Introduction

Sonia Nieto, Melissa Rivera, Sandra Quiñones, Jason Irizarry

Abstract


Latino/a students have been educated in U.S. schools for centuries, and still more will be arriving at our schools tomorrow. This reality is but one indication of the multiplicity of experiences that define the long, complex, and troubled history of Latinos/as in U.S. schools. Although they are more visible today than at any other time in our history, the fact remains that the sociocultural, political, economic, and historical context of Latino/a education is hardly known outside the university offices of academics who study it, or of teachers and administrators who teach Latino/a students. Given both the growing number of U.S.-born Latinos/as as well as the dramatically increasing number of newcomers, the need to confront the serious shortcomings of the education of Latinos/as has never been more urgent. In their comprehensive analysis of the education of Latinos/ as in the U.S., Patricia Gándara and Frances Contreras (2009) put it bluntly: “Today,” they write, “the most urgent challenge for the American educational system has a Latino face” (p. 1).


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