Indicator List for Education

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Child Trends’ education research strives to identify the educational policies, programs, and structures that create the positive conditions for learning that help youth flourish in primary and secondary school, college, career, and beyond.  Areas of research expertise include: social and emotional learning and non-academic competencies; health and nutrition policies; college and workplace readiness; school climate and discipline; bullying; integrated student services; charter schools; family strengths and involvement in education; international comparisons; character education; dropout prevention and recovery; science, technology, engineering, and math education (STEM); and afterschool and summer learning. We offer technical assistance (including survey, measure, and indicator development, as well as strategic planning around school initiatives), research syntheses, data and policy analysis, training, program evaluation, and reviews of best practices to identify what works and what doesn’t.

Indicator List for Education


Children Who Repeated a Grade

In 2007, among children in grades one through three, those with a parent who did not complete high school were more than seven times more likely to have repeated a grade than were children with a parent who had a bachelor’s degree or higher.


Children with Limitations

According to report by a parent or other adult household member, nearly one in five children, ages five to 17, (19 percent) had one or more limitations in 2013. These include limitations in normal physical activities due to health conditions and impairments, difficulty seeing, difficulty hearing, diagnosed learning disabilities, or difficulty bathing or showering without assistance.


Dual Language Learners

Nearly one in three U.S. children lives in a household where a language other than English is spoken. Dual language learners have the potential to excel in an increasingly diverse society. However, their academic achievement lags behind that of children whose home language is English.


Early Childhood Program Enrollment

The proportion of three- to six-year-old children (not yet in kindergarten) who attended center-based early childhood care and education programs increased from 55 to 61 percent between 2007 and 2012. Gains were particularly high for Hispanic children.


Early School Readiness

Compared with white or black children, Hispanic children are less likely to be able to recognize the letters of the alphabet, count to 20 or higher, or write their names before they start kindergarten. Black children are similar to white children on these measures, but are more likely than white children to be reading words in books.


Educational Attainment

Among 25- to 29-year olds, the proportions who have attained a high school education, some college, or a bachelor’s degree are all rising, according to long-term trends. However, despite progress, in 2013, only a third of this population had a bachelor’s degree or higher.


Head Start

Enrollment in Head Start decreased between the 2011-12 and 2013-14 program years, from 979,000 to 916,000 children, but Head Start enrollees increased as a proportion of all young children in poverty.

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