Marcelo E. Siles
This brief compares Hispanic educational attainment, enrollment in public schools, high school graduation, and post-secondary enrollment in four-year public universities to those of other racial groups in Michigan. Drawing on secondary data from the U.S. Census, Michigan Department of Education, Chronicle of Higher Education, and the National Center for Education Statistics, the authors found that Blacks and Latinos lag in high school completion behind Whites. Almost 79 percent of Whites have a high school diploma, compared to 65 percent of Blacks and 61 percent of Hispanics. In post-secondary education, more than 18 percent of Whites have a college degree, whereas only 10 percent of Blacks and slightly over 11 percent of Hispanics do. One-third of Hispanic youth ages 5 through 17 years were not accounted for in the public schools. Hispanics 25 years of age and over have the lowest levels of high school education, with only 61 percent having a diploma as compared to 65 percent of Blacks and almost 70 percent of Whites. Hispanics in college were more likely to be equally represented by gender than their Black and White counterparts. This brief calls concludes that attention must be given to the education of minority children by ensuring that they complete not only high school, but also post-secondary education institutions. The authors indicate that policymakers must support programs that reduce high school dropout rates; ensure adequate K-12 education funding in both rich and poor districts; and support education programs that increase access to and completion of higher education.