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High School Completion for Hispanics Is on the Increase

Targeted efforts to reduce the number of Latinos dropping out of high school have apparently paid off, according to an Associated Press article based on U.S. Census data released yesterday.

The percentage of Latinos ages 18-24 who weren't attending high school and didn't have a high school degree or the equivalent was 22 percent in 2008, a decrease from 34 percent in 1998, the article reported.

Census data also showed that the number of Latinos attending a two-year college nearly doubled over the last decade.

For more about the repercussions of attending a two-year college rather than enrolling in a four-year one, take a look at a report released yesterday by Education Week about postsecondary education and career pathways. Diplomas Count 2011: Beyond High School, Before Baccalaureate reports that only 22 percent of students complete a public community college within three years.

The Diplomas Count report said that while the high school graduation rate for Latinos has improved, it's still a cause for concern. Fifty-eight percent of Latinos in the class of 2008 finished high school with a diploma, compared with 71.7 percent of all students.

In a story I wrote for EdWeek, based on interviews with Latinos working for members of Congress last summer, I reported that it's often friends or teachers that help Latinos figure out how to get into four-year colleges, not necessarily guidance counselors.

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