American Institutes for Research Experts Play a Key Role in The Condition of Education 2012 Report

Washington, D.C. – A team of experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) played a key role in writing and producing "The Condition of Education 2012," a congressionally mandated annual report that documents education trends in the United States, from early childhood education and student achievement to postsecondary education and school environment. Released by the federal National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on May 24, 2012, the report was submitted to Congress and the President of the United States.

AIR analysts authored twenty of the indicators found in the report by working with data from complex survey designs, conducting statistical analysis and testing, and writing key findings. AIR, which produced the report, also developed tools to centralize communication among authors and reviewers.

The 2012 report offers a detailed account of U.S. education trends, including enrollment rates in all levels of the education system, achievement in reading and mathematics, high school graduation rates, immediate transition to college, and employment outcomes of graduates. The report incorporates indicators in four main areas:

  • closer look at high school students in the United States over the past twenty years;
  • participation in education;
  • elementary and secondary education; and
  • postsecondary education.

This year's report includes a focus on high school students and how high schools have changed in recent decades. The findings include data from the 2008-09 school year, which found that more than three-quarters of public high school students graduated on time with a regular diploma. The report also found that only 16 percent of high school students were employed in 2010, compared to 32 percent in 1990.

Other findings in the report highlight indicators in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education. For instance, an estimated 4.7 million public school students in the U.S. were English language learners (ELLs) in 2009-10, compared to 3.7 million in 2000-01. Also, undergraduate enrollment in institutions of higher education continues to increase, from 13.2 to 18.1 million students between 2000 and 2010. Additionally, between 2006-07 to 2009-10, the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students receiving any kind of financial aid at four-year institutions of higher education increased from 75 percent to 85 percent.

The full report is available online at

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit


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