1971 Publication of Puerto Rican Drop-Outs: Numbers and Motivations

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This study found indications of high percentages of dropouts among Chicago Puerto Ricans; their educational problems seemed similar to those of other Spanish-speaking pupils in the urban situation. The dropout count carried out revealed a rate of 71.2percent for Puerto Rican pupils who had received.a substantial portion of their education in the North American continent. Eighth graders, freshmen, and seniors still in school who were examined for motivation too demonstrated that they had problems with self-concept caused by discrimination, difficulty in relating to their parents, and a progressive estrangement of pupils from the school. Schools were found to have very little influence in increasing the stay-in rate:’they did little to improve student self-image or cultural identity. Further, students’ reading habits, commitment to doing homework, and future aspirations decreased the longer they stayed in school. Knowledge of English was greater among dropouts than among seniors staying in school; these seniors knew more Spanish than dropouts. All groups lacked courses in Puerto Rican culture, and 80 percent of them desired such courses. Families played no role in the running of schools, nor were there many Spanish teachers in the schools. Both these factors when present and operant were proven to substantially reduce the dropout rate. (Author/RJ)

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