Archive for the ‘Interesting Facts’ Category

How Teaching Has Changed Since 1987

Thursday, November 29th, 2018


These facts come to us with thanks to Richard Ingersoll, professor of education and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Having pored through federal teaching data from 1987 to 2016, he recently released his findings based on data from the National Teacher and Principal Survey. Among them:

FACT: 44% of new teachers leave the profession within five years.

FACT: From the 1987-88 school year to that of 2015-16, the student population grew by 24%. During that time, the teaching force, however, increased by 65%, primarily because of more special education, ESL, math, and science courses being offered, along with the need for more elementary enrichment specialists.

FACT:In 2007-08, the most common age of a public school teacher was 55; today, it’s between the mid-30s to mid-40s.

FACT: In 1987-88, the typical public school teacher had 15 years of experience; in 2015-16, the majority were in their first 3 years of teaching.

FACT: In 2015-16, women made up 76% of the teaching force.

FACT: The percentage of nonwhite public school teachers rose from 12.5% back in 1987-88 to 19.9% in 2015-16.
With my thanks for your continuing support and comments… ~ Carol

9 Worrisome School-Related Statistics

Monday, November 6th, 2017
  1. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 37% of black, first-time college students who enrolled in 2011-12 were no longer in school after three years.
  2. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 30% of Hispanic, first-time college students were no longer in school after three years.
  3. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, just 6.8% of public school teachers were black.
  4. Finds the U.S. Department of Education. minority students are more likely to be taught by inexperience teachers than those with experience in 33 states.
  5. Says the Institute of Labor Economics, exposure to at least one black teacher in grades 3 to 4 reduces the probability of low-income black male students dropping out of school by almost 40%.
  6. The U.S. Department says that only 30% of students enrolled in AP classes are black or Latino.
  7. from Investing in Preschool Programs, on average, early childhood education reduces the kindergarten black-white achievement gap by nearly 50%.
  8. The Civil Rights Project of UCLA found that, from 2001 to 2011. Latino enrollment increased by 47%.
  9. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, minorities are expected to be a majority of high school graduates.



Dyslexia: The Most Common Learning Disability in the U.S.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Just in case you didn’t know that:

  1. It’s estimated that somewhere between 5% and 17% of the population has dyslexia.
  2. Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the U.S.
  3. Some schools don’t acknowledge dyslexia because providing specials services for those so diagnosed is cost-prohibitive.
  4. Many people think dyslexics see letters in the wrong order, as in confusing a b with a d.
  5. Videographer Jonathan Gohrband describes it as “basically looking at a foreign word.”


Says Gabrielle Emanuel, “That’s why dyslexia used to be called ‘word blindness.’ People with dyslexia don’t naturally process process the written word. They don’t easily break it into smaller units that can be turned into sounds and stitched together. This makes reading a laborious–even exhausting–process. Writing, too.”

And while some kids get the help they need and as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) in the company of a trained reading specialist or at least some form of tutoring, not all dyslexics are so fortunate. It comes back to money and how much any one district can afford–which is, again, why some schools don’t even say the word.



Scholastic’s Survey of Teachers’ Classroom Spending

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

The education publishing company Scholastic surveyed 3,694 teachers (including 76 school librarians) and 1,027 principals this past summer and found that a majority feel their students, both low- and high-poverty, face barriers to learning outside of the classroom. To help make a difference, the surveyed teachers:

  • On average, spent $530 of their own money on classroom items.
  • On average, spent $672 in high-poverty schools


  • 70% indicated they’d bought food and snacks for their students.
  • 65% purchased cleaning supplies.
  • 26% bought clothing for their students.
  • 56% purchased classroom books.

Plus, on average, the surveyed principals spent $683 for classroom or student supplies over the past year, with those in high-poverty schools averaging $1,014.  79% indicated they’d bought food and snacks for students.

Another interesting finding: While most teachers have classroom libraries, 31% have fewer than 50 books. Those in elementary schools have, on average, 362 books; middle school teachers average 189 books, and those at the high school level have just 93.

And so it goes…


George Will on Academia

Monday, November 28th, 2016

In a USA Today commentary, George Will wrote, “… Campuses create ‘safe spaces’ where students can shelter from discombobulating thoughts and receive spiritual balm for the trauma of microaggressions. Yet the presidential election came without trigger warnings?” He continues to note that on November 7, whether elated or despondent, most “normal” folks got back to the business of their lives, but not so many college students, too traumatized to get on with their studies on campuses that are no longer bastions of free thought and dialogue among those with opposing views. No, not at all.

As Will notes:

  • A Yale professor made the day’s exam optional for students distraught by the election’s result.
  • A University of Colorado student wrote “free speech matters” on 680 posters that warned about politically incorrect speech.
  • Catholic DePaul University decried an “Unborn Lives Matter” poster as bigotry.
  • Bowdoin College offered counseling services to students “traumatized by the cultural appropriation committed by a sombrero-and-tequila party.”
  • Some Oberlin College students suffered breakdowns because schoolwork interfered with their political activism.
  • Cal State University, Los Angeles, provided “healing spaces” to help students handle a speech made 3 months earlier.

And on and on it goes , with esteemed professors (more…)

Education Week Takes on Virtual Charter Schools

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

The special report, “Rewarding Failure,” starts off by saying, “With growing evidence that the nation’s cyber charter schools are plagued by serious academic and management problems, Education Week conducted a months-long investigation into what is happening in this niche sector of K-12 schooling…” and found that:

  • “Collectively, online charters receive more than a billion dollars in taxpayer money each year.”
  • “Online charters serve more than 200,00 students across 26 states; many are run by for-profit companies.”
  • “Stanford researchers say cyber charters have an ‘overwhelmingly negative impact’ on student learning.”

All on its own, highly touted K12 Inc. has:

  1. Hired 321 lobbyists over 14 years;
  2. Incurred lobbying expenditures of $10,585,177 since 2000;
  3. Donated $2,124,002 to candidates, party committees, PACs, and ballot measures.

Not far behind in spending your money is Connections Education which:

  1. Hired 212 lobbyists over 13 years;
  2. Incurred lobbying expenditures of $3,784,818 since 2002;
  3. Donated $62,500 to candidates, party committees, PACs, and ballot measures.

The report goes on to say that, despite their poor academic results, “Online charter advocates counter that the schools provide a safe haven for students who would not otherwise succeed in regular public schools and offer flexibility that some students and parents want. They argue that cyber charters should not be evaluated by the same measures as regular public schools.”

What measures one would wonder then, even as your tax dollars continue down the charter school drain…

The PDK International & Education Next Common Core & Testing Polls

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

iStock school buildingWith thanks to Education Week, these poll responses speak volumes about the Common Core, their related online assessments, and the billions spent to implement them–all to very mixed reviews. Your tax dollars at work…

Question: “Are standards preparing students to succeed?”

  • 27% = Extremely/very well
  • 40% = Somewhat well
  • 30% = Not so well/not at all well

Question:: “Do you support or oppose letting parents decide to have their children take math and reading tests?”

  • General Public: 25% support; 15% neither; 60% oppose
  • Parents: 38% support; 13% neither; 49% oppose
  • Teachers: 40% support; 8% neither; 52% oppose

Question: “Do you support or oppose the Common Core standards in your state?”

  • General Public: 42% support; 15% neither; 42% oppose
  • Parents: 42% support; 15% neither; 43% oppose
  • Teachers: 41% support; 8% neither; 51% oppose

Question: “Do you support or oppose the use of standards in your state?”

  • General Public: 55% support; 17% neither; 28% oppose
  • Parents: 57% support; 13% neither; 29% oppose
  • Teachers: 46% support; 7% neither; 46% oppose

Newsworthy Education Facts

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

1) The newly passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) takes up 1,016 pages, whereas the original Elementary & Secondary Art of 1965 was just 32 pages long.

2) When asked how optimistic ASCD readers are that ESSA will help failing schools and help close the achievement gap, 38% said they’re not very optimistic, 24% are not at all optimistic, and 20% are only somewhat optimistic.

3) The U.S. Department of Education, formed back in 1980, now has 4,400 employees and a $68 billion budget!

4) Only about 50% of schools that received money in the third round of Obama’s School Improvement Grant program improved; the other 50% expereienced unchanged achievement results or actually worse oucomes. SIG started out with a $3 billion budget from his American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, aka the Stimulus.

5) When asked how best to encourage great principals to stay in their jobs longer, 34% of ASCD readers said, “provide more time for teacher observations and feedback; 27% said “provide professional networks to engage with like practitioners; and 27% said providing “ongoing transformative development.”

Recently in Education

Friday, July 31st, 2015

1) The number of high school equivalency tests (GED) taken this year dropped by 50% and with a 62.8% pass rate, down from nearly 76% in 2013.

2) Currently, 70% of teachers assign homework that requires Internet and broadband access.

3) K-12 IT spending is expected to hit about $4.7 billion in 2015; about $1.4 billion of that will go for laptops.

4) In 2012, 33% of our 25- to 29-year-olds had at least a bachelor’s degree, thanks largely to online learning programs.

5) Children from professional families hear more than 2,150 words an hour vs 1,250 for those in working-class families, and a little more than 600 words per hour for those in welfare families.

6) This year, 25 states require computer science courses for high school graduation vs 11 states in 2013, according to CSTA.

7) 93% of public schools control access to their buildings using either locked or monitored doors, up from 88% in 2011-12.


Websites to Visit:

Recent Education Happenings

Friday, July 31st, 2015

1) According to an NBC News survey, 73% of Hispanic and 56% of black parents view the Common Core favorably vs 41% of white parents.

2) Although 177 bills on student data privacy have been introduced in 45 states this year, but only 10 have been signed into law.

3) Currently, 16 states and D.C.require–and 3 others allow–schools to hold back 3rd graders based on their reading performance, up from 2 in 2004.

4) A Gallup poll of 1.032 adults found that just 9% are completely satisfied with the quality of the education K-12 students are receiving, 39% are somewhat satisfied, 33% are somewhat dissatisfied, and 16% are completely dissatisfied.

5) On the NAEP, called the nation’s report card, 27% of our 8th graders are proficient in U.S. history, with 40% of Asian/Pacific Islander students making the grade, 32% of white students, 12% of Hispanic students, and 9% of black students.

6) Also on the NAEP, just 27% of 8th graders are proficient in geography and 23% in civics.

7) About 39,000 unaccompanied immigrant children will enter America this fiscal 2014.working-class families, and a little more than 600 words per hour for those in welfare families.


Making Education News

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

1. The new SAT that’s coming out in spring, 2016, will require students to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of school-related subjects, but speed will still be emphasized over subject knowledge, and the essay will be optional even though writing is considered the most important skill for college success.

2. The ACT will be offered online next year in 18 states and will affect some one million students.

3. 56 surveyed 56 Teachers of the Year said that family stress, followed by poverty and learning/psychological problems are the greatest barriers to academic success.

4. Some teens are staying in high school for a 13th year to earn their associate degrees or college credits at little or no cost.

5. Turns out that kids work better when standing at their desks instead of sitting at them.

6. Spanish spelling bees are cropping up in a growing number of our schools.


Making Education News

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

1. Schools are now devoting time to teach keyboarding skills to be ready for all the online testing nowadays; some call this another form of test prep.

2. The U.S. Department of Education is giving out 5 to 7 grants of between $400,000 and $600,000 to various tribal communities.

3. The Obama administration has given more then $3 billion to states and D.C. to turn around their worst performing schools, but most of them lacked the expertise to improve these schools.

4. So far, only 13 states and D.C. have formally adopted the new science standards; one reason is that they’re all so busy implementing the Common Core Standards.

5. Both the AFT and NEA teacher unions, both of which initially backed and promoted ObamaCare, now want to overturn the law’s excise tax on high-cost employer-provided health-care plans, which “requires employers to pay a penalty of 40% on the amount by which the aggregate costs exceed $10,000 for individual plans and $27,500 for family plans.

6.On the international PISA exam, our 15-year-olds placed 28th in math and science tests. Singapore came in a #1. followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. probation, a $10,000 fine for each, and 2,000 hours of community service.


It’s an Education Fact: 6/17/2015

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

1) A recent survey of more than 30,000 teachers found that 89% were enthusiastic about teaching when starting out but only 15% still were today. Plus, 70% said they “often” feel their work is stressful, and 80% recently feel exhausted mentally and physically at the end of the work day. Also, 75% spend at least 2 hours on school work either before or after the school day.

2) According to U.S. Department of Education statistics, of 1,990 first-year teachers, after 5 years, about 70% remained in their original schools, 10% had changed schools, and 17% had quit.

3) ACT, Inc. found that only 5% of about 1.85 million high school grads in 2014 intended to become teachers.

4) Teach for America has seen a 21% drop in applications since 2013, and teacher prep programs have experienced a 31% decline in enrollment since 2008.

5) 28.09% of ASCD readers said the testing opt-out movement is not very prevalent in their area, but 15.36% said it’s very prevalent.

6) Across New York state, at least 165,000 students–one in 6–sat out at least one or the 2 standardized tests this year.

7) Only 30 of the 440 districts where data was available met the 95% standardized test participation rate required by the government; 2 years ago, everyone took them.


Education Facts: October 22, 2014

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

1) According to a PDK/Gallup poll, 70% of respondents said teachers should spend at least a year training under the guidance of a certified colleague, and 60% said entrance requirements for teacher training programs should be more rigorous.

2) In that same poll, 50% opposed and 49% supported providing free public education benefits to the children of illegal immigrants.

3) The National School Lunch Program feeds 3 million students and costs nearly $12 billion annually.

4) A recent study by the National School Nutrition Association found that 81.2% of surveyed schools said there’s been an increase in tossed food since the new nutrition standards went into effect 2 years ago.

5) A University of California study found that 11% of middle schoolers were frequently bullied, 29% were occasionally verbally or physically bullied, 10% were victims of traditional bullying and cyberbullying, and 50% were infrequent victims.

It’s an Education Fact: Obtober 15, 2014

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

1) Researchers studied nearly 200,000 children, ages birth through 17, from 2000 to 2011 and found that, overall, disabilities affected 8% of them by 2011–10% of low-income children and 6% of wealthy children.

2) According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, nationally 8% of charter school students have a disability vs 11% in district-run schools. However, a CER survey found that 13.6% of charter students and 12.9% of district-run school students have disabilities.

3) Between 1970 and 2012, the number of school employees increased by 84%, and non-teaching staff members rose by 130% to more than 3 million–or about 50% of public school districts’ overall staffs.

4) A Vanderbilt University study found that 84% of principals view teacher observations as “valid to a large extent.”

5) According to OCED’s “Education at a Glance 2014,” the U.S. has the 5th largest proportion of adults, 25 to 64, with a college degree.