Before reading the book Voices: African American and Hispanic students’ Perceptions Regarding the Academic Achievement Gap, I had a sense of what it meant to be a Hispanic student in the United States. However, it wasn’t until after finishing the book that I’ve become conscious of the daily struggle and rigid challenges Hispanic students like me go through in their pursuit of succeeding in their education. Out of the 25 findings present in the book, the findings that capture my attention are #14, #15 and #25. I have personally seen and lived through situations where these findings have been present, and I know the enduring impact that they can have on a student’s education and life. These findings state that many students live in home environments that are not conducive to academic success, that our parents have a limited academic background and/or lack English proficiency, and that people have negative opinions regarding Hispanics. These barriers can prevent Hispanic students from achieving a greater academic success than they are capable of.
One’s home environment is as important as the school environment if not more. When a student is not in school, the majority of the time he/she is at home. Sometimes “these home environments are characterized by limited financial resources, lack of personal supervision, constant distractions and crowded living conditions” many could agree that it is much easier to focus on the TV than Pre Calculus homework (Ferrer 49). Students can spend a large amount of time unsupervised seeing as their parents are working and preoccupied with making ends meet. We’re accountable to look after our younger siblings and take on other responsibilities at home while they are at work. The environment at home could have the TV playing constantly, siblings fighting with each other, and parents arguing. All these factors put into a small house where seclusion from distractions is impossible make studying for a test or trying to concentrate on...
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