Her new column, Beyond the Numbers, debuts in the June-July 2011 issue.
Her first column explores education in the United States and profiles Maria Castro, a brilliant young Latina student who is smart, talented and ambitious - but still finds the educational system is failing her.
“To get into a good university,” she tells me earnestly, “I have to have taken—at a minimum—calculus.” Maria’s sights are set very high. Her first choice college is Stanford. “She’s an exemplary student. I am very proud,” her mother tells me in Spanish as I sit on the Castro front porch.
Although Latino students make up one-fifth of the school-age population in America and will be 30 percent of the national adult population by 2050, 2011only half of Maria’s Latino peers graduate on time. At her school, half of the students don’t pass Arizona’s proficiency exams, which means they don’t meet the bar for basic knowledge in math, reading and science."
Soledad, herself a Harvard graduate, most recently completed the CNN documentary Don’t Fail Me: Education in America which first aired May 15.