Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Condition of Education 2013

The U.S. Department of Education has published a rather lengthy tome full of interesting facts and figures about academics, school finance, and demographic data effecting elementary, secondary and post-high school education.

The Condition of Education 2013 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The report presents 42 indicators on the status and condition of education, in addition to Spotlights that look more closely at 4 issues of current interest. The indicators represent a consensus of professional judgment on the most significant national measures of the condition and progress of education for which accurate data are available.

To save time, I've culled some of the most interesting facts and trends below regarding K-12 education. Most are direct quotes lifted from the document but a few have been edited for space or to provide additional information needed to make sense of the data. I leave the drawing of conclusions to the reader:

Across OECD countries, the percentage of 25- to 64-year-olds who had earned a college degree was higher in 2010 (22 percent) than in 2001 (15 percent). The percentage of the U.S. adult population with a bachelor's or higher degree was 32 percent in 2010, compared with 28 percent in 2001.  (The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is an organization of 34 countries whose purpose is to promote trade and economic growth.)

In 2011, young adults with a bachelor's degree earned almost twice as much as those without a high school diploma or its equivalent (97 percent more), 50 percent more than young adult high school completers, and 21 percent more than young adults with an associate's degree.

Between 1990 and 2012, the educational attainment rate of 25- to 29-year-olds who received at least a high school diploma or its equivalent increased for Whites (from 90 to 95 percent), Blacks (from 82 to 89 percent), Hispanics (from 58 to 75 percent), and Asians/Pacific Islanders (from 92 to 96 percent).

In 2012, the unemployment rate for those with at least a bachelor's degree was lower than the rates for those with lower levels of educational attainment. During the most recent economic recession (December 2007 through June 2009), the unemployment rate increased less for those who had at least a bachelor's degree than for those who had less than a bachelor's degree.

In 2011, approximately 21 percent (1-in-5) of school-age children in the United States were in families living in poverty. For Black children the rate was 39 percent (1-in-2.5); for Hispanic children the rate was 34 percent (1-in-3).

In the fall of 2010, reading scores were higher, on average, for delayed-entry kindergartners (36 points) and repeating kindergartners (37 points) than for on-time kindergartners (35 points). In the spring of 2011, however, reading scores were higher for delayed-entry kindergartners and on-time kindergartners (51 and 50 points, respectively) than for repeating kindergartners (48 points).

From 1980 to 2011, the percentage of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in preprimary programs increased from 53 percent to 64 percent. The percentage of these children who attended full-day programs increased from 32 percent to 59 percent during this time period.

From school years 2010–11 through 2021–22, public elementary and secondary school enrollment is projected to increase by 7 percent from 49.5 to 53.1 million students, but decrease in Michigan by as high as 5 percent.

The percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners (ELL) was higher in 2010–11 (10 percent) than in 2002–03 (9 percent). In 2011, the achievement gaps between ELL and non-ELL students in the NAEP reading assessment were 36 points at the 4th-grade level and 44 points at the 8th-grade level.

From school years 1980–81 through 2004–05, the number of children and youth ages 3–21 who received special education services increased to 14 percent of student population, as did their percentage of total public school students. The number and percentage of children and youth served under IDEA have declined each year from 2005–06 through 2010–11 to 13 percent of student population.

In school year 2010–11, some 20 percent of public school students attended a high-poverty school, compared with 12 percent in 1999–2000. In 2010–11, some 24 percent of public school students attended a low-poverty school, compared with 45 percent in 1999–2000.

From 1992 to 2011, the rate of nonfatal crime against students declined from 181 to 49 crimes per 1,000 students at school, or from nearly 1 in 5 students in 1992 to about 1 in 20 students in 2011; away from school, the rate of nonfatal crime against students also declined from 173 to 38 crimes per 1,000 students.

From 1955 to 1985, public school pupil/teacher ratios fell from 26.9 to 17.9. Over the next 23 years, the public school pupil/teacher ratio declined by two additional students per teacher to 15.3 in 2008. There were slight increases in 2009 (15.4) and in 2010 (16.0). Private school pupil/teacher ratios decreased more steeply over this period, from 31.7 in 1955 to 12.2 in 2010. As a result, pupil/teacher ratios have been lower in private schools than in public schools since 1972.

From school years 2000–01 through 2009–10, total elementary and secondary public school revenues increased from $522 billion to $627 billion (in constant 2011–12 dollars), a 20 percent increase, adjusting for inflation. From school years 2008–09 through 2009–10, total revenues for public elementary and secondary schools decreased by about $1 billion, or less than 1 percent.

From 1999–2000 through 2009–10, current expenditures per student enrolled in the fall in public elementary and secondary schools increased by 20 percent, after adjusting for inflation. The relative increase in expenditures per student for instruction (19 percent) was greater than that for administration (15 percent) but smaller than that for student services (35 percent).

When adjusting for inflation, combined salaries and benefits have remained at 81 percent of expenditures since 1999. In 1999-2000, 65 percent of expenditures were for salaries and 16 percent for benefits. In 2009-10, 60 percent of expenditures were for salaries and 21 percent for benefits. The portions of expenditures for purchased services (9-10 percent) and supplies (8 percent) have remained steady.

In comparing international expenditures for education in 2009, countries with greater Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita (in U.S. dollars) spend more money on K-12 education. There is a strict correlation to this relationship. In other words, a country's wealth (defined as GDP per capita) is positively associated with expenditures per full-time-equivalent student on education at the elementary and secondary level.

Despite significantly changing demographics (race, ethnicity, economics, and special needs) and higher academic requirements, in 2011, the average reading score for 4th-grade students measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) (221) was not measurably different from the 2009 score (221), but it was higher than the scores on assessments between 1992 (217) and 2005 (219). For 8th-grade students, the average reading score in 2011 (265) was 1 point higher than in 2009 (264) and 5 points higher than in 1992 (260), but was not always measurably different from scores on assessments given in other years. In 2009, the average reading score for 12th-grade students (288) was 2 points higher than in 2005 (286) but 4 points lower than in 1992 (292).

Again, despite significantly changing demographics (race, ethnicity, economics, and special needs) and higher academic requirements, for grades 4 and 8, the average mathematics scores in 2011 on the NAEP were higher than the average scores for those grades in all previous assessment years dating back to 1990.  Twelfth-graders were most recently assessed in 2009; in that year, the average 12th-grade mathematics score was 3 points higher than in 2005, the first year that the revised assessment was administered.

In summary, the average reading and mathematics scores on the long-term trend National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were higher in 2008 than in the early 1970s for 9- and 13-year-olds; however, scores for 17-year-olds were not measurably different from the early 1970s.

The percentages of high school graduates who had taken mathematics courses in algebra I, geometry, algebra II/trigonometry, analysis/precalculus, statistics/ probability, and calculus increased from 1990 to 2009. The percentages of high school graduates who had taken science courses in chemistry and physics also increased between 1990 and 2009. This trend held for all racial/ethnic groups.

The gap in the status dropout rate between high-income and low-income families narrowed between 1970 and 2011, particularly during the past two decades, when the gap narrowed from 21 percentage points in 1990 to 11 percentage points in 2011.

Between 1975 and 2011, the immediate college enrollment rate increased from 51 percent to 68 percent. In 2011, the immediate enrollment rate for high school completers from low-income families (52 percent) was 30 percentage points lower than the rate for completers from high-income families (82 percent, based on a 3-year moving average).

Source citation:

Aud, S., Wilkinson-Flicker, S., Kristapovich, P., Rathbun, A., Wang, X., and Zhang, J. (2013). The Condition of Education 2013 (NCES 2013-037). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC. Retrieved 5/28/13 from