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Taking a Pulse on "The Condition of Education"

Did you know that the percentage of students enrolled in a public school other than their home school grew from 11 to 16 percent between 1993 and 2007?

That statistic, illustrating the growth of charter schools and other public schools of choice around the country, is just one of the useful information nuggets that you can find in The Condition of Education, a data compilation that is put out each year by the federal Education Department. The National Center on Education Statistics, which oversees the collection of all that data, is rolling out the latest version of the report in a press conference this morning.

There aren't many surprises in this statistical buffet. Most of the data has already been published in one form or another by the feds. But where else could you find such a wide array of up-to-date, trend data on education in a single volume?
Here's a sampling of what's inside:

  • Total public school enrollment is expected to set new records each year from 2009 through 2018, when it's projected to reach 53.9 million students. Most of the growth is expected to occur in the South.

  • Growing percentages of students attend schools where 75 percent or more of the students are members of minority groups. Such schools now enroll 24 percent of all public elementary and secondary students, but that percentage is twice as high for Hispanic and black students.

  • Between the 1996-97 and 2006-07 academic years, the percentage of associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees awarded by private, for-profit institutions rose at a faster rate than the number conferred by public and private, not-for-profit schools.

There's plenty more in the full report.

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