by Amy Wiseman, Ph.D.
Anyone who has been keeping track of the news lately knows that the Central Texas Hispanic population is rapidly growing.  But did you know that our Hispanic student population in the last decade grew at over twice the rate of our student population overall? Our English Language Learners, the great majority of whom are Hispanic, grew at an even faster rate. Almost half of Central Texas students are Hispanic, and the majority of elementary school students are Hispanic.
What does the data show about our Hispanic students?  Both concern and hope. In a December, 2013 presentation to the Hispanic Austin Leadership class, E3 Alliance reported some sobering statistics about  our Hispanic students: they represent 2/3 of our region’s drop outs, are less likely than white students to be college ready, and have the lowest direct-to-college enrollment rate of any ethnic group.
So where’s the good news? Gaps in test passing rates among different groups have closed rapidly in the last ten years – in fact, the gap between Hispanic and white students was cut in half.
Hispanic students taking project-based engineering courses have grown at almost double the rate of students overall. Even more impressive, Hispanic graduates in our region have increased their direct-to-college enrollment rate by almost 10 percentage points over the last few years. If we can accelerate the process of closing of gaps between different student groups, so that many more of our rapidly growing Hispanic students and English Language Learners succeed in school, we can build a truly multi-lingual, multicultural workforce that will be competitive in the 21st century global economy.
For more information on Hispanic student trends and outcomes, and what you can do to help student achievement in our region, see the E3 Alliance presentation:
For more  information on Hispanic Austin Leadership please visit:
Amy Wiseman, Ph.D.
Amy Wiseman, Ph.D. is the E3 Alliance Director of Research Studies. She brings 20
years of experience with research and data analysis to E3 Alliance where she engages in education research studies and program evaluations addressing the state of education in Central Texas.