There are more children living in poverty today than there were two decades ago. Charter schools are ubiquitous, popping up in more neighborhoods all over the country. And the achievement gap between white students and nearly everyone else is shrinking.
Those are a few of the key findings in The Condition of Education 2015, a report released today by the National Center for Education Statistics.
The report, delivered to Congress, summarizes new developments and trends in education each year using a combination of updated census data, test scores and survey responses from teachers as well as other measures.
In 2013, nearly 21 percent of school-age children — about 10.9 million students— lived in poverty, reflecting families with household incomes of no more than $15,510. That was a 50 percent increase in the number of children from 2000. According to the report, another 4.8 million children under age 5 were living in poverty in 2013.
“Research suggests that living in poverty during early childhood is associated with lower than average academic performance that begins in kindergarten and extends through elementary and high school,” according to the report, which also found that poverty produces below average rates of graduation and college enrollment.
Teachers rating Kindergarten students on their eagerness to learn, ability to pay attention in class and personal organization, said poor kids are less likely to have “positive approaches to learning.” Students whose family household income rose above 200 percent of the federal poverty level, received higher scores.