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-- WITH PHOTO -- TO EDUCATION, AND NATIONAL EDITORS:
ETS's Yvette Donado Delivers 2014 Tomás Rivera Lecture
PRINCETON, N.J., March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yvette
Donado, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of
Educational Testing Service (ETS), delivered the 2014 Tomás Rivera
lecture yesterday during the ninth annual American Association of
Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) conference. During her remarks
she noted that helping Hispanics meet their educational aspirations is
good not just for them but also for America.
The conference theme is, "America's Prosperity: The Academic Success
of Hispanics," and Donado drew upon national reports and ETS's own
research to illustrate the positive impact of such efforts. The annual
lecture is named in honor of the late Dr. Tomás Rivera, a professor,
scholar, poet, author and former president of the University of
California, Riverside. Rivera also served on the board of trustees of
"Last September, I delivered a Hispanic Heritage Month address at a
major company in New Jersey," Donado said. "I told them Hispanics are
18 percent of our state's population. In a generation, they will be
one-third. They are your workforce, your customers, your future
scientists, engineers, marketers and managers. Heads bobbed in
recognition of this fact."
"Now, some may believe that helping Hispanics meet their educational
aspirations is charity. Wrong," she said. "Boosting educational
attainment is not just good for Hispanics. We need to make sure that
everyone understands that it is good for America!"
Donado told attendees that by 2015, if Latinos age 18-24 attended and
graduated from college at the same rates as non-Hispanic Whites, the
following benefits would incur:
-- 430,000 more Hispanics would be in college and 110,000 would
-- Increased Hispanic presence would benefit ALL students.
-- Other benefits would accrue as they enter the workforce,
contributing to diversity of thought and action.
-- They would add more than $130 billion per year to the economy.
-- That new wealth would add $45.5 billion to public revenues, helping
-- The proportion of Hispanic families with less than adequate incomes
would decline from 40 percent to under 21 percent.
"There is no need to draw a picture," she said. "Those who neglect the
potential contribution of Hispanics to our nation, those who do not
support equitable access to educational opportunity for Hispanics,
those who oppose documenting the undocumented do so at their own
"We Hispanics often point to our growing numbers and assume that with
them will come economic and political power. But such power must be
won. It will not be handed to us. We must fight for it. Economic and
political power must be matched by education power!"
"Although I much prefer an asset model, not a deficit model, we must
face the reality that despite our many gains, we continue to lag in
key areas." Donado cited the following:
-- Hispanics are less than 3 percent of full-time university faculty
-- High school dropout rates, although down slightly, are still
-- UCLA's Patricia Gándara says Hispanics have the worst record of
college completion (9 to 11 percent for the last three decades; while
African-American students' numbers rose from 11 percent in 1975 to 18
percent in 2006).
-- More than 40 percent of Latina mothers have less than a high school
education (compared to 12 percent of African-American mothers).
-- Latinas are twice as likely as other women to live in poverty (20
percent vs. 11 percent).
-- When Hispanic families lack resources and their children attend
impoverished schools, negative outcomes are inevitable.
-- Community colleges are the point of entry for most Hispanics going
into higher education, but a large percentage are not college ready
and require remedial courses.
-- Too many Hispanics lack English-language skills and education to
compete for better paying jobs.
"Research and experience have consistently shown correlations between
educational attainment and success," she said. "Education can improve
personal and public health and overall quality of life; strengthen
communities and societies; increase wealth; heighten interest in
environmental quality; and promote harmony and collaboration among
people of different backgrounds and cultures."
"Societies with higher levels of education have lower rates of AIDS,
HIV and infant mortality; longer life expectancies; greater economic
output; and are more stable and productive. Education may not
guarantee well-being in a society, but social well-being is improbable
Donado noted, "Progress depends on hard work, creativity, initiative
and persistence." She said that progress must include:
-- A strong start for Hispanic preschoolers, with more early education
-- Improved teacher quality across the board
-- Lower drop-out rates
-- Easier access to higher education
-- Higher high school and post-secondary graduation rates
-- Increased number of Hispanic college presidents, administrators and
"A myth persists among some out there that Hispanics don't care about
education," Donado said. "The fact is that along with economic
opportunity, education tops the list of Hispanic priorities. So the
challenge is to move our communities and our nation from the realm of
'possibilities' into the realm of 'probabilities'. Our motto should be
"Our society is changing faster than our capacity to keep up with the
changes," Donado concluded. "Let us not react to the changes around
us, let us prepare. Let us shape those changes in a manner consistent
with our numbers. Education, too, is evolving. And we Hispanics cannot
be mere spectators. We must be players. We must move from doubts and
uncertainties, to assured progress, along pathways with built-in and
About ETS At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for
people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research.
ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government
agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification,
English language learning, and elementary, secondary and
post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research,
analysis and policy studies. www.ets.org
About AAHHE The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education,
Inc. (AAHHE) is an association of Hispanic faculty and administrators
at U.S. colleges and universities. It supports the development of
Hispanic college professionals and is dedicated to increasing the
number of Hispanics in higher education, bringing issues pertinent to
Hispanics to the attention of the larger academic community, and
recognizing achievements of Hispanics in support of higher education.
For more about AAHHE, visit www.aahhe.org.
SOURCE Educational Testing Service
/CONTACT: Tom Ewing, email@example.com, 609-683-2803
/Web Site: http://www.ets.org
CO: Educational Testing Service
ST: New Jersey
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