Education and Hispanics

Linda Purrington (
Wed, 22 Jul 1998 10:37:28 -0700

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New York Times July 22, 1998
First Lady Highlights Education as Hispanic Issue


PHILADELPHIA -- Future demand for high-tech skills should compel Hispanic
students to push for greater educational achievement, Hillary Rodham Clinton,
the First Lady, told the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights group.

"The 21st century will be ruthless," Mrs. Clinton said in a speech to the
National Council of La Raza at its annual conference here on Monday.

Citing statistics that nearly one-third of all Hispanic students drop out of
high school, Mrs. Clinton said those numbers must improve if the nation's
swiftly growing Hispanic community is to share fully in the American dream.

"Education is so critical to fulfill that future," Mrs. Clinton said. "It is the
gateway to opportunity."

A study by the Census Bureau that was released last week found that the nation's
largest population of minority children is no longer black but Hispanic, and the
Hispanic community will become the nation's largest minority group within seven

Mrs. Clinton said those figures presented "challenges and opportunities" for
Hispanic people and the nation as it struggles to improve schools.

"This is an investment in the future," she said. Mrs. Clinton recently
completed a bus tour of several historic sites in the Northeast to focus
attention on preserving them.

In her 45-minute talk to a friendly audience of several thousand, she said
that she would insure "the efforts and accomplishments of Hispanic Americans"
would also be highlighted "front and center."

La Raza, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, was expected to
attract more than 12,000 community, business and government leaders for the
four-day conference.


The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is a private, nonprofit organization
established in 1968 to reduce poverty and discrimination, and improve life
opportunities for Hispanic Americans. They offer a number of educational
resources and programs, as well. Their web site is

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