Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published (as Chapter 17) in Hamann, E. T., Wortham, S. E. F., & Murillo, E. G., eds. Revisiting Education in the New Latino Diaspora (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2015), pp 335-347.


Copyright © 2015 by Information Age Publishing


Villages, towns, and cities throughout the United States, including the 41 states of the New Latino Diaspora (NLD), continue to host/receive heterogeneous populations of Latinos who transform the physical and cultural landscape in ways that require social institutions, like schools and universities, to respond. Increasingly, this transformation includes newcomer parents starting families. Thirty-three percent of the U.S. Hispanic population is age 18 or younger, while that age profile is true of slightly below 20% of non-Hispanic Whites (Pew Hispanic Center, 2012). While voter rolls and retirement community residents may remain much Whiter than the U.S. population as a whole for a number of decades, school enrollment will be increasingly Latino.

Table 1 shows the 22 NLD states where Latinos constitute at least 10% of the age 18 or younger population (as of 2011). It also highlights that in only one of those states, Maryland, is more than half of the Latino population (51%) foreign-born, although in seven more than 40% of the Latino population was not U.S.-born. We share these numbers because they clarify the underlying demography, including demographic shifts, that compels educational institutions to respond to this portion of their enrollment.

The seven preceding chapters all illustrate how various educational institutions in the NLD have addressed various goals for various Latino populations. Each response, whether a formal policy (like that addressed by Lowenhaupt), a partnership (like those described by Gallo, Wortham, and Bennett and Richardson Bruna), an inquiry into how the accumulation of policies have shaped teacher beliefs (as in Contreras, Stritikus, Torres, & O’Reilly Diaz and Adair), or something as modest as a university course with a travel study component (Sawyer) embeds and transmits varying ideologies about who Latinos are, how we/they are or are not imagined as part of the community, and what we/they are assumed to need. These responses are all, on varying scales, policies that seek to reform a certain aspect of the educational experience in the NLD. In practically all of these cases although Latinos are the objects of policy implementation, they are not key architects of it. The BESITOS program described by Herrera and Holmes stands out as an exception on this account.