Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Chapter 2: Characteristics of Schools

Indicator 8: Types of Public Schools

In school year 201011, higher percentages of males than females were enrolled at alternative schools ending in grade 12, both overall and within each racial/ethnic group. For example, 6 percent of Hispanic males versus 5 percent of Hispanic females were enrolled at these schools.

In school year 201011, over 49 million students were enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools in the United States. Nearly all (98 percent) of them attended regular public schools, 1 percent attended alternative schools, and less than 1 percent each attended special education schools and vocational education schools. About 4 percent each of students attended public charter schools and magnet schools, most of which were also classified as regular schools.

Higher percentages of Black, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native students attended alternative schools than did their peers who were White, Asian, and of two or more races. Higher percentages of males than females were enrolled at these schools, but the differences by sex (overall and for specific racial/ ethnic groups) were all less than one percentage point. At charter schools, higher percentages of students who were Black, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and of two or more races were enrolled than their White, Asian, and American Indian/Alaska Native peers. At magnet schools, higher percentages of students who were Black, Hispanic, Asian, and of two or more races were enrolled than their White, Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native peers. Female enrollment was higher than male enrollment overall and by race/ethnicity at both charter and magnet schools.

Public schools that end in grade 12 enrolled over 15 million students in 201011. (These schools may include both secondary schools and schools that offer both primary and secondary grades, as long as the last grade is grade 12.) Ninety-five percent of students in schools that end in grade 12 attended regular public schools, 3 percent attended alternative schools, and 1 percent each attended special education schools and vocational education schools. Five percent of these students attended public charter schools, and 6 percent attended magnet schools.

Higher percentages of Hispanic (5 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (5 percent), Black (4 percent), and Pacific Islander (4 percent) students enrolled in alternative schools that end in grade 12 than students of two or more races (3 percent) and White and Asian students (2 percent each). Male enrollment was higher than female enrollment at alternative schools that end in grade 12 overall and for each racial/ethnic group. For example, 6 percent of Hispanic males versus 5 percent of Hispanic females were enrolled at these schools.

At charter schools that end in grade 12, higher percentages of students who were of two or more races(8 percent), Pacific Islander (7 percent), Black (7 percent), Hispanic (6 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native (5 percent) were enrolled than their peers who were White (4 percent) and Asian (3 percent). The percentage of female enrollment was higher than that of male enrollment at charter schools that end in grade 12, both overall and for each racial/ethnic group. For instance,7 percent of Black females were enrolled at these schools, compared with 6 percent of Black males. At magnet schools that end in grade 12, higher percentages of students who were Black (12 percent), Asian (9 percent), Hispanic (8 percent), and of two or more races were enrolled (7 percent) than Pacific Islander (5 percent), White (4 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native students (3 percent). Females enrolled at these schools in higher percentages than males, both overall and in terms of race/ethnicity. For instance, at magnet schools ending in grade 12, enrollment was at 13 percent for Black females, compared with 11 percent for Black males.

Technical Notes

A special education school is a public elementary/ secondary school that focuses primarily on special education—including instruction for students with various conditions—and that adapts curriculum, materials, or instruction for students served. A vocational education school is a public elementary/secondary school that focuses primarily on providing formal preparation for semiskilled, skilled, technical, or professional occupations for high-school-age students who have opted to develop or expand their employment opportunities, often in lieu of preparing for college entry. An alternative education school is a public elementary/secondary school that (1) addresses needs of students that typically cannot be met in a regular school, (2) provides nontraditional education, (3) serves as an adjunct to a regular school, or (4) falls outside the categories of regular, special education, or vocational education. A charter school is a school providing free public elementary and/or secondary education to eligible students under a specific charter granted by an appropriate authority and designated by such authority to be a charter school. A magnet school is a special school or program designed to attract students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds for the purpose of reducing, preventing, or eliminating racial isolation (50 percent or more minority enrollment) or to provide an academic or social focus on a particular theme (e.g., science/math, performing arts, gifted/talented, or foreign language), or both. Regular, special education, vocational education, and alternative school categories are mutually exclusive, whereas charter and magnet schools can also be categorized as one of these types of schools.

Top


Figure 8-1 Percentage of students in public alternative elementary and secondary schools ending in grade 12, by race/ethnicity and sex: School year 201011

Figure 8-2 Percentage of students in public charter and magnet elementary and secondary schools ending in grade 12, by race/ethnicity and sex: School year 201011

Table E-8-1 Number and percentage distribution of students in public elementary and secondary schools, by school type, race/ethnicity, and sex: School year 201011

Table E-8-2 Number and percentage distribution of students in public elementary and secondary schools ending in grade 12, by school type, race/ethnicity, and sex: School year 201011


  
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.