Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published (as Chapter 9) in Handbook of Latinos and Education: Theory, Research, and Practice, edited by Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., Sofia A. Villenas, Ruth Trinidad Galván, Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Corinne Martínez, and Margarita Machado-Casas (New York & London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 157–169. Copyright © 2010 Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


In 2002 Hamann, Wortham, and Murillo noted that many U.S. states were hosting significant and often rapidly growing Latino populations for the first time and that these changes had multiple implications for formal schooling as well as out-of-school learning processes. They speculated about whether Latinos were encountering the same, often disappointing, educational fates in communities where their presence was unprecedented as in areas with a longstanding Latino presence. Only tentative conclusions could be provided at that time since the dynamics referenced were frequently novel and in flux.

In this chapter we revisit their inquiry in light of six subsequent years of research and outcome data. We begin by defining and elaborating on the concept of “new Latino diaspora,” tracing its origins, and noting the diverse populations and contexts it represents. Next we turn to an analysis of educational outcomes in new Latino diaspora communities in light of two competing hypotheses. The first would suggest that in areas where there has been little history of anti-Latino institutionalized racism and little record of Latino school success or failure, educational improvisation might lead to better outcomes than in areas with long established racialized patterns of weak Latino educational outcomes. Alternatively, the second would suggest that racialized patterns of interaction with and schooling for Latino communities in California, Texas or Chicago are carried into and recreated in new settings, leading to similar or even poorer educational outcomes. We conclude with a review of emergent scholarship and suggestions for further work that might shed light on education in the new Latino diaspora and, in some instances, on Latino education more generally.