Thursday, May 31, 2018

New Department of Education Data: Pre-K, Teachers, Funding, Segregation, and Scores

COE_videoThe National Center on Education Statistics recently issued its annual report, The Condition of Education 2018.  Its most interesting findings include the following

Significant increases in the cost of pre-kindergarten child care.

“In 2016, the average hourly out-of-pocket expense for families of children in center-based care was 72 percent higher than in 2001 ($7.60 vs. $4.42, in constant 2016–17 dollars), the expense for families of children in nonrelative care was 48 percent higher than in 2001 ($6.54 vs. $4.42), and the expense for families of children in relative care was 79 percent higher than in 2001 ($4.99 vs. $2.78).”

Preschool is disproportionately serving those who may need it the least.

“In 2016, the percentage of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in preschool programs was higher for those children whose parents had a graduate or professional degree (54 percent) than for those whose parents had a bachelor’s degree (41 percent), an associate’s degree (35 percent), some college but no degree (37 percent), a high school credential (33 percent), and less than a high school credential (30 percent).”

The number of teachers entering public schools through a non-traditional route is up significantly.

“Approximately 18 percent of public school teachers in 2015–16 had entered teaching through an alternative route to certification program.”

While there are any number of critiques levied against these alternative programs, they seem to produce dramatic increases in teacher workforce diversity.

“Compared to those who entered through a traditional route, a higher percentage of alternative route teachers were Black (13 vs. 5 percent), Hispanic (15 vs. 8 percent), of Two or more races (2 vs. 1 percent), and male (32 vs. 22 percent).”

Charter school enrollment has increased by 600% since 2000.

“Between fall 2000 and fall 2015, overall public charter school enrollment increased from 0.4 million to 2.8 million. During this period, the percentage of public school students who attended charter schools increased from 1 to 6 percent.”  And 57 percent of charter schools are in cities, while only 25 percent of traditional public schools are in cities.

Shocker: Our schools are segregated by race and poverty.

“Higher percentages of Hispanic (45 percent), Black (45 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (37 percent), and Pacific Islander (25 percent) students attended high-poverty schools than of White students (8 percent) in school year 2015–16. The percentages of students of Two or more races (18 percent) and Asian students (15 percent) in high poverty schools were higher than the percentage for White students but lower than the national average (24 percent).”

School funding, in real dollar terms, is still down since the Recession.

$11,734 in 2014-2015 versus $11,914 in 2008-2009.

Student scores appear to be slightly up over the past two decades (in spite of the segregation and underfunding that holds them back).

Although don’t draw any causal or correlation conclusions.  The snap shot numbers cherry pick dates and scores to show an increase and those numbers are not tagged to the years and demographic numbers noted above. As compared to the most recent years, student achievement is not measurably different.

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