Prof analyzes gap between children from minority backgrounds vs. majority groups

“Parental involvement is low among Hispanic families compared to families from the majority group,” says Ruiz Camacho. “The current administration should work to close this gap.”

Published Apr. 23, 2009

Mayra Ruiz Camacho, assistant professor of education and director of student teaching in the Ross College of Education at Lynn University, is well-versed on the topic of academic achievements within minority groups and advocates for greater parental involvement in children studies, especially in Hispanic households.

Mayra Ruiz Camacho“The Hispanic population is projected to reach 98 million, one-fourth of the total U.S. population, by mid century,” said Ruiz Camacho. “Despite the rising number of Hispanics, there is still a significant gap between the achievement of children from minority backgrounds, including those from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and students from the majority group.”

In April 2008, Ruiz Camacho presented “Enhancing the Knowledge and Involvement of Hispanic Families of Children with Disabilities” at a national Council for Exceptional Children 2008 Convention and Expo in Boston, Mass. Her presentation analyzed the results of a study to enhance the education and involvement of Hispanic families with children with disabilities in their children’s schools.

“One of the key requirements of NCLB is for schools to promote greater parental involvement,” said Ruiz Camacho. “Unfortunately, parental involvement in the special education process is reported to be low among Hispanic families when compared to families from the majority group.”

“It is too early to say if the current administration is addressing Hispanic children adequately but it is certain that much needs to be done in order to close the existing gap between students from minority backgrounds and those who aren’t,” said Ruiz Camacho. “With the increasing diversity of students in our classrooms, it is essential for us to prepare future classroom teachers to not only be aware of differences but to understand how to better serve these diverse populations.”

Source: Mayra Ruiz Camacho, assistant professor of education and director of student teaching in the Ross College of Education at Lynn University, specializes in multicultural issues in education, family involvement and exceptional student education – specifically in the field of autism.  Ruiz Camacho has presented numerous studies (in English and Spanish) on the topic of Hispanic families and children with disabilities.