How you can help save my future: insights for middle and high school principals from a Latina perspective

This is an action research regarding Latinas' educational experiences and its links to school risk factors that force, push-out or cause Latinas to drop out of school. The collection of excerpted responses from five Latinas provides insights for educational leaders which may promote an understanding of the challenges faced by Latinas. The literature review presents major studies in the area of what has been called the "Latino dropout phenomenon;" however conflicts over dropout data in general are immediately evident with researchers arguing about discrepancies which include intergenerational populations aggregated with immigrant groups, school-age vs. adult-age populations, and methods for collection of dropout data. A significant lack of information regarding gender-specific studies of subgroups still exists. Most studies and other data sources combine males and females within an ethnic group giving limited and miscellaneous information about "Latinas." Recent and emerging studies have begun to show disaggregated data regarding graduation rates of males and females in most ethnic subgroups, but educational needs specific to gender have not been addressed. Conferences of policy makers, task forces and focus groups have convened to identify promising school reforms which may begin to increase graduation rates of Latin as. This study contains specific recommendations for increasing Latina graduation rates. Keywords: Latina Dropouts; High School Dropouts; Graduation Rates; Retention