Since 1980, enrollment rates are up for teenagers of all races. But the improvement among Hispanics is especially encouraging.

16- and 17-year-old enrollment (since 1980)

How did that huge gap close so quickly? What changed? Have there been demographic shifts in the Latino community (a shift in density from rural to urban areas, for example)? Does this represent a transition from first- to second-generation immigrants? Does Eddie James Olmos deserve the credit?

Source: National Center of Education Statistics

Disclaimers: I originally had a “Total” line, covering all races, but it tracks the “White” line pretty closely. I’m not sure why they don’t break out data for other races.