Some People Are Attempting To Discredit A Student’s Recent Perfect Score On A Spanish AP Exam Because He Is Latino
For those that believe Latinos automatically do well in Spanish class think again. The Spanish language among Latinos continues to decline. According to Pew Research, 73 percent of Latinos spoke Spanish at home in 2015, which has dropped from 78 percent in 2006. That’s to say, the younger generation of Latinos do not go hand-in-hand with Spanish as it is believed to be, and that’s what makes this story so extraordinary.
A 17-year-old Chicago student got a perfect score on his Spanish AP exam.
Before you think, well, of course, he got a perfect score, he’s Latino. That assumption that young Latinos understand Spanish and write it perfectly is entirely ridiculous. Speaking Español with mom and dad is not the same as writing comprehension in Spanish.
Out of 189,658 students, Arturo Ballesteros from Chicago was one of 100 to get a perfect score.
“I saw I had gotten a perfect score and was like, ‘Oh my God,’” the high school junior told NBC News. “I was blown out of the water.”
Ballesteros was in shock because he didn’t believe he did that well on the test.
“On some of the sections, I felt like I could’ve done better,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
His teacher, Benita Arguellez at Back of the Yards College Prep and Principal Patricia Brekke, knew Ballesteros had it in him.
“He has an incredible level of humility,” Brekke told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Yes, he’s incredibly smart, we all know that. But he’s a really good person, and that’s what makes him great.”
“Everything comes natural to him. He’s able to elaborate with the richest vocabulary,” Arguellez added.
So what exactly does this Spanish AP test cover? Lots.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the exam includes 65 multiple choice questions, a written persuasive essay that must outline “the value of digital library resources over physical texts,” a business email response, “an impromptu two-minute presentation comparing the cultural norms around keeping pets in Mexico and the United States, and discuss the merits of a career in law with a hypothetical acquaintance. All in conversational, college-level Spanish.” Holy cow.
Ballesteros credits embracing his Latino culture and the Spanish language for his perfect score, and of course, his parents.
“Spanish is a really great language. It’s the second most spoken language in the world,” Ballesteros told NBC News. “So I would say to students and young people who come from Spanish-speaking families to embrace that and learn from a young age, because it will be useful in your professional and academic life.”
He added that it is because of his parents that he will hopefully attend the University of Chicago when he graduates.
“I told my parents because I owe my accomplishments to them, but I don’t like to randomly talk about myself like that or come off as arrogant.”
We love that humility! Congrats, Arturo!