What's Right About Public Schools
US Public School Dropout Rates Are Decreasing
An increasing number of high school students are completing their education and enrolling in postsecondary institutions. Between 1990 and 2010, high school dropout rates among all racial and ethnic groups fell steadily from twelve percent to 7.4 percent. Among Hispanic students, the rate dropped significantly, from thirty-two percent in 1990 to fifteen percent in 2010. (1)
Black and Hispanic students have narrowed their respective high school completion gaps with White students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “between 1980 and 2011, the gap between Blacks and Whites decreased from 12 to 6 percentage points, and the gap between Hispanics and Whites decreased from 31 to 23 percentage points.”
In addition to helping more students to complete their high school education, educators, school leaders and parents have encouraged students to pursue secondary education. Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of 18 to 24 year olds enrolled in college rose from thirty-five to forty-one percent.
Fast Facts. Educational Attainment, Dropout Rates and Postsecondary Enrollment. (2011). National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/index.asp
US Public Schools Have Out-Produced All Other Nations in Nobel Prizes for Physics and Chemistry
Concerns about the ability of US public education to create "innovators" is nothing new. We blamed public schools for our failure to beat Sputnik into space, and the blame re-emerged in 1983 when Japan's economy started outperforming our own.
Unfortunately, the high-profile complaints obscure the fact that US schools have quietly and steadily been producing innovators who have been responsible for the world's greatest scientific breakthroughs. Since 2003, 31 Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry have been awarded worldwide. Of those 31, 21 winners were educated in US public schools.
The nation with the next highest number of Nobels in Physics and Chemistry is Japan. With 6.
|David J. Wineland||2012||Encina HS||CA|
|Brian P. Schmidt||2011 (split among 3 people)||Bartlett-Begich HS||AK|
|Adam Riess||2011 (split among 3 people)||Watchung Hills Regional HS||NJ|
|John C. Mather||2008||Newton HS||NJ|
|George Smoot||2008||Upper Arlington HS||OH|
|Roy J. Glauber||2005||Bronx HS of Science||NY|
|John L. Hall||2005||Denver Public Schools||CO|
|H. David Politzer||2004||Bronx HS of Science||NY|
|Frank Wilczek||2004||Martin Van Buren HS||NY|
|Raymond Davis*||2002||Washington HS||DC|
*Didn’t graduate from HS
|Robert J. Lefkowitz||2012||Bronx HS of Science||NY|
|Brian K. Kobilka||2012||Little Falls HS||MN|
|Thomas A. Steitz||2009||Wauwatosa East HS||WI|
|Roger Y. Tsien||2008||Livingston HS||NJ|
|Martin Chalfie||2008||Niles East HS (Skokie)||IL|
|Roger D. Kornberg||2006||James Madison HS||NY|
|Richard R. Schrock||2005||Mission Bay HS||CA|
|Robert H. Grubbs||2005||Paducah Tilghman HS||KY|
|Irwin Rose||2004||Spokane HS||WA|
|Roderick MacKinnon||2003||Burlington HS||MA|
|Peter Agre||2003||Theodore Roosevelt HS||MN|