Hispanics are the largest minority group in the public education system, comprising more than 1 in 5 students in the nation's elementary, middle and high schools, according to a report by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The report shows that Hispanics will drive the growth of the labor force over the next several decades, accounting for 60 percent of the nation's growth between 2005 and 2050.
“Hispanic students have graduated at lower rates than others for a long time, making it impossible for America to advance if they continue to fall behind,” Rico said. “Improving Hispanic educational excellence isn't just a Latino problem. It's a challenge for all Americans.” -- Ed.GovPrior to his work with the Administration, Rico served from 2005-2009 as principal of Chicago's Multicultural Arts High School, named by then Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan as founding principal in 2005. He previously worked for the University of Illinois-Chicago's Small Schools Workshop to help develop small, innovative learning communities in public schools. He also worked during this time as a school improvement coach and on charter school projects with the Knowledge Works Foundation and the National Council of La Raza.