America’s schools are being buffeted by change: new expectations for what children should learn, new technologies for delivering instruction, new proposals for how to govern and define public schooling. As the nation strides into a new century, developments on all those fronts are bound to take unpredictable turns.But one change is certain: The school-age population of the United States is growing and shifting in ways that pose significant challenges and offer unrivaled opportunities.
In this issue, Education Week begins a five-part series that uses demographic projections as the starting point for examining some of the forces that will shape public education in the years ahead. Later installments of “2000 & Beyond: The Changing Face of American Schools” will appear over the next 21/2 months.
The first part provides an overview of broad demographic trends, including the growing number of school-age youngsters, the increasing diversity of the student population, and the large number of children still living in poverty. (Use the menu at left to navigate through the sections.)
Other installments will look at what the suburbanization of America, the rise of Hispanic Americans, the growing elderly population, and the plight of the working poor mean for schools.