Monday, September 20, 2010

Being Hispanic Isn't Sufficient

It definitely could be advantageous for a school that serves a high percentage of Hispanic students to have a Hispanic principal who is biliterate. Being someone the students can view as a role model is one advantage. Another benefit would be that the Hispanic principal may understand issues the students are facing and know how to overcome barriers and obstacles better than someone from another culture.

Yet, just being Hispanic isn't sufficient. I have seen both extremely effective Hispanic education leaders and those who were less than effective. Plus, when I have interviewed successful Hispanics and asked them who influenced them in their academic pursuits more often than not they mentioned a teacher, a leader, and/or a mentor who was not Hispanic. It was the interest and caring that mattered more than the culture.

I have come to the conclusion that having a Hispanic principal could be a bonus but not a necessity if a school is to meet the needs of our Hispanic learners.

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