1 in 6 U.S. students in high-poverty schools
A government analysis of U.S. schools shows that one in six public school students attend high poverty schools and that the percentage of high-poverty schools has significantly increased over the past decade.
It also confirms what we’ve long known: student achievement at high-poverty schools is lower than at other public schools.
The analysis of high-poverty schools was part of the 2010 Condition of Education, an annual report just released by the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics. The analysis looks at the latest available data on public schools.
Here are the conclusions from the analysis on high-poverty schools. High poverty is identified as those schools where 76 percent to 100 percent of the student enrollment is eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The data comes from 2007-08, the latest year for which nationwide information is available.
*One in six public school students attended a high-poverty school.
*Twenty percent of all public elementary schools and 9 percent of public secondary schools were considered high-poverty schools, compared with 15 percent and 5 percent respectively in 1999-2000.
*The overall percentage of high-poverty schools increased from 12 percent in 1999–2000 to 17 percent in 2007–08. There is some evidence that this increase was at least partly due to increased program participation rates, since from 1999 to 2007 the overall poverty rate for children under 18 increased by a smaller amount, from 17 to 18 percent.
*The reading achievement gap between eighth-grade students in low-poverty vs. high-poverty schools was 34 points, on a 500 point scale, in 2009, and the mathematics achievement gap was 38 points.
*About 28 percent of high school graduates from high-poverty schools attended four-year colleges after graduation, compared with 52 percent of high school graduates from low-poverty schools.
*About 14 percent of students attending high-poverty elementary schools were white, 34 percent were black, 46 percent were Hispanic, 4 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native.
*At low-poverty elementary schools, student enrollment was on average 75 percent white, 6 percent black, 11 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.
*High-poverty elementary schools were primarily regular schools (98 percent); special education schools (schools that serve children with disabilities) and alternative schools (schools that serve students at risk for school failure) each made up 1 percent or less of high-poverty elementary schools. The distribution of school types for low-poverty elementary schools was similar to the distribution for high-poverty elementary schools.
*Among high-poverty secondary schools, 73 percent were classified as regular schools, 22 percent were alternative schools, 4 percent were special education schools, and 2 percent were vocational schools (schools that provide technical or career training). Among low-poverty secondary schools, about 83 percent were classified as regular schools, 14 percent were alternative schools, 2 percent were vocational schools, and 1 percent were special education schools.
Here are some other findings in the 2010 Condition of Education:
* Between 1988 and 2008, the percentage of Hispanic public school students increased from 11 to 22 percent. Largely as a result of this increase, the percentage of white students decreased from 68 to 55 percent over those two decades.
* From 1999 to 2008, the number of students enrolled in charter schools has nearly quadrupled, from 340,000 to 1.3 million students. During this period, the percentage of all public schools that were charter schools increased from 2 percent to 5 percent.
* In 2007-08, some 61 percent of teachers worked in districts that offered at least one type of pay incentive, such as cash bonuses or salary increases. These incentives are designed to recruit or retain teachers in less desirable locations or for positions in fields with shortages, and to reward for national board certification or excellence in teaching.
* The percentage of 25- to 29-year-olds who completed a bachelor’s degree increased from 17 percent in 1971 to 29 percent in 2009. During this same period, bachelor’s degree attainment more than doubled for blacks (from 7 to 19 percent) and Hispanics (from 5 to 12 percent) and nearly doubled for whites (from 19 to 37 percent).
*The number of U.S. college students studying abroad has quadrupled in the past two decades, from 62,000 in 1987-88 to more than 260,000 students in 2007-08 —or about 15 out of every 100 students in a bachelor’s degree program. China is now the fifth most popular destination, and business/management majors now represent an increasing share of those studying abroad.
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| May 28, 2010; 12:07 PM ET
Categories: Equity, Research | Tags: 2010 condition of education, analysis on high-poverty schools, condition of education, data on schools, equity, high-poverty schools, percentage of high-poverty schools, school
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