Wednesday, April 23, 2008

K-12 Educational System Bashing: Another Myth?

We have a newish, pro-guest worker, High School drop-out claim, but I'm not seeing references to source material in news articles. The NCES shows a High School completion rate of 87.6%

This blog entry takes a horse-sense approach to looking at the success/failure rate of those who make it through our K-12 educational system.

Funny thing about dropping out of school, it doesn't necessarily mean that education cannot resume at a later date. On the other hand, High School might be a humiliating, even intolerable experience for some people.

An eighth-grade honor student was strip-searched by school officials for the suspicion of having Ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter drug for pain . No Ibuprofen was
found on her, by the way. On the other hand, behavior modifying drugs such as Ritalin can be forced on students over the objection of parents.

Quoted from a must read article:
The Taxpayer Frog In the IRS Pot, April 21, 2008

Perhaps we are experiencing policy problems, rather than education process problems? A combination of both?

Back to this blog, how are our schools doing with the young adults who stay in school? If we think of the educational system as a pipeline, we can take samples to make comparisons on the most recent data.

Oct. 2005 Census data:
Enrolled in high school = 14,060,000
...15 years old = 4,014,000
...16 and 17 years old = 8,272,000
...18 and 19 years old = 1,372,000
...20 years old and over = 402,000

Enrolled in college = 17,472,000
...15 to 17 years old = 181,000
...18 and 19 years old = 3,727,000
...20 and 21 years old = 3,945,000
...22 to 24 years old = 3,162,000
...25 to 29 years old = 2,291,000
...30 to 34 years old = 1,309,000
...35 years and over = 2,857,000

The number of persons under 25 years old and "Enrolled in college" was 11,015,000. The
Open Doors 2006, "Report on International Educational Exchange" tells us that there were
564,766 International students enrolled in U.S. colleges so that brings the number of Citizen and permanent residents enrolled in college to 10,450,234 .

10,450,234 (under 25) enrolled in college is 74.33% of 14,060,000 enrolled in High School. Moreover, if the population of young persons is growing, the older group of those enrolled in college comes from a smaller sample than the group of 2005 H.S. students.

Let's look at the college degree data from the NCES 2004 - 2005 school year, with degrees awarded to nonresident aliens subtracted.

Associate’s degrees = 682,670
Bachelor’s degrees = 1,393,903
Master's degrees = 501,395
Doctor’s degrees = 38,289
Total = 2,616,257

Since the age group 18 to 24 covers six years and it takes six years to earn a Master's degree, the number of Associate through Masters degrees awarded would be 15,467,808 over a six year period. This indicates a very good graduation rate, considering the enrollment from all age groups was 17,472,000 (88.53%).

These figures are not conclusive, just horse-sense reckoning, my interest is to display that a high percentage of High School students are continuing on to college and succeeding in earning a degree. Moreover, some people are bashing the K-12 educational system, just because they've read regurgitated Trade Association press releases in the main stream media.

Here is a table that shows the High School graduation rate at 89.8% and college enrollment at 72.3% for U.S. public schools in 2002-03. Private High Schools, 98.2% and 92.8 respectively.

Population 3 years and over enrolled in school.
2000 = 72,556,563
2001 = 73,187,876
2002= 74,649,109
2003= 75,128,957
2004= 75,475,565
<Census data>

Year to Year increase in enrollment 3 yrs and older.

2001 = 631,313
2002 = 1,461,233
2003 = 479,848
2004 = 346,608

Observation: So do I have to say YIKES here? The enrollment rate for 2002 was well over one million higher than 2004? I guess figuring out if this spike was related to immigration is for another blog entry.

Here's an interesting 2000 Census Map of United States High School drop out rates. It sure looks like the open-border policy has something to do with the drop out rates.,271

Source Data:

U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, October 2005.
Internet Release date: December 19, 2006

Open Doors 2006
Report on International Educational Exchange

Table 7. Awards conferred by Title IV institutions, by race/ethnicity, level of award, and gender: United States, academic year 2004-05

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