The U.S. Department of Education Releases Annual Condition of Education Report

Author: Michelle Boehm, Research and Evaluation Analyst, Helios Education Foundation

June 8, 2016

By June 1 every year, The National Center for Education Statistics submits The Condition of Education report to Congress. Comprised of educational indicators spanning the continuum from early childhood to postsecondary, this report details the current condition and progress of education in the United States. These indicators can be utilized to inform policy concerns such as graduation rates, student achievement disparities, and educational access.

As a foundation focused on creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education, Helios utilizes this type of research and data to understand how our students are performing and to help us develop strategies to increase academic preparedness and college and career readiness. 

Spotlights from the newly released 2016 report include the three following topics that directly align with Helios’ work:

Positive approaches to learning behaviors are associated with early academic gains, especially in children from low-income families.

Evidence of positive approaches to learning behaviors (e.g., eagerness to learn, task persistence) in the fall of kindergarten is associated with greater gains in reading, math, and science between kindergarten and second grade, with a larger impact seen in students from lower socioeconomic status households. Each additional point in a kindergartner’s “approaches to learning score” is associated with an average point gain of 3.4 in reading, 1.9 in math, and 1.3 in science.

One-quarter of high school completers do not enroll in a postsecondary institution the following fall.

In fall 2013, three-quarters of high school graduates (i.e., high school freshmen in fall 2009) enrolled in a postsecondary institution:

Furthermore, Whites were far more likely to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program than their Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native peers.

Post-bachelor’s employment outcomes reveal earning gaps by gender and race/ethnicity.

Inequities in employment outcomes continue across both gender and race/ethnicity among full-time, year-round employed young adults. While 86 percent of 25 to 34 year olds with a bachelor’s degree or higher were employed in 2014, females earned less than their male colleagues in nearly all occupations. Additionally, Black young adults earned less than their White counterparts in the majority of professions.

In addition to the Spotlights highlighted in the report, indicators also reveal an increasing trend in Hispanic student public education enrollment and disparities in educational attainment among Whites and most of their minority peers.

Hispanic student public school enrollment is on the rise.

Reflecting overall national population trends, the percentage of White students enrolled in public schools fell from 59 to 50 percent, while the percentage of Hispanic students increased from 19 to 25 percent from 2003 to 2013.

Racial/ethnic gaps in high school graduation rates persist.

In the 2013-2014 school year, public high school graduation rates reached a record high of 82 percent. At the same time, attainment gaps continue to exist between White students and their Hispanic, Black, and American Indian/Alaskan Native peers.

Degree attainment gaps between Whites and Blacks, Hispanics have widened.

In 2015, approximately 36 percent of 25 to 29 year-olds had attained a bachelor’s degree or higher. Over the last ten years, however, the degree attainment gap between Whites and Blacks and Whites and Hispanics widened by nine and seven percentage points, respectively.

“The data from the Condition of Education Report highlights some key issues that must be addressed – both nationally and at the state level,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation.  “Helios is working to address some of these issues and help ensure that more students in Arizona and Florida are prepared for success in college and career.”

To access the 2016 Condition of Education Report and view a comprehensive list of indicators, click here.

Category: Education Excellence

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