The effects of peer counselor training and ethnicity on the self-esteem and school attitude of at-risk Hispanic adolescents
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Following an analysis of the dropout rate of Hispanic high school students in the United States, the data strongly suggest that the traditional education system fails to serve the needs of America's second largest minority group (Flores, 1991). For example, the dropout rate for the general high school population shows that approximately 25 percent of at-risk students do not complete high school (Conant, 1992). This statistic, disconcerting to both educators and the public, is even more alarming in that almost 50 percent of Hispanic students in the United States are at-risk for never completing a high school education. In an attempt to titrate this staggering flow of dropouts, the 70th Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 1010 and the State Board of Education issued 19 TAC 75.195, Alternatives to Social Promotion; both measures were enacted to reduce dropout rates through early identification and by providing academic assistance for at-risk students (Brown, 1987). In accordance with H.B. 1010 and Tac 75.195 directives, school districts initiated a plethora of programs including tutorial assistance, increased time for traditional counseling methods (Copeland, 1983), and free summer school classes. In essence, the "new" programs provided basically more of the same educational opportunities that had failed in the past, with the outcome being that the Hispanic dropout rate remained at a very high level (Flores, 1991), thus suggesting that minorities generally and Hispanics specifically were not served by the new programs.