Education

We’re going back to school to learn about Idaho’s Latino students. Here’s how you can help

Meet Idaho Statesman reporter Nicole Foy

Nicole Foy is on the Idaho Statesman investigative team, covering agriculture and the Latino community.
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Nicole Foy is on the Idaho Statesman investigative team, covering agriculture and the Latino community.

Idaho Education News and the Idaho Statesman are teaming up to explore why Latinos lag behind other students in Idaho — and where the state’s education system is failing them.

About 18 percent of Idaho’s 307,000 schoolchildren identify as Hispanic or Latino, making them the largest minority group in Idaho schools.

For the next school year, EdNews reporter Sami Edge and Statesman reporter Nicole Foy will dive into the data, listen to Latinos, educators and policymakers and write about what they learn.

They’ll talk with leaders who create and implement education policy. But they’ll also travel the state to learn from Latino communities. They’ll ask Latino parents and children what they think of Idaho’s public education system and how the system works — or doesn’t work — for their families.

Consistent achievement gaps between white and Latino students in Idaho prompted this project. Here’s what we know:

  • 39% of Latino students in grades K-3 read below grade level in the fall of 2018, compared to 19 percent of white students.
  • Only 24% of Latino students were proficient in math on 2018 standardized tests. In comparison, nearly half of white students scored proficient or above at 49%.
  • About 41% of Idaho’s adults held a college degree or professional certificate in 2016. But only 13% of Idaho Latinos held a degree or certificate, ranking dead last in the nation.

This project is one of 10 across the country supported by an American Press Institute Listening Fellowship awarded to Idaho Education News. The reports will be informed by Latino communities across Idaho.

Do you have a story idea? Do you think we should visit your community? If you’re a Latino parent, student or educator, we want to hear from you. Send an email to Nicole at nfoy@idahostatesman.com or Sami at sedge@idahoednews.org.

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