La Familia Baez: The Cold, Hard Facts

November 1, 2011

Think about these numbers.

Valentina, age 7: in second grade, cannot read, and cannot even write her own name.

Juan Carlos, age 9: repeating third grade for the second, soon-to-be third, time.

Vanessa, age 12: only in fifth grade and can barely read.

Ruth, age 13: in seventh grade (the only child in the family with any sort of academic proficiency, but with a worrisome rebellious personality to match it).

Jessica, age 15: in eighth grade and about to flunk.

Joana, age 17: was failing the school year (working 50+ hours a week and taking care of a toddler and five siblings must have gotten in the way), dropped out, and now has three more years until she finishes the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma.

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