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Digest of Education Statistics
2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 71. Teachers' perceptions about serious problems in their schools, by control and level of school: Selected years, 1987–88 through 2003–04
Problem area Public school teachers Private school teachers
1987–88 total 1993–94 total 1999–2000 total 2003–04 1987–88 total 1993–94 total 1999–2000 total 2003–04
Total Elementary schools Secondary schools Combined schools Total Elementary schools Secondary schools Combined schools
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
  Percent of teachers indicating item is a serious problem
Student tardiness 10.5 (0.18) 10.5 (0.28) 10.2 (0.22) 13.8 (0.30) 9.8 (0.39) 23.1 (0.58) 10.8 (0.96) 3.6 (0.38) 2.6 (0.23) 2.9 (0.21) 2.9 (0.40) 2.1 (0.45) 5.0 (0.83) 2.8 (0.85)
Student absenteeism 16.4 (0.23) 14.4 (0.29) 13.9 (0.26) 13.2 (0.31) 8.3 (0.37) 23.7 (0.59) 12.9 (1.04) 3.7 (0.39) 2.2 (0.19) 2.5 (0.22) 1.9 (0.23) 0.9 (0.17) 4.0 (0.75) 2.2 (0.48)
Teacher absenteeism 2.3 (0.09) 1.5 (0.09) 2.2 (0.10) 1.1 (0.08) 0.9 (0.12) 1.7 (0.15) 0.7 (0.16) 0.8 (0.13) 0.8 (0.10) 0.8 (0.11) 0.3 (0.09) 0.2 (0.07) 0.5 (0.24) 0.3 (0.15)
Students cutting class 5.9 (0.16) 5.1 (0.12) 4.7 (0.12) 5.6 (0.23) 1.5 (0.17) 14.5 (0.59) 4.4 (0.55) 0.9 (0.16) 0.7 (0.11) 0.8 (0.12) 0.5 (0.11) 0.2 (0.07) 0.9 (0.36) 0.7 (0.28)
Physical conflicts among students 5.8 (0.18) 8.2 (0.25) 4.8 (0.19) (†) (†) (†) (†) 1.3 (0.19) 1.5 (0.15) 1.0 (0.18) (†) (†) (†) (†)
                                                         
Robbery or theft 3.7 (0.12) 4.1 (0.17) 2.4 (0.11) (†) (†) (†) (†) 1.3 (0.18) 0.8 (0.10) 0.9 (0.11) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Vandalism of school property 6.1 (0.15) 6.7 (0.23) 3.4 (0.15) (†) (†) (†) (†) 1.3 (0.19) 1.2 (0.11) 0.7 (0.11) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Student pregnancy 6.9 (0.17) 7.3 (0.24) 3.7 (0.12) 2.4 (0.12) 0.2 (0.06) 7.0 (0.34) 3.6 (0.49) 0.6 (0.12) 0.4 (0.06) 0.4 (0.09) 0.1 (0.05) 0.1 (0.04) 0.3 (0.19) 0.1 (0.05)
Student use of alcohol 11.4 (0.18) 9.3 (0.17) 7.4 (0.14) (†) (†) (†) (†) 3.6 (0.30) 3.1 (0.19) 3.1 (0.16) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Student drug abuse 8.0 (0.14) 5.7 (0.14) 6.0 (0.11) (†) (†) (†) (†) 1.8 (0.24) 1.3 (0.15) 1.8 (0.14) (†) (†) (†) (†)
                                                         
Student possession of weapons 1.7 (0.06) 2.8 (0.12) 0.8 (0.06) (†) (†) (†) (†) 0.4 (0.11) 0.3 (0.06) 0.3 (0.06) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Verbal abuse of teachers 8.1 (0.21) 11.1 (0.26) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 2.0 (0.24) 2.3 (0.25) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Student disrespect for teachers (†) 18.5 (0.35) 17.2 (0.34) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 3.4 (0.27) 3.8 (0.31) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Students dropping out (†) 5.8 (0.16) 4.6 (0.11) 3.3 (0.13) 0.3 (0.07) 9.6 (0.41) 4.3 (0.47) (†) 0.6 (0.09) 0.5 (0.10) 0.3 (0.09) 0.2 (0.08) 0.5 (0.26) 0.3 (0.12)
Student apathy (†) 23.6 (0.35) 20.6 (0.30) 16.6 (0.34) 9.9 (0.41) 30.4 (0.56) 19.5 (1.01) (†) 4.5 (0.28) 4.3 (0.29) 3.1 (0.39) 1.4 (0.24) 6.6 (0.95) 3.6 (0.70)
                                                         
Lack of parental involvement (†) 27.6 (0.45) 23.7 (0.36) 21.6 (0.43) 19.3 (0.59) 26.3 (0.59) 22.7 (1.17) (†) 4.0 (0.26) 3.4 (0.30) 2.5 (0.37) 1.6 (0.27) 3.6 (0.77) 3.2 (0.69)
Poverty (†) 19.5 (0.52) 19.2 (0.43) 21.4 (0.46) 22.4 (0.65) 19.0 (0.57) 22.7 (1.31) (†) 2.7 (0.23) 2.1 (0.21) 2.2 (0.26) 1.8 (0.31) 3.4 (0.78) 2.2 (0.49)
Students come unprepared to learn (†) 28.8 (0.39) 29.5 (0.36) 26.8 (0.46) 23.7 (0.68) 33.5 (0.69) 26.1 (1.39) (†) 4.1 (0.28) 4.9 (0.36) 3.5 (0.30) 2.1 (0.55) 6.8 (0.99) 3.9 (0.70)
  Percent of teachers indicating item happens daily
Physical conflicts among students (†) (†) (†) 12.1 (0.29) 13.7 (0.43) 9.3 (0.38) 8.2 (0.95) (†) (†) (†) 2.3 (0.33) 2.6 (0.58) 1.0 (0.35) 2.6 (0.64)
Robbery or theft (†) (†) (†) 3.7 (0.17) 2.8 (0.22) 5.9 (0.24) 1.9 (0.40) (†) (†) (†) 0.4 (0.10) # (†) 1.3 (0.40) 0.4 (0.22)
Vandalism of school property (†) (†) (†) 3.6 (0.16) 2.5 (0.21) 6.3 (0.33) 2.7 (0.52) (†) (†) (†) 0.5 (0.11) 0.1 (0.08) 0.8 (0.28) 0.8 (0.24)
Student use of alcohol (†) (†) (†) 3.1 (0.10) 0.3 (0.07) 9.0 (0.28) 3.5 (0.45) (†) (†) (†) 0.7 (0.17) # (†) 3.3 (0.86) 0.5 (0.21)
Student drug abuse (†) (†) (†) 4.5 (0.14) 0.5 (0.11) 13.0 (0.35) 4.4 (0.51) (†) (†) (†) 1.1 (0.26) # (†) 5.2 (1.31) 0.8 (0.36)
                                                         
Student possession of weapons (†) (†) (†) 0.5 (0.05) 0.1 (0.05) 1.2 (0.12) 0.3 (0.14) (†) (†) (†) # (†) # (†) # (†) 0.1 (0.05)
Verbal abuse of teachers (†) (†) (†) 11.8 (0.31) 9.3 (0.39) 17.1 (0.50) 12.7 (1.10) (†) (†) (†) 2.4 (0.40) 1.2 (0.29) 4.0 (0.84) 3.3 (0.72)
Student disrespect for teachers (†) (†) (†) 21.6 (0.45) 18.5 (0.61) 28.3 (0.58) 20.9 (1.08) (†) (†) (†) 5.1 (0.37) 3.6 (0.56) 6.3 (1.05) 6.5 (1.12)
Racial tension (†) (†) (†) 2.4 (0.15) 1.8 (0.19) 3.9 (0.22) 1.5 (0.28) (†) (†) (†) 0.4 (0.08) 0.1 (0.06) 0.9 (0.36) 0.6 (0.20)
— Not available.
† Not applicable.
# Rounds to zero.
NOTE: Standard errors appear in parentheses.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), "Public Teacher Questionnaire," 1987–88, 1993–94, 1999–2000, and 2003–04; "Private Teacher Questionnaire," 1987–88, 1993–94, 1999–2000, and 2003–04; and "Charter Teacher Questionnaire," 1999–2000. (This table was prepared June 2008.)

2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest