Condition of Education 2011 Report Offers New Insights Into U.S. Education Trends
AIR experts played a major role in producing the latest edition of The Condition of Education 2011, a congressionally mandated annual report that provides a definitive look at developments and trends in U.S. education. Released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the report projects that enrollment in U.S. schools is expected to grow through the decade, as the U.S. population increases.
AIR’s team played a key role in authoring and producing the report, working with data from complex survey designs, conducting statistical analysis and testing, and writing key findings, as well as developing tools to centralize communication among authors and reviewers. The report presents statistical indicators containing text, figures, and tables describing important developments in the status and trends of education from early childhood learning through graduate-level education.
Documented trends found in the report include 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 six main areas:
- a closer look at postsecondary education by institution level and control;
- participation in education;
- learner outcomes;
- student effort and educational progress;
- the contexts of elementary and secondary education; and
- the contexts of postsecondary education.
This year's report includes a focus on postsecondary education. It found that from 2000 to 2009, undergraduate enrollment in postsecondary institutions increased from 13 million students to 18 million. Of this increase, 27 percent (representing 1.2 million students) occurred at private for-profit institutions. The number of degrees earned has also increased. Over a 10-year period, there was an increase of 41 percent in the number of associate's degrees awarded, 33 percent more bachelor's degrees, and 49 percent more master's degrees.
A sample of the indicators in the report includes:
- Public elementary and secondary school enrollment is projected to increase from 49.3 million in 2009 to 52.7 million students in 2021.
- 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.
- Between 2000 and 2009, undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions increased by 34 percent, from 13.2 to 17.6 million students. Projections indicate that it will continue to increase, reaching 19.6 million students in 2020.
- The average U.S. combined reading literacy score for 15-year-old students in 2009 was not measurably different from the average score of the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-member countries. The average U.S. score was lower than that of six OECD countries and higher than that of 13 OECD countries.
- In 2010, young adults ages 25–34 with at least a bachelor's degree had a full-time employment rate that was more than 30 percentage points higher than their peers who did not graduate from high school (74 vs. 41 percent).
For more information and to view the full text of The Condition of Education 2011, visit http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe.