11 Facts About Education in America

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Welcome to DoSomething.org, a global movement of millions of young people making positive change, online and off! The 11 facts you want are below, and the sources for the facts are at the very bottom of the page. After you learn something, Do Something! Find out how to take action here.

  1. Our nation’s education assessment is largely based on graduation rate. In 2012, Black students had only a 69% graduation rate and Hispanic students had a 73% rate, while Asian students had a 88% graduation rate and Caucasian students had an 86% rate. Demand high-speed Internet at your school with a badass photo. Sign up for School Standstill!^[Layton, Lyndsey. "National high school graduation rates at historic high, but disparities still exist." The Washington Post. Accessed February 18, 2015. .]
  2. 30 years ago, America was the leader in quantity and quality of high school diplomas. Today, our nation is ranked 36th in the world.^[Coleman, Megan. "New survey ranks U.S. students 36th in the world - How do we improve?" CNYCentral. Accessed February 18, 2015. .]
  3. 1.3 million high school students don't graduate on time yearly. States with highest rates (80-89%) are Wisconsin, Iowa, Vermont, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. States with lowest (less than 60%) are Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia and S. Carolina.^[Swanson, Christopher B.. "U.S.Graduation Rate Continues Decline." Education Week. Accessed February 24, 2014, http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/06/10/34swanson.h29.html.]
  4. 97% of low-income students rely on school for internet access, but 40 million students do not have high-speed Internet in school.^[Purcell, Kristen, Alan Heapes, Judy Buchanan, Linda Friedrich, "How Teachers Are Using Technology at home and in Their Classrooms", Education Superhighway, 2013. Accessed February 18, 2015.]
  5. If the 1.3 million dropouts from the Class of 2010 had graduated, the nation would have seen $337 billion more in earnings over the course of the students’ lifetimes.^[Campaign for CHSE High School Equity. "Plan for Success: Communities of Color Define Policy Priorities for High School Reform." Campaign for CHSE High School Equity. Accessed February 18, 2015. .]
  6. A 3rd grade student who reads at the appropriate reading level compared to a 3rd grade student who does not is 4 times more likely to graduate by age 19. Furthermore, a student living in poverty is 13 times less likely to graduate on time.^[Sparks, Sarah D. "Study: Third Grade Reading Predicts Later High School Graduation." Education Week. Accessed February 18, 2015. .]
  7. Teacher quality is one of the most significant factors related to student achievement. In the U.S., 14% of new teachers resign by the end of their first year, 33% leave within their first 3 years, and almost 50% leave by their 5th year.^[Kopkowski, Cynthia. "Why They Leave." National Education Association. Accessed February 18, 2015. .]
  8. In the workplace, 85% of current jobs and 90% of new jobs require some or more college or post-secondary education.^[Alliance for Excellent Education. "High School Teaching for the Twenty-First Century: Preparing Students for College."Alliance for Excellent Education. Accessed February 18, 2015. .]
  9. Roughly half of the students who enter a 4-year school will receive a bachelor’s degree within 6 years.^[U.S. Department of Education. "Fast Facts: Graduation rates." National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 22, 2014, http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40.]
  10. In schools made up of 75% or more low-income students, there are 3 times the number of out-of-field teachers than in wealthier school districts.^[Darling-Hammond, Linda, and Gary Sykes. "Wanted: A National Teacher Supply Policy for Education: The Right Way to Meet The "Highly Qualified Teacher" Challenge." Education Policy Analysis Archives 11, no. 33 (2003). Accessed February 24, 2014, http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/viewFile/261/387.]
  11. High schools are not preparing students with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel after graduation. Only 1 in 4 high school students graduate college-ready in the 4 core subjects of English, Reading, Math and Science.^[Sheehy, Kelsey. "High School Students Not Prepared for College, Career." US News. Accessed February 24, 2014, http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/high-school-notes/2012/08/22/high-school-students-not-prepared-for-college-career.]

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