.
Jan 17 2013Latino Teen Pregnancy: Mythbusters Edition
Every job that I have ever had always produced interesting reactions whenever I introduced myself. My role as Senior Manager of the Latino Initiative at The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is no exception. I have heard things like, "Hispanics, they are such breeders;" "Well you know, Latinos accept teen pregnancy;" and "Latinos are the reason why teen pregnancy rates are so high--it's all those 'anchor babies.'"
The reality is that if the causes of teen pregnancy were that simple, we wouldn't have a problem. Teen pregnancy is more than a Latino issue and all those statements are actually NOT true. Let's take a closer look.
Myth 1: Hispanics are "breeders."
Fact: In our report Toward a Common Future, we found that the majority of both Latino teens and parents reported that either graduating from a college or university or having a promising career are the MOST important goal for their (or their child's) future. In fact, only 3% of Latino teens and 2% of Latino parents reported that starting a family was the most important goal for the future.
Myth 2: Latinos accept teen pregnancy.
Fact: In our national survey With One Voice 2012, we asked "Compared to other social and economic problems facing this country, how important is the problem of teen pregnancy?" and 91% of Latino adults said they view teen pregnancy as a very important problem. 92% of Latino teens agreed. Furthermore, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's' Health, Latino adults identify teen pregnancy as one of the top ten health concerns for their children.
Myth 3: Latinos are the reason why teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. are so high.
Fact: Based on the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), over the past 3 years (2007 to 2010) total declines in births to Latino teens were steeper than for teens overall (26% decline vs 17% decline). Between 1991 and 2010, total declines for Latino teens were steeper than for teens overall (a 47% decline vs. a 44% decline).
Myth 4: It's all those anchor babies.
Fact: According to a recent Pew report, the "U.S. birth rate dipped in 2011 to the lowest ever recorded, led by a plunge in births to immigrant women since the onset of the Great Recession." The birth rate for U.S.-born women decreased 6% during these years, but the birth rate for foreign-born women plunged 14%--more than it had declined over the entire 1990-2007 period.
All that being said, there is still much to be done given that over 4 in 10 (44%) Latinas will become pregnant at least once before they turn 20.
Our resolution for 2013 is to continue our efforts to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies among teens and young adults--including those in the Latino community. Here are just a few resources The National Campaign produces to help in that effort.
- Fast Facts: Teen Pregnancy and Child Bearing Among Latina Teens
- Fast Facts: Hispanic Teens' Sexual Behavior and Contraceptive Use: Data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2011
- Latino Resource Center--a selection of materials and activities focused on teen pregnancy among Latinos in the United States
Dec 27 2012The Season for Giving
'Tis the season for giving thanks and giving back. Show your appreciation for all the fabulous work your favorite causes do all year round by supporting them with tax-deductible contributions. And while you're at it, why not show us some love!
You read our blog, so hopefully you already know some good reasons to support us, but in case you need a few more, you should donate to The National Campaign this year if:
- Improving the lives of children ranks high on your list of priorities: Teen pregnancy is linked to many other important social issues, like poverty and income, education, and overall child well-being. Children born to teen mothers are more likely to suffer from compromised physical, mental, and emotional health; lower educational achievement; higher poverty rates; and higher incarceration rates.
- You care about saving billions in taxpayer dollars: Teen childbearing in the U.S. cost federal, state, and local taxpayers at least $10.9 billion in 2008. Those costs stem from the negative consequences for the children of teen mothers, such as increased costs for health care, foster care, and lost tax revenue. In addition to teen pregnancy, the direct medical costs of unplanned pregnancy also cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
- You want your contribution to really make a difference: As an organization, The National Campaign sees results. Since its inception, the teen pregnancy rate has dropped more than 40%. All 50 states have seen dramatic declines in rates among all racial/ethnic groups. And don't just take it from us. Not to brag, but this year alone The National Campaign won 11 awards for everything from our ad campaigns to the National Day Quiz, from Stay Teen's Crush Game to our sixth consecutive Charity Navigator 4-Star Charity award.
- You want to know your money is taken seriously: The Campaign's strategic and data-driven approach ensures that all time and money spent is based on what the evidence says is effective. By working with strategic and evaluation companies like McKinsey & Company, Redstone Strategy Group, and Arabella Advisors, we make sure every dollar received is used as optimally as possible.
Despite all the impressive progress, we still have a long way to go. In the U.S., nearly three in 10 girls get pregnant by age 20 and fully half of all pregnancies are unplanned. With your help, we will continue to work to reduce unplanned pregnancy among teens and young adults.
For a short time, your tax-deductible donation will go twice as far to fund our work helping teens and young adults make smart and informed pregnancy planning and prevention choices. National Campaign Board member and donor Vicki Sant and her husband Roger have agreed to match your donations dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $25,000.
We thank you for your continued support and look forward to continuing the effort in 2013!