This chapter contains a variety of statistics on public and private elementary and secondary education. Data are presented for enrollments, teachers and other school staff, schools, dropouts, achievement, school violence, and revenues and expenditures. These data are derived from surveys, censuses, and administrative data collections conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and other public and private organizations. The information ranges from counts of students and schools to state graduation requirements.
Public elementary and secondary school enrollment rose from 49.3 million in 2006 to 49.5 million in 2011, an increase of less than 1 percent (table 203.10 and figure 7). Public elementary enrollment (prekindergarten through grade 8) was 2 percent higher in 2011 (34.8 million) than in 2006 (34.2 million), while public secondary enrollment was 2 percent lower in 2011 (14.7 million) than in 2006 (15.1 million). Although public school enrollment increased slightly overall between 2006 and 2011, there were increases in enrollment for some racial/ethnic groups and decreases for other groups (table 203.50). Between 2006 and 2011, the enrollment of Hispanic students increased 16 percent and the enrollment of Asian/Pacific Islander students increased 8 percent. In contrast, the enrollment of White students decreased 8 percent, the enrollment of Black students decreased 7 percent, and the enrollment of American Indian/Alaska Native students decreased 8 percent.
From 2006 to 2011, changes in public school enrollment varied from state to state (table 203.20 and figure 8). Increases occurred in 28 states and the District of Columbia from 2006 to 2011, while decreases occurred in 22 states. The largest public school enrollment increases occurred in Utah (14 percent) and Texas (9 percent), and 4 other states had increases of at least 5 percent. The largest decrease in public school enrollment occurred in Michigan (a decrease of 9 percent), and 5 other states had decreases of at least 5 percent.
Enrollments in private elementary and secondary schools decreased by an estimated 12 percent between 2006 and 2011, from 6.0 million to 5.3 million (table 208.20). In 2011, private school students made up about 10 percent of all elementary and secondary school students.
In 2012, about 64 percent of 3- to 5-year-olds were enrolled in preprimary education (nursery school and kindergarten), the same as the percentage in 2000 (table 202.10 and figure 9). However, the percentage of children in full-day programs increased from 2000 to 2012. In 2012, about 60 percent of the children enrolled in preprimary education attended a full-day preprimary program, compared with 53 percent in 2000.
A higher percentage of 4-year-old children (57 percent) were cared for primarily in center-based programs during the day in 2005–06 than had no regular nonparental care (20 percent) or were cared for primarily in home-based settings by relatives (13 percent) or by nonrelatives (8 percent) (table 202.50). There were differences in the average quality of care children received in these settings. A higher percentage of children in Head Start and other center-based programs (35 percent) received high-quality care than those in home-based relative and nonrelative care (9 percent), according to the ratings of trained observers (table 202.60).
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), enacted in 1975, mandates that children and youth ages 3–21 with disabilities be provided a free and appropriate public school education. The percentage of total public school enrollment that represents children served by federally supported special education programs increased from 8.3 percent to 13.8 percent between 1976–77 and 2004–05 (table 204.30). Much of this overall increase can be attributed to a rise in the percentage of students identified as having specific learning disabilities from 1976–77 (1.8 percent) to 2004–05 (5.7 percent). The overall percentage of students being served in programs for those with disabilities decreased between 2004–05 (13.8 percent) and 2011–12 (12.9 percent). However, there were different patterns of change in the percentages served with some specific conditions between 2004–05 and 2011–12. The percentage of children identified as having other health impairments (limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes) rose from 1.1 to 1.5 percent of total public school enrollment, the percentage with autism rose from 0.4 to 0.9 percent, and the percentage with developmental delay rose from 0.7 to 0.8 percent. The percentage of children with specific learning disabilities declined from 5.7 percent to 4.7 percent of total public school enrollment during this period. In fall 2011, some 95 percent of 6- to 21-year-old students with disabilities were served in regular schools; 3 percent were served in a separate school for students with disabilities; 1 percent were placed in regular private schools by their parents; and less than 1 percent each were served in one of the following environments: in a separate residential facility, homebound or in a hospital, or in a correctional facility (table 204.60).
During the 1970s and early 1980s, public school enrollment decreased, while the number of teachers generally increased. For public schools, the number of pupils per teacher—that is, the pupil/teacher ratio1—declined from 22.3 in 1970 to 17.9 in 1985 (table 208.20 and figure 7). After enrollment started increasing in 1985, the public school pupil/teacher ratio continued to decline, reaching 17.2 in 1989. After a period of relative stability during the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, the ratio declined from 17.3 in 1995 to 15.4 in 2009. The public school pupil/teacher ratio increased to 16.0 in 2011. By comparison, the pupil/teacher ratio for private schools was 12.5 in 2011. The average class size in 2011–12 was 21.2 pupils for public elementary schools and 26.8 pupils for public secondary schools (table 209.30).
In 2011–12, some 76 percent of public school teachers were female, 44 percent were under age 40, and 56 percent had a master's or higher degree (table 209.10). Compared with public school teachers, a lower percentage of private school teachers had a master's or higher degree (43 percent).
Public school principals tend to be older and have more advanced credentials than public school teachers. In 2011–12, some 20 percent of public school principals were under age 40, and 98 percent of public school principals had a master's or higher degree (table 212.10). Compared with public school principals, a lower percentage of private school principals had a master's or higher degree (69 percent). A lower percentage of principals than of teachers were female: About 52 percent of public school principals were female, compared with 76 percent of teachers. At private schools, 55 percent of principals were female in 2011–12, compared with 75 percent of teachers.
From 1969–70 to 1980, there was an 8 percent increase in the number of public school teachers, compared with a 48 percent increase in the number of all other public school staff 2 (table B and table 213.10). Consequently, the percentage of staff who were teachers declined from 60 percent in 1969–70 to 52 percent in 1980. From 1980 to 2011, the number of teachers and the number of all other staff grew at more similar rates (42 and 53 percent, respectively) than they did in the 1970s. As a result, the proportion of teachers among total staff was 2 percentage points lower in 2011 than in 1980, in contrast to the decrease of 8 percentage points during the 1970s. Two staff categories increased more than 100 percent between 1980 and 2011—instructional aides, which rose 118 percent, and instruction coordinators, which rose 229 percent. Taken together, the percentage of staff with direct instructional responsibilities (teachers and instructional aides) increased from 60 to 62 percent between 1980 and 2011. In 2011, there were 8 pupils per staff member (total staff) at public schools, compared with 10 pupils per staff member in 1980 (table 213.10). At private schools in 2011–12, the number of pupils per staff member was 6 (table 205.60).
|Table B. Number of public school staff, by selected categories: 1969–70, 1980, and 2011|
|Selected staff category||1969–70||1980||2011|
|SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Statistics of State School Systems, 1969–70; Statistics of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1980; and Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education," 2011–12.|
During most of the last century, the trend to consolidate small schools brought declines in the total number of public schools in the United States. In 1929–30, there were approximately 248,000 public schools, compared with about 98,000 in 2011–12 (table 214.10). However, the number of public schools has increased in recent decades: between 1988–89 and 2006–07, there was an increase of approximately 15,600 schools. Since 2006–07, the number of public schools has remained relatively stable, varying by about 500 schools or less from year to year.
While the total number of public schools in the country has remained between 98,000 and 99,000 in recent years, new schools have opened and some schools have closed. In 2011–12, there were 1,840 school closures (table 216.95). The schools that closed had enrolled about 301,000 students in the prior school year (2010–11). Of the schools that closed, 1,340 were regular schools, 87 were special education schools, 11 were vocational schools, and 402 were alternative schools. The number of schools that closed in 2011–12 was higher than the number in 2000–01 (1,193); however, the number of annual school closures has fluctuated during this period, ranging from around 1,200 to 2,200. School closures do not necessarily reflect the number of school buildings that have been closed, since a single school may share a building with another school, or one school may have multiple buildings.
Since the early 1970s, public school systems have been shifting away from junior high schools (schools consisting of either grades 7 and 8 or grades 7 to 9) and moving toward middle schools (a subset of elementary schools beginning with grade 4, 5, or 6 and ending with grade 6, 7, or 8) (table 216.10). Although the number of all elementary schools (schools beginning with grade 6 or below and having no grade higher than 8) was similar in 1970–71 and 2000–01 (64,000 in 1970–71 and 64,600 in 2000–01), the number of middle schools was 462 percent higher in 2000–01 than in 1970–71 (11,700 vs. 2,100). During the same period, the number of junior high schools declined by 57 percent (from 7,800 in 1970–71 to 3,300 in 2000–01). Between 2001–02 and 2011–12, the number of all elementary schools rose by 2 percent to 66,700, while the subset of middle schools rose by 8 percent to 13,000. During the same period, the number of junior high schools declined by 13 percent to 2,900.
The average number of students in public elementary schools in 2011–12 (479) was higher than in 2001–02 (477) (table 216.45). The average enrollment size of public secondary schools decreased from 718 in 2001–02 to an average of 690 students in 2011–12. The average size of regular public secondary schools—which exclude alternative, special education, and vocational education schools—decreased from 807 in 2001–02 to 788 in 2011–12.
About 3,323,000 high school students are expected to graduate during the 2014–15 school year (table 219.10), including about 3,031,000 public school graduates and 291,000 private school graduates. High school graduates include only recipients of diplomas, not recipients of equivalency credentials. The 2014–15 projection of high school graduates is lower than the record high of 3,452,000 graduates for 2011–12, but exceeds the baby boom era's high point in 1975–76, when 3,142,000 students earned diplomas. In 2011–12, an estimated 80.8 percent of public high school students graduated on time—that is, received a diploma 4 years after beginning their freshman (9th-grade) year (table 219.35).
The number of General Educational Development (GED) credentials issued by the states to GED test passers rose from 330,000 in 1977 to 487,000 in 2000 (table 219.60). A record number of 648,000 GED credentials were issued in 2001. In 2002, there were revisions to the GED test and to the data reporting procedures. In 2001, test takers were required to successfully complete all five components of the GED or else begin the five-part series again with the new test that was introduced in 2002. Prior to 2002, reporting was based on summary data from the states on the number of GED credentials issued. As of 2002, reporting has been based on individual GED candidate- and test-level records collected by the GED Testing Service. In 2012, some 401,000 people passed the GED tests, up from 330,000 in 2002, the first year of the new test series.3
The percentage of dropouts among 16- to 24-year-olds has decreased over the past 20 years (table 219.70). This percentage, known as the status dropout rate, includes all people in the 16- to 24-year-old age group who are not enrolled in school and who have not completed a high school program, regardless of when they left school. (People who left school but went on to receive a GED credential are not treated as dropouts.) Between 1990 and 2012, the status dropout rate declined from 12.1 to 6.6 percent. Although the status dropout rate declined for both Blacks and Hispanics during this period, their rates (7.5 and 12.7 percent, respectively) remained higher than the rate for Whites (4.3 percent) in 2012. This measure is based on the civilian noninstitutionalized population, which excludes people in prisons, people in the military, and other people not living in households.
Most of the student performance data in the Digest are drawn from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The NAEP assessments have been conducted using three basic designs: the national main NAEP, state NAEP (which includes the Trial Urban District Assessment), and national long-term trend NAEP. The main NAEP reports current information for the nation and specific geographic regions of the country. The assessment program includes students drawn from both public and private schools and reports results for student achievement at grades 4, 8, and 12. The main NAEP assessments follow the frameworks developed by the National Assessment Governing Board and use the latest advances in assessment methodology. Because the assessment items reflect curricula associated with specific grade levels, the main NAEP uses samples of students at those grade levels.
Since 1990, NAEP assessments have also been conducted at the state level. Each participating state receives assessment results that report on the performance of students in that state. In its content, the state assessment is identical to the assessment conducted nationally. From 1990 through 2001, the national sample was a subset of the combined sample of students assessed in each participating state along with an additional sample from the states that did not participate in the state assessment. For mathematics, reading, science, and writing assessments since 2002, a combined sample of public schools has been selected for 4th- and 8th-grade national NAEP and state NAEP (including the Trial Urban District Assessment).
NAEP long-term trend assessments are designed to give information on the changes in the basic achievement level of America's youth since the early 1970s. They are administered nationally and report student performance in reading and mathematics at ages 9, 13, and 17. Measuring long-term trends of student achievement requires the precise replication of past procedures. For example, students of specific ages are sampled in order to maintain consistency with the original sample design. Similarly, the long-term trend instrument does not evolve based on changes in curricula or in educational practices. The differences in procedures between the main NAEP and the long-term trend NAEP mean that their results cannot be compared directly.
The main NAEP reading assessment data are reported on a scale of 0 to 500 (table 221.10). In 2013, the average reading score for 4th-grade students (222) was not measurably different from the 2011 score, but it was higher than the scores on assessments between 1992 (217) and 2009 (221). At grade 4, only the average reading scores for White students were higher in 2013 (232) than in both 2011 (231) and 1992 (224). The 2013 scores for Black (206), Hispanic (207), and Asian/Pacific Islander (235) 4th-graders were not measurably different from the 2011 scores, but the 2013 scores were higher than the 1992 scores (192, 197, and 216, respectively). The difference in the reading scale scores of White and Black 4th- graders decreased from 32 points in 1992 to 26 points in 2013. For 8th-grade students, the average reading score in 2013 (268) was more than 2 points higher than in 2011 (265), was 8 points higher than in 1992 (260), and was higher than the average scores in all previous years. At grade 8, the 2013 average reading scores for White (276), Black (250), Hispanic (256), and Asian/Pacific Islander (280) students were higher than in 2011 and 1992. The difference in the reading scale scores of White and Hispanic 8th- graders decreased from 26 points in 1992 to 21 points in 2013.
While there was no measurable change from 2011 to 2013 in the average score for 4th-grade public school students nationally, average scores were higher in 2013 than in 2011 in Colorado, the Department of Defense dependents schools, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Tennessee, Washington, and the District of Columbia; scores were lower in 2013 than in 2011 in Massachusetts, Montana, and North Dakota (table 221.40). At grade 8, the average reading score for public school students nationally was 2 points higher in 2013 than in 2011, and 12 states (Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington) plus the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense dependents schools had higher scores in 2013 than in 2011 (table 221.60). In the other states, scores did not change measurably from 2011 to 2013.
Reported on a scale of 0 to 500, NAEP long-term trend results in reading are available for 13 assessment years going back to the first in 1971. The average reading score for 9-year-olds was higher in 2012 (221) than in assessment years prior to 2008, increasing 5 points since 2004 and 13 points in comparison to 1971 (table 221.85). The average score for 13-year-olds in 2012 (263) was higher than in all previous assessment years, except for 1992. The average reading score for 17-year-olds was higher in 2012 (287) than in 2004 (283), but was not significantly different from the score in 1971 (285).
White, Black, and Hispanic 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds all had higher average reading scores in 2012 than they did in the first assessment year (which is 1975 for Hispanic students because separate data for Hispanics were not collected in 1971). Average reading scores were higher in 2012 than in 2004 for White, Black, and Hispanic students at all three ages (table 221.85). Reading results for 2012 continued to show gaps in scores between White and Black students (ranging from 23 to 26 points, depending on age) and between White and Hispanic students (about 21 points at all three ages). The White-Black and the White-Hispanic reading gaps were smaller in 2012 than in 1971 (1975 for Hispanic students) at all three ages. For example, the White-Black reading gap for 17-year-olds was 53 points in 1971 compared with 26 points in 2012. Similarly the White-Hispanic reading gap for 17-year-olds narrowed from 41 points in 1975 to 21 points in 2012.
In 2012, female 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students continued to have higher average reading scores than male students at all three ages (table 221.85). The gap between male and female 9-year-olds was 5 points in 2012; this was narrower than the gap in 1971 (13 points). The 8-point gender gap for 13-year-olds in 2012 was not significantly different from the gap in 1971. At age 17, the 8-point gap between males and females in 2012 was not significantly different from the gap in 1971.
The main NAEP mathematics assessment data for 4th- and 8th-graders are reported on a scale of 0 to 500. In 2013, the average NAEP mathematics scores for 4th-grade and 8th-grade students were higher than the average scores in all previous assessment years (table 222.10). From 1990 (the first assessment year) to 2013, the average 4th-grade NAEP mathematics score increased by 28 points, from 213 to 242. During that same period, the average 8th-grade score increased by 22 points, from 263 to 285. At grade 4, the average mathematics scores in 2013 for White (250) and Hispanic students (231) were higher than the scores in both 2011 and 1990. The 2013 score for Black 4th-graders (224) was not measurably different from the 2011 score, but it was higher than the 1990 score. Prior to 2011, separate data on Asians were not available; the 2013 score for Asian 4th-graders (259) was also not measurably different from the 2011 score. The difference in the mathematics scale scores of White and Black 4th-graders decreased from 32 points in 1990 to 26 points in 2013. At grade 8, the mathematics scores of White (294), Black (263), and Hispanic (272) students were higher in 2013 than in 1990. However, the 31-point gap between the mathematics scores of White and Black 8th-graders in 2013 was not significantly different from the 33-point gap in 1990.
NAEP results also permit state-level comparisons of the mathematics achievement of 4th- and 8th-grade students in public schools (tables 222.50 and 222.60). The average mathematics scores for 4th-grade public school students increased from 2011 to 2013 in 14 states (Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming), the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense dependents schools, and scores did not decrease for any states. At grade 8, scores were higher in 2013 than in 2011 in five states (Florida, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee), the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense dependents schools, and scores decreased in three states (Montana, Oklahoma, and South Dakota).
NAEP long-term trend mathematics results, reported on a scale of 0 to 500, are available for 12 assessment years, going back to the first in 1973. In 2012, the average mathematics score for 9-year-olds (244) was higher than in all previous assessment years prior to 2008 (table 222.85). The average score for 9-year-olds in 2012 was 5 points higher than in 2004 and 25 points higher than in 1973. The average mathematics score for 13-year-olds in 2012 (285) was higher than in all previous assessment years. For 13-year-olds, the average score in 2012 was 6 points higher than in 2004 and 19 points higher than in 1973. In contrast, the average score for 17-year-olds in 2012 (306) was not significantly different from the scores in 2004 and 1973.
White, Black, and Hispanic 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds all had higher average mathematics scores in 2012 than in 1973 (table 222.85) . In comparison to 2004, average mathematics scores were higher in 2012 for White 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds, Hispanic 9- and 13-year-olds, and Black 13-year-olds. Mathematics results for 2012 continued to show score gaps between White and Hispanic students (ranging from 17 to 21 points [based on unrounded scores], depending on age) and between White and Black students (ranging from 25 to 28 points). Across all three age groups, both the White-Black and White-Hispanic gaps in mathematics scores were lower in 2012 than in 1973. For example, among 17-year-olds, the White-Black gap was 40 points in 1973 compared to 26 points in 2012, and the White-Hispanic gap was 33 points in 1973 compared to 19 points in 2012.
While there was no significant difference between the average mathematics scores of male and female 9- and 13-year-olds in 2012, male students did score higher than female students at age 17 (table 222.85) . At both age 9 and age 13, the gap between males and females in 2012 was not significantly different from the gap in 1973. At age 17, the 4-point gender score gap in 2012 was smaller than the gap in 1973 (8 points).
NAEP has assessed the science abilities of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in both public and private schools since 1996. As of 2009, however, NAEP science assessments are based on a new framework, so results from these assessments cannot be compared to results from earlier science assessments. Scores are based on a scale ranging from 0 to 300. In 2009, White 4th-graders had a higher average science score (163) than did Black (127), Hispanic (131), Asian/Pacific Islander (160), and American Indian/Alaska Native (135) 4th-graders (table 223.10). The average science score was higher for male 4th-graders (151) than for female 4th-graders (149). In 2009, the pattern of differences in average science scores by students' race/ethnicity at grade 8 was similar to the pattern at grade 4. The average science score also was higher for male 8th-graders (152) than for female 8th-graders (148). At grade 12, average scores for White (159) and Asian/Pacific Islander (164) students were higher than the scores for Black (125), Hispanic (134), and American Indian/Alaska Native (144) students. The average science score in 2009 for male 12th-graders (153) was higher than the score for female 12th-graders (147). In 2011, a science assessment was conducted at grade 8 only. The average 8th-grade science score increased from 150 in 2009 to 152 in 2011. While there were no significant changes from 2009 to 2011 in the average scores for Asian/Pacific Islander or American Indian/Alaska Native 8th-graders, average scores increased 1 point for White 8th-graders, 3 points for Black 8th-graders, and 5 points for Hispanic 8th-graders. The average science score of White 8th-graders continued to be higher than the average scores of 8th-graders in all other racial/ethnic groups in 2011, but score gaps between White and Black 8th-graders and between White and Hispanic 8th-graders narrowed from 2009 to 2011. Average scores for both male and female 8th-graders were higher in 2011 than in 2009. In 2011, the average score was 5 points higher for male 8th-graders than for female 8th-graders, which was not significantly different from the 4-point gap in 2009.
In addition to student performance data available through NAEP, the Digest presents data from other surveys to provide additional perspectives on student achievement. Differences among demographic groups in the acquisition of cognitive skills have been demonstrated at relatively early ages in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey's Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) study as well as its Kindergarten Class (ECLS-K) studies.
In 2003–04, about 64 percent of 2-year-olds demonstrated proficiency in expressive vocabulary, which measured toddlers' ability to communicate using gestures, words, and sentences (table 220.20). The percentage of 2-year-olds demonstrating expressive vocabulary was higher for females (69 percent) than for males (59 percent). Also, a higher percentage of White (71 percent) and Asian (62 percent) 2-year-olds demonstrated expressive vocabulary than of Black, Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaska Native 2-year-olds (56, 54, and 50 percent, respectively). The percentage of 2-year-olds from families with high socioeconomic status (SES) who demonstrated expressive vocabulary (75 percent) was higher than the percentage of children from low-SES families who did so (52 percent).
Patterns of differences were also observed by race/ethnicity and SES for children at about 4 years of age (48 to 57 months old). In 2005–06, average early reading scores were higher for White (27) and Asian (31) 48- to 57-month-old children than for Black (23), Hispanic (21), and American Indian/Alaska Native (20) children (table 220.30). Also, high-SES children (33) had higher average early reading scores than low-SES children (19) at this age. These same patterns were observed among 48- to 57-month-old children with respect to average mathematics scores. White (32) and Asian (35) 48- to 57-month-old children had higher mathematics scores than Black (27), Hispanic (26), and American Indian/Alaska Native children (23). High-SES 48- to 57-month-old children (36) had higher average mathematics scores than low-SES children (24).
Children who enrolled in kindergarten for the first time in 2010–11 showed similar patterns of score differences by race/ethnicity and SES. In fall 2010, average mathematics scores were higher for first-time kindergartners from high-SES families (36) than for those from low-SES families (22) (table 220.40). White (32) and Asian (35) first-time kindergartners had higher mathematics scores than their Black (26), Hispanic (25), and American Indian/Alaska Native (26) counterparts. Similarly, reading scores in fall 2010 were higher for White (37) and Asian (40) first-time kindergartners than for their Black (33), Hispanic (30), and American Indian/Alaska Native (31) counterparts. High-SES children (42) had higher average early reading scores than low-SES children (28).
The SAT (formerly known as the Scholastic Assessment Test and the Scholastic Aptitude Test) is not designed as an indicator of student achievement, but rather as an aid for predicting how well students will do in college. Between 1998–99 and 2004–05, the mathematics SAT average score increased by 9 points, but it decreased 6 points between 2004–05 and 2012–13 (table 226.20). The critical reading average score decreased 9 points between 1999–2000 (505) and 2012–13 (496). The writing average score in 2012–13 (488) was 9 points lower than in 2005–06 (497), the year in which the SAT writing section was introduced.
The average number of science and mathematics courses completed by public high school graduates increased between 1982 and 2009. The average number of mathematics courses (Carnegie units) completed in high school rose from 2.6 in 1982 to 3.9 in 2009, and the number of science courses rose from 2.2 to 3.5 (table 225.10). The average number of courses in career/technical areas completed by public high school graduates was lower in 2009 (2.5 units) than in 2000 (2.9 units). As a result of the increased academic course load, the percentage of public and private high school graduates completing the 1983 National Commission on Excellence recommendations (4 units of English, 3 units of social studies, 3 units of science, 3 units of mathematics, and 2 units of foreign language) rose from 10 percent in 1982 to 62 percent in 2009 (table 225.50).
In 2009–10, about 85 percent of public schools had a criminal incident, which is defined as theft, vandalism, drug possession, weapons possession, a serious violent crime, or a less serious violent crime such as a fight without weapons (table 229.20). In 2009–10, some 74 percent of schools reported one or more violent incidents, 44 percent of schools reported one or more thefts/larcenies, and 46 percent reported vandalism. The percentage of schools reporting a serious violent crime in 2009–10 (16 percent) was lower than the percentage of schools reporting a serious violent crime in 1999–2000 (20 percent). Also, the percentage of schools reporting an incident of vandalism was lower in 2009–10 (46 percent) than in 1999–2000 (51 percent). Overall, there were 4 criminal incidents reported per 100 students in 2009–10, which was lower than the 5 criminal incidents per 100 students reported in 1999–2000.
The state share of revenues for public elementary and secondary schools generally grew from the 1930s through the mid-1980s, while the local share declined during the same time period (table 235.10 and figure 10).4 However, this pattern changed in the late 1980s, when the local share began to increase at the same time the state share decreased. Between 1986–87 and 1993–94, the state share declined from 49.7 percent to 45.2 percent, while the local share rose from 43.9 percent to 47.8 percent. Between 1993–94 and 2000–01, the state share rose again to 49.7 percent, the highest share since 1986–87, but declined every school year thereafter until 2005–06, when the state share was 46.5 percent. Overall, between 2000–01 and 2010–11, the federal share increased from 7.3 percent to 12.5 percent, while the state share decreased from 49.7 to 44.1 percent. The local share in 2010–11 (43.4) was higher than the percentage in 2000–01 (43.0).
After adjustment for inflation, current expenditures per student in fall enrollment at public schools rose during the 1980s, remained stable during the first part of the 1990s, and then rose again (table 236.55 and figure 11). There was an increase of 37 percent from 1980–81 to 1990–91, followed by minor fluctuations from 1990–91 to 1994–95 and then an increase of 31 percent from 1994–95 to 2010–11. In 2010–11, current expenditures per student in fall enrollment were $10,658 in unadjusted dollars. In 2007–08, the expenditure for public school student transportation was $854 per student transported (also in unadjusted dollars), and 55 percent of students were transported at public expense (table 236.90).
1 The pupil/teacher ratio is based on all teachers—including teachers for students with disabilities and other special teachers—and all students enrolled in the fall of the school year. Unlike the pupil/teacher ratio, the average class size excludes students and teachers in classes that are exclusively for special education students. Class size averages are based on surveys of teachers reporting on the counts of students in their classes.
2 "All other public school staff" includes administrative staff, principals, librarians, guidance counselors, secretaries, custodial staff, food service workers, school bus drivers, and other professional and nonprofessional staff.
3 Information on changes in GED test series and reporting is based on the 2003 edition of Who Passed the GED Tests?, by the GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education, as well as communication with staff of the GED Testing Service.
4 For data on individual years from 1980–81 through 1988–89, see Digest of Education Statistics 2011 (NCES 2012-001), table 180.