Most people only have a vague sense of the massive problem our country is facing in the field of education. Parents who have a child who is struggling in school tend to feel alone and overwhelmed by the challenge. Many hope that their school will fix the problem, but as you will see below, the number of children who are being left behind is unbelievable and shameful.
The best source of standardized education performance statistics on a national basis is the National Assessment of Education Progress by the US Department of Education. The annual report is called the Nation's Report Card.
The NAEP conducts academic performance testing yearly on 4th and 8th grade students. On average, only about one out of three students is proficient in reading. Two out of three are not proficient and one out of three students does not even meet basic requirements.
According to the Black Boys Report, by the Schott Foundation, only 10% of Black male 8th grade students are proficient in reading and only 52% graduate from high school in a four-year period.
The Value of Education
On average, the higher and more successful a student achieves in education, the greater the positive impact in career success and lifetime income. Education offers one of the best opportunities for a student to break the cycle of poverty.
Failure for a student to achieve the 3rd grade reading milestone is one of the best indicators of academic and life struggle. Many states predict prison facility requirements based upon 3rd grade reading scores. Most students who are poor readers in 3rd grade never catch up.
Resources on education statistics
Kids Count, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Begin to Read Literacy Statistics
Correlation on education and lifetime income
How much is higher education worth in cold hard money? A college master's degree is worth $1.3 million more in lifetime earnings than a high school diploma, according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The report titled "The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings" (.pdf) reveals that over an adult's working life, high school graduates can expect, on average, to earn $1.2 million; those with a bachelor's degree, $2.1 million; and people with a master's degree, $2.5 million.