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September 19th, 2008
Statistics - Did you know?

WHERE WE STAND: AMERICA’S SCHOOLS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Fact Sheet

  • In 1995, the U.S. ranked #1 in the world in college graduation rate. In 2005, it was 15th.1
  • Out of 30 developed countries, U.S. students rank 25th in math and 21st in science.2
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce gives most states a C, D, or F in preparing kids for the workplace. 3
  • In 1970, the average college graduate earned around 45% more than a high-school graduate, today the gap is 84%.4
  • The U.S. spends 7.4% of its gross domestic product on education. It ranks at the bottom worldwide in percentage of federal spending on education.5
  • Last year, the U.S. spent $489.4 billion to educate an estimated 49.6 million K-12 students in public school.6
  • 24 out of 50 states spend less per pupil in low income districts than affluent ones. 45 out of 50 states have had lawsuits over school funding.7
  • While 40% of U.S. high schools do not offer college prep classes, 1.2 million high school students took Advanced Placement (AP) exams in 2005, more than twice the number in 1997.8
  • 87% of Americans have finished high school before their 30th birthday. 30% have bachelor’s degrees.9
  • Last year, Americans earned 699,000 associate’s degrees, 1.5 million bachelor’s degrees, 631,000 master’s degrees, and 55,300 doctoral degrees.10

1 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

2 OECD Programme for International School Assessment (PISA)

3 U.S. Chamber of Commerce

4 Laura D’Andrea Tyson, chair of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, 1996. See citation.

5 United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

6 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences

7 Campaign for Equitable Funding

8 NCES

9 NCES

10 NCES

 

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