National Center for Education Statistics
This edition of NCES’s long-running series is a dense and sobering tome. It looks at forty-nine indicators under five familiar headings; this year’s special analysis considers high-poverty schools, a category which serves 17 percent of students. As always, the interesting tidbits are strewn throughout. For example, Roman Catholic schools still make up the greatest percentage of private school enrollment, though unsurprisingly their numbers declined from 45 to 39 percent between 1995-96 and 2007-08. However, because the report defines those Catholic schools as ones run by a parish (not a diocese or independently), the report partially attributes the decline to shifting management structures, rather than fewer students. In another section we discover that there remain significant differences in earnings based on gender and race. For example, in 2008, 25-34 year old males with a B.A. earned $53,000 on average, while women in the same age group with the same degree just $42,000. Meanwhile, Asian young adults with a tertiary degree earned more than their white or black peers with comparable attainment. Back in the realm of secondary education, graduation rates displayed no marked trends: eleven states saw their rates go up between 2000 and 2007, while five states saw their rates go down. In 2006-07, Nevada’s rate clocked in lowest, at 52 percent; Vermont came out on top at 88.6 percent. That’s but a sampling of the findings in this 400-page document. If you’re short on time, find the key stats in the Commissioner’s Statement. Otherwise, jump in here.