Put away your crystal balls—the National Center for Education Statistics has
released their projections of education statistics for the next eight years.
And they’re worth taking seriously; analyses of previous predictions showed
them to be remarkably accurate. So let’s peer into the future: Between 2007 and
2019, K-12 enrollment will see a 6 percent increase overall—mostly coming from
a boom in America’s
school-aged Hispanic population. While white and black student enrollment will
actually decrease, Hispanic student enrollment is projected to increase 60
percent over these thirteen years. In terms of graduation rates: Twenty-one
states (including most of the Northeast) will see a decrease in their
graduation rates by at least 5 percent, while seventeen states will see an
increase by at least the same percentage. NCES further reports predictions on
student-teacher ratios, education expenditures, college enrollments, and
teacher qualifications. While the projections rely on a host of assumptions
external to the education system (like fertility rates and migration), and
don’t take political and fiscal climates into account, they’re still fun to explore.
William J. Hussar and Tabitha M. Bailey, “Projections of Education
Statistics to 2019 (Thirty-eighth edition)” (Washington,
D.C.: National Center
for Education Statistics, March 2011).