State by State

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Statistics tell only part of the story about what states are doing to improve public education and raise student achievement. We also wanted to provide a broader context in which those statistics could be interpreted.

Summaries of reform activity in each state, written by current and former Education Week reporters, are on the following pages. They are based, in part, on a questionnaire that Education Week distributed to as many as 50 people in each state, including teachers and administrators, business and civic leaders, state education officials, and education school deans. Reporters also interviewed people in each state, pored over state report cards and other documents, and used statistical data that was gathered for this report. The information is current as of this past Dec. 1.

Vital Statistics for the United States

  • Population: 262.755 million
  • Public school districts: 14,400
  • K-12 public school enrollment: 44.109 million
  • Minority: 35%
    Pupils with disabilities: 10%
    Urban: 29%
    Suburban and large towns: 32%
    Rural and small towns: 39%
  • Children in poverty: 21%
  • Single parent families: 26%
  • K-12 expenditures, annual: $243.868 billion

A report card accompanies each state summary, listing the state's grades on our indicators of quality.

We also have included a bar graph of how each state's students performed on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress by race and ethnicity.

Finally, we include "vital statistics" on each state. The U.S. Bureau of the Census provided figures about a state's population in 1995, and the percent of children in poverty and single parent families in 1993. The National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education provided the rest of the data, which are current as of 1995, except for geographic breakdowns, which are current to 1994. (Annual K-12 expenditures are estimates for school year 1994-95, published last spring.) The percent of students with disabilities was provided by the department's office of special education and rehabilitative services and is current as of 1995. All percentages may not add to 100 because of rounding.

Vol. 16, Issue 17S, Page 61

Published in Print: January 22, 1997, as State by State
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