Low-income Latino students need college prep schools

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I appreciate the resources Catalyst Chicago devotes to examining the high-school

experience in Chicago. I was glad to see your emphasis on beginning to prepare for high school success before 9th grade (November 2007).

Your editorial focused on the need to provide access for low-income black students to selective enrollment schools. I agree. But another issue I hope you can devote time to is the lack of educational opportunities for low-income Latino students in CPS.

The fact is that not one school with the words “college prep” in its name is situated in a predominantly Latino neighborhood.

Although selective enrollment high schools have a good-sized Latino population, I wonder how many of these students are low-income. Representation by race does not mean representation of class.

I’m not convinced that low-income Latino families are getting access to our top schools. Many predominantly Latino elementary schools are overcrowded. Our high school students still have a 50 percent dropout rate.

Please expand the race issue to include the Latino community and also include the class factor. It’s a necessary topic that our city needs to address.

Ray Salazar

Director of the Writing Center and English teacher

Jones College Prep