NCES Releases The Condition of Education 2015

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a part of the U.S. Department of EducationOn Thursday, May 28, Acting Commissioner Peggy G. Carr, National Center for Education Statistics, released The Condition of Education 2015. The indicators presented in The Condition of Education 2015 provide an update on the state of education in America and include findings on the demographics of American schools, U.S. resources for schooling, and outcomes associated with education.

Report findings include:

  • Ninety-one percent of young adults ages 25 to 29 had a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2014, and 34 percent had a bachelor’s or higher degree. As in previous years, in 2013, median earnings were higher for 25- to 34-year-olds with higher levels of education. Also, in 2014, the unemployment rate was generally lower for those with higher levels of education.
  • The percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners was higher in school year 2012–13 (9.2 percent, or an estimated 4.4 million students) than in 2002–03 (8.7 percent, or an estimated 4.1 million students) and in 2011–2012 (9.1 percent, or an estimated 4.4 million students).
  • Sixty-five percent of 3- to 5-year-olds were enrolled in preschool in 2013, which is about the same as in the previous year. Sixty percent of these preschool children attended full-day programs. In the fall of 2012, nearly 50 million students were enrolled in public schools—over 2 million of whom were in charter schools. Postsecondary enrollment was at 20 million students in the fall of 2013, including 17 million undergraduate and 3 million graduate students.
  • In school year 2011–12, some 3.1 million public high school students, or 81 percent, graduated on time with a regular diploma. Sixty-six percent of 2013 high school completers enrolled in college the following fall: 42 percent went to 4-year institutions and 24 percent went to 2-year institutions.
  • In postsecondary education, 56 percent of male and 62 percent of female students who began their bachelor’s degree in the fall of 2007, and did not transfer, had completed their degree within six years. In 2013, over 1 million associate’s degrees, over 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees, and over 750,000 master’s degrees were awarded.
  • Three spotlight indicators describe approaches to learning behaviors for first-time kindergartners and their relationship to achievement in kindergarten and first grade, disparities in educational outcomes among male youth of color, and differences in postsecondary degree completion by socioeconomic status.

One unique insight that stood out in this year’s report are figures that show how different the charter school landscape is now. Since the 1999-2000 school year, the number of charter schools has grown about 300 percent. There were about 6,100 charters in the 2012-13 school year, vs. about 1,500 in ’99. Over the same time, the proportion of small charter schools has shrunk. Back then, the overwhelming majority of charters had fewer than 300 students; now, only about half of charter schools are that small. About half of all charters used to be dominated by white students; that has changed too: Now the student body at only about a third of charters is majority white. More than half of all charters are based in cities, and more than two-thirds are located in the South or West.

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