NCES Releases “Digest of Education Statistics 2012”

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a part of the U.S. Department of EducationThe 48th in a series of publications initiated in 1962, the Digest‘s purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of education from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. The Digest contains data on a variety of topics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, and federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons.

Highlights from this year’s report include the following:

•     The percentage of adults 25 years old and over who had completed at least high school increased from 84 percent in 2002 to 88 percent in 2012. The percentage of adults 25 years old and over who had completed a bachelor’s or higher degree increased from 27 percent to 31 percent.

•     In 2011, about 64 percent of 3- to 5-year-olds were enrolled in preprimary education (nursery school and kindergarten), the same as the percentage in 2000. However, the percentage of children in full-day programs increased from 53 percent in 2000 to 59 percent in 2011.

•     In fall 2010, White and Asian first-time kindergartners had higher average reading and mathematics scores than their Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native counterparts. First-time kindergartners from families with high socioeconomic status (SES) had higher average scores than children from low-SES families.

•    Between 2001 and 2011, college enrollment increased 32 percent, from 15.9 million to 21.0 million. Much of this growth was in full-time enrollment; the number of full-time students rose 38 percent, while the number of part-time students rose 23 percent.

Certainly these results should factor into decisions being made in 2014 about the direction of education reform. Based on the trends mentioned above, the Obama administration’s plans to increase access to pre-k education as well as larger discussions about the role of a college education and who has access to higher education seem especially relevant.

To view the full report please visit