Rating Education Gains

Jay Matthews:

Achievement Gaps, Advanced Placement Exams, Demographic Shifts and Charter Schools: What Do They Add Up To for Students?
We seem to be doing a bit better educating our most disadvantaged students. But many educators think that is not enough.
The numbers displayed in the graphic smorgasbord known as “The Condition of Education 2007,” from the U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, reveal the struggles of a generation to make schools work for all children.
Enrollment in publicly funded day care increased significantly from 1991 to 2005. The portion of black children using such services rose from 58 percent to 66 percent. For Hispanic children, the figure rose from 39 percent to 43 percent; for non-Hispanic whites, from 54 percent to 59 percent.
More public day care does not necessarily mean more learning is going on, although the quality of such centers appears to be improving as more states increase support for pre-kindergarten classes and in some cases make them available to all who want them. The relatively low number of Hispanic children in such programs might be a problem, as improving their grasp of English is crucial to the educational success of the largest minority group.