The Condition of Education 2011

The Department’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), released “The Condition of Education 2011,” a Congressionally mandated report to the country on education in America today.  The report includes 50 indicators in five major areas — education participation, learner outcomes, student effort and educational progress, the contexts of elementary and secondary education, and the contexts of postsecondary education.  The report also includes a special analysis on postsecondary education.

Among the notable findings:

From 1999–2000 to 2008–09, the number of students enrolled in public charter schools more than tripled from 340,000 to 1.4 million students. In 2008–09, some 5 percent of all public schools were charter schools

Between 1989 and 2009, the percentage of public school students who were White decreased from 68 to 55 percent, and the percentage of those who were Hispanic doubled from 11 to 22 percent

In 2009, some 21 percent of children ages 5–17 (or 11.2 million) spoke a language other than English at home, and 5 percent (or 2.7 million) spoke English with difficulty. Seventy-three percent of those who spoke English with difficulty spoke Spanish

The number of children and youth ages 3–21 receiving special education services was 6.5 million in 2008–09, corresponding to about 13 percent of all public school enrollment

In 2009, the average U.S. combined reading literacy score for 15-year-old students was not measurably different from the average score of the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-member countries.

In 2009, the average U.S. mathematics literacy score for 15-year-old students was below the average of the 34 OECD member countries. On the science literacy scale, the average U.S. score was not measurably different from the OECD average

In 2007, the United States spent $10,768 per student on elementary and secondary education, which was 45 percent higher than the OECD average of $7,401.

In 2007–08, about three-quarters of public high school students graduated on time with a regular diploma

In 2007–08, about 36 percent of undergraduate students considered to be in their first year reported having ever taken a remedial course, while 20 percent had actually taken one in that same year. At public 2-year institutions, about 42 percent of students had ever taken a remedial course

In 2009, approximately 84% of students from high-income families (the top 20% of all family incomes) enrolled in either a two- or four-year college immediately after high school, versus 67% of students from middle-income families and 55% of students from low-income families (the bottom 20% of all family incomes).

By 2009, about 57% of first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college in 2002-03 had completed their degree at that same institution within six years.

For more information, see

For links to wonderful graphs that visually depict the current state of education in America, see