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Digest of Education Statistics
2018 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 225.80. Percentage distribution of elementary and secondary school children, by average grades and selected child and school characteristics: 2003, 2012, and 2016
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected child or school characteristic Percentage distribution of children, by parental reports of average grades in all subjects
2003 2012 2016
Mostly A's Mostly B's Mostly C's Mostly D's or F's Mostly A's Mostly B's Mostly C's Mostly D's or F's Mostly A's Mostly B's Mostly C's Mostly D's or F's
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
All students 43.6   (0.62) 37.0   (0.58) 15.9   (0.52) 3.6   (0.24) 49.2   (0.53) 35.6   (0.57) 12.8   (0.37) 2.5   (0.21) 49.2   (0.60) 34.6   (0.69) 13.0   (0.56) 3.2   (0.30)
                                                                         
Sex of child                                                                        
Male 36.4   (0.72) 38.6   (0.86) 19.8   (0.74) 5.2   (0.40) 42.9   (0.74) 37.7   (0.78) 16.1   (0.58) 3.3   (0.34) 42.8   (0.97) 36.8   (1.08) 16.0   (0.86) 4.3   (0.50)
Female 51.0   (0.84) 35.3   (0.76) 11.9   (0.61) 1.9   (0.24) 55.9   (0.82) 33.3   (0.80) 9.3   (0.51) 1.5   (0.22) 56.1   (0.95) 32.1   (0.95) 9.7   (0.70) 2.1   (0.23)
                                                                         
Race/ethnicity of child                                                                        
White 47.8   (0.86) 35.2   (0.75) 14.0   (0.63) 3.1   (0.25) 53.6   (0.74) 33.5   (0.77) 10.8   (0.48) 2.1   (0.22) 55.3   (0.82) 32.0   (0.87) 10.3   (0.59) 2.4   (0.29)
Black 34.5   (1.75) 39.5   (1.65) 20.9   (1.33) 5.0   (0.82) 37.0   (1.88) 39.7   (1.97) 19.9   (1.19) 3.4   (0.75) 36.7   (2.18) 37.6   (1.99) 20.4   (1.51) 5.3   (1.40)
Hispanic 34.9   (1.14) 42.3   (1.24) 18.6   (1.03) 4.2   (0.48) 43.2   (1.09) 39.9   (1.05) 14.3   (0.83) 2.6   (0.41) 40.2   (1.37) 40.5   (1.58) 15.2   (1.40) 4.1   (0.60)
Asian/Pacific Islander1 62.0   (3.47) 25.5   (2.76) 11.3   (3.06)   (†) 60.9   (2.74) 32.5   (2.83) 5.9   (0.98) 0.7 ! (0.28) 64.6   (4.52) 23.7   (2.54) 10.9 ! (4.81)   (†)
Asian   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) 63.2   (2.82) 31.8   (2.86) 4.6   (0.98) 0.4 ! (0.20) 64.9   (4.64) 23.3   (2.42) 11.2 ! (5.02)   (†)
Pacific Islander   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) 23.7 ! (7.70) 43.4   (10.65) 27.5 ! (8.38)   (†) 59.2   (12.85) 32.3 ! (13.31)   (†)   (†)
American Indian/Alaska Native 29.5   (6.53) 53.3   (6.42) 12.1 ! (4.90) 5.1 ! (2.54) 54.6   (8.07) 28.2   (6.56) 16.3 ! (5.26)   (†) 36.5   (9.40) 45.8   (10.14)   (†)   (†)
Two or more races2 41.4   (4.34) 36.2   (3.91) 18.8   (2.81) 3.5 ! (1.38) 55.7   (2.79) 28.2   (2.68) 11.1   (1.68) 5.0 ! (2.28) 53.7   (3.55) 33.9   (4.00) 8.6   (1.53) 3.8   (1.07)
                                                                         
Highest education level of
    parents/guardians in the
    household3
                                                                       
Less than high school 27.8   (2.17) 41.6   (2.05) 22.7   (2.27) 7.8   (1.46) 39.5   (2.25) 39.7   (2.02) 16.8   (1.73) 4.0   (0.93) 30.2   (2.46) 36.3   (2.75) 26.0   (3.28) 7.5   (1.88)
High school/GED 32.1   (1.20) 41.4   (1.23) 21.7   (1.12) 4.8   (0.57) 37.7   (1.51) 40.8   (1.62) 17.6   (1.31) 4.0   (0.71) 35.3   (1.91) 43.0   (1.96) 17.1   (1.63) 4.6   (0.64)
Vocational/technical or                                                                        
some college 39.8   (1.34) 38.3   (1.36) 17.2   (0.95) 4.7   (0.58) 43.5   (1.07) 38.1   (1.05) 15.6   (0.87) 2.8   (0.32) 41.5   (1.59) 38.0   (1.62) 16.2   (1.25) 4.3   (0.68)
Associate's degree 46.7   (2.13) 34.5   (1.94) 16.4   (1.51) 2.4   (0.57) 47.0   (1.82) 34.9   (1.78) 15.4   (1.29) 2.7   (0.52) 49.4   (1.89) 35.0   (1.98) 12.6   (1.32) 3.0   (0.62)
Bachelor's degree/some                                                                        
graduate school 53.0   (1.26) 34.2   (1.29) 11.1   (0.85) 1.7   (0.28) 60.1   (1.05) 31.4   (1.02) 7.5   (0.53) 1.0   (0.19) 60.2   (1.04) 31.1   (0.94) 7.6   (0.69) 1.2   (0.21)
Graduate/professional                                                                        
degree 61.9   (1.71) 30.5   (1.75) 6.7   (0.67) 0.9   (0.24) 68.1   (1.04) 27.3   (1.04) 4.2   (0.36) 0.5   (0.10) 69.4   (1.07) 25.0   (0.98) 4.7   (0.39) 0.9   (0.24)
                                                                         
Family income (in current
    dollars)
                                                                       
$20,000 or less 33.1   (1.53) 38.9   (1.56) 22.0   (1.30) 6.0   (0.85) 37.2   (1.35) 40.2   (1.19) 18.3   (1.04) 4.4   (0.59) 31.4   (2.04) 36.4   (2.32) 25.8   (2.49) 6.5   (1.03)
$20,001 to $50,000 37.8   (1.20) 40.0   (1.19) 17.7   (0.85) 4.5   (0.42) 41.3   (1.22) 38.9   (1.19) 16.7   (0.90) 3.1   (0.44) 37.6   (1.41) 40.9   (1.61) 16.6   (1.15) 4.9   (0.90)
$50,001 to $75,000 48.0   (1.29) 35.0   (1.22) 14.0   (0.81) 3.0   (0.45) 49.3   (1.45) 35.8   (1.37) 12.9   (1.07) 1.9   (0.32) 48.6   (1.84) 34.7   (1.85) 13.5   (1.25) 3.2   (0.59)
$75,001 to $100,000 51.8   (1.66) 33.7   (1.45) 13.3   (1.23) 1.3   (0.32) 53.7   (1.64) 33.5   (1.42) 10.6   (1.03) 2.3   (0.50) 54.3   (1.70) 33.4   (1.73) 9.8   (0.98) 2.5   (0.55)
Over $100,000 55.8   (1.74) 33.9   (1.72) 9.1   (1.09) 1.2   (0.24) 61.8   (1.15) 30.4   (1.19) 6.6   (0.61) 1.1 ! (0.41) 63.9   (1.09) 29.2   (1.12) 6.0   (0.63) 0.9   (0.23)
                                                                         
Poverty status4                                                                        
Poor 33.1   (1.61) 39.4   (1.65) 21.9   (1.39) 5.6   (0.91) 39.1   (1.39) 38.9   (1.33) 17.8   (1.06) 4.2   (0.54) 32.7   (1.78) 37.0   (1.83) 24.5   (2.07) 5.8   (0.78)
Near-poor 34.8   (1.39) 42.0   (1.26) 18.2   (1.08) 5.0   (0.59) 40.1   (1.19) 40.3   (1.07) 17.0   (0.93) 2.7   (0.45) 38.5   (1.57) 40.8   (1.44) 15.2   (1.08) 5.5   (1.00)
Nonpoor 49.9   (0.83) 34.5   (0.76) 13.2   (0.54) 2.4   (0.23) 56.0   (0.75) 32.7   (0.75) 9.5   (0.45) 1.8   (0.25) 57.9   (0.75) 31.6   (0.79) 8.8   (0.42) 1.7   (0.20)
                                                                         
Control of school and
    enrollment level of child
                                                                       
Public school 41.8   (0.64) 37.5   (0.62) 16.8   (0.57) 3.8   (0.26) 47.9   (0.55) 36.0   (0.60) 13.5   (0.39) 2.6   (0.23) 47.4   (0.64) 35.4   (0.77) 13.6   (0.61) 3.5   (0.33)
Elementary (kindergarten                                                                        
to grade 8) 46.1   (0.80) 35.9   (0.84) 14.6   (0.74) 3.4   (0.32) 52.9   (0.69) 34.2   (0.73) 11.0   (0.49) 1.8   (0.22) 50.5   (0.83) 34.6   (1.00) 11.9   (0.76) 3.0   (0.41)
Secondary (grades 9 to 12) 34.6   (0.96) 40.2   (0.97) 20.6   (0.94) 4.6   (0.46) 37.5   (0.83) 39.7   (1.03) 18.4   (0.84) 4.4   (0.54) 41.1   (0.99) 37.2   (1.20) 17.1   (1.01) 4.5   (0.50)
Private school 57.6   (1.72) 33.0   (1.68) 8.1   (0.91) 1.3 ! (0.45) 63.4   (1.63) 30.8   (1.51) 5.4   (0.68) 0.4 ! (0.20) 66.4   (1.81) 26.2   (1.49) 7.0   (1.17) 0.4 ! (0.14)
Elementary (kindergarten                                                                        
to grade 8) 61.6   (2.39) 30.3   (2.28) 7.3   (1.03) 0.8 ! (0.28) 67.8   (1.95) 28.2   (1.91) 3.5   (0.61)   (†) 71.2   (2.45) 22.4   (2.11) 6.1   (1.52)   (†)
Secondary (grades 9 to 12) 48.8   (3.22) 38.9   (2.94) 10.0   (1.77)   (†) 52.8   (2.70) 37.2   (2.58) 9.9   (1.60)   (†) 55.6   (2.76) 34.6   (2.42) 9.0   (1.95) 0.7 ! (0.32)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 The 2003 questionnaire included a single item for "Asian or Pacific Islander," whereas questionnaires for later years included one item for Asian and a separate item for Pacific Islander.
2 For 2003, the "Two or more races" row also includes children whose race was reported as "Other." The "Other" race category was not included on the 2012 and 2016 questionnaires.
3 In 2003, education level was not collected for the second parent in a same sex couple.
4 Poor children are those whose family incomes were below the Census Bureau's poverty threshold in the year prior to data collection; near-poor children are those whose family incomes ranged from the poverty threshold to 199 percent of the poverty threshold; and nonpoor children are those whose family incomes were at or above 200 percent of the poverty threshold. The poverty threshold is a dollar amount that varies depending on a family's size and composition and is updated annually to account for inflation. In 2015, for example, the poverty threshold for a family of four with two children was $24,257. Survey respondents are asked to select the range within which their income falls, rather than giving the exact amount of their income; therefore, the measure of poverty status is an approximation.
NOTE: While National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) administrations prior to 2012 were administered via telephone with an interviewer, NHES:2012 and NHES:2016 used self-administered paper-and-pencil questionnaires that were mailed to respondents. Measurable differences between estimates for years prior to 2012 and estimates for later years could reflect actual changes in the population, or the changes could be due to the mode change from telephone to mail. Excludes children whose programs have no classes with lettered grades. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program (PFI-NHES:2003, 2012, and 2016). (This table was prepared June 2018.)

2018 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest