Equity in Education: What That Means for Latino Students

This agenda is subject to change.


8:00 – 8:45 a.m.

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.

Identifying Inequities in Education
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Experts identify the biggest inequities to watch for at the preschool, K-12, and higher education levels and what’s being done about them.

  • Emma García, Economist, Economic Policy Institute
  • Gigliana Melzi, Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, New York University
  • Katherine Valle, Policy Adviser, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce
  • Moderator: Claudio Sanchez, Education Correspondent, NPR

Educating Immigrant Children for Success
10:15 – 11:15 a.m.

While many immigrant children have to navigate a new language in a new country, some schools across the nation are not prepared to meet these needs. What strategies have been successful to help these children develop the language and academic skills necessary to succeed? And what will changes to federal education policies mean for this group?

  • Luis Duany, Director of School Support, Internationals Network for Public Schools
  • Yolanda Torres, Executive Superintendent for Family and Community Engagement, New York City Department of Education
  • Gabriela Uro, Director for English Language Learner Policy and Research, Council of the Great City Schools
  • Moderator: Agustín Durán, News Editor, Hoy Los Angeles

Digging Deeper Into School Finances
11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

A reporter who has spent years investigating the finances of a charter network serving Chicago’s Latino neighborhoods gives tips on understanding charter school funding and developing a critical eye.

  • Dan Mihalopoulos, Investigative Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times

12:20 – 1:00 p.m.

Testing and the Opt-Out Movement
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

More minority parents are choosing to opt their children out of standardized tests, even as prominent civil rights groups argue that test scores are a way to keep schools accountable for the education of economically disadvantaged students and students of color. Experts and activists explore both sides of the issue.

  • Peggy McLeod, Deputy Vice President of Education and Workforce Development, National Council of La Raza
  • Jose Palma, Graduate Investigator, University of Minnesota
  • Ruth Rodriguez, Administrator, United Opt Out National
  • Moderator: Karen Falla, Reporter, Univision (Dallas)

Interviewing Undocumented Students 
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children are often known as “DREAMers,” for the failed Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. In the face of instability, many DREAMers have turned to advocacy, including for equal access to an affordable college education. DREAMers share their immigration stories and discuss the media’s approach to reporting on the undocumented.

  • Jose Abastida, Student, University of Florida
  • Jose Machado, Student, Miami Dade College
  • Andrea Pinillos, Student, Trinity Washington University
  • Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, Founder and CEO, DREAMer’s RoadMap
  • Moderator: Eileen Truax, Freelance

Back-to-School Brainstorming
3:30 – 4:15 p.m.

With the 2016-17 school year just around the corner, journalists will likely find themselves producing  yet another back-to-school story. In this brainstorming session, veteran journalists share ideas for finding back-to-school stories that feel fresh.

  • Arly Alfaro, Anchor and Reporter, Telemundo (Miami)
  • Luis Lara, Editor, El Hispano News
  • María Fernanda López, Education Reporter and Anchor, Univision (Miami)
  • Claudio Sanchez, Education Correspondent, NPR

A Closer Look at Segregation
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Mexican-American children used to be separated from white students in schools because of their Hispanic surnames and the assumption that their English-language skills weren’t good. While that practice is no longer legal, Latino student segregation is still a major problem in parts of the United States. This session will lay out the data, as well as some proposed solutions.

  • Anna Maria Ortiz, Assistant Director of Statistics, U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • Jeannette Ramos, Analyst, Alves Educational Consultants Group
  • Yolanda Torres, Executive Superintendent for Family and Community Engagement, New York City Department of Education
  • Moderator: Adriana Cardona-Maguigad, Investigative Producer and Reporter, Univision (Chicago)


8:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Where Are the Latino Teachers?
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Last year, the White House launched a social media campaign, #LatinosTeach, meant to attract more Latinos to the profession. Elsewhere, organizations are partnering with universities to get more Latinos into Ph.D. programs and, ultimately, at the front of college classrooms. In this session, experts address the Latino teacher-student gap and discuss strategies for increasing diversity among educators to reflect an increasingly diverse student population.

  • Mario Cardona, Senior Policy Adviser for K-12 Education, White House Domestic Policy Council
  • Viridiana Carrizales, Director of DACA Corps Member Support, Teach For America
  • Edgar Rios, Diversity Recruiter, Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • Andrés Castro Samayoa, Assistant Director for Evaluation, University of Pennsylvania Center for Minority Serving Institutions
  • Moderator: Maria Peña, Correspondent, La Opinión/ Impremedia

College Readiness — How to Prepare and Where to Go
10:15  – 11:15 a.m.

Research has shown that Latino students are more likely to choose colleges that are less expensive and closer to home rather than more selective schools that may better match their academic abilities. College counselors and educators provide insight into the college decision-making process and the academic, financial and cultural considerations that go into finding a good college match.

  • Juan Garcia, Senior Director of the Office for the Advancement of Underserved Learners, ACT
  • Carmen Macias, Graduate Student, University of Southern California
  • Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, Assistant Professor and Co-Director, Seton Hall University Center for College Readiness
  • Victor Zamora, Director of KIPP Through College, KIPP Colorado Schools
  • Moderator: Fermin Leal, College and Career Readiness Reporter, EdSource

Are Hispanic-Serving Institutions Actually ‘Serving’ Their Students?
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Hispanic-serving colleges and universities educate a student population that is at least 25 percent Latino. But are these institutions — and especially the ones that receive federal funds to support Latino students — actually serving them, as their designation implies they must do?

  • Alicia Diaz, Executive Director of Legislative Affairs, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Eric Felix, Research Assistant, University of Southern California Center for Urban Education
  • Clara Oropeza, Professor, Santa Barbara City College
  • Deborah Santiago, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Policy, Excelencia in Education
  • Moderator: Sulema Salazar, Anchor, Telemundo (Washington, D.C.)