Having an impact on public policy requires that groups and communities be able to understand and manage information. But it is often the case that data and information that can be useful to community action is not accessible or understandable. Since 1992, when the 1990 census data became available, the Gastón Institute has developed data profiles of each city and town with significant Latino population in an effort to bridge this important aspect of the information gap facing Latino communities in the state. The feedback from community leaders and organizations about these data profiles led us to use a similar approach in the dissemination of information on the education of Latinos.
With financial support from the National Council of La Raza, the Gastón Institute is developing educational profiles for the fifteen Massachusetts school districts with the highest Latino student enrollment. The profiles include basic data on enrollment, MCAS results, and dropout rates that are routinely provided by school systems. The information will be provided to parents and community leaders in both English and Spanish to facilitate their effective participation in the public debate on school reform and its impact on Massachusetts students.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/miren_uriarte/15/