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ERIC Number: ED528711
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 40
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Public Education Primer: Basic (and Sometimes Surprising) Facts about the U.S. Education System
Kober, Nancy; Rentner, Diane Stark; Jennings, Jack
Center on Education Policy
Public education matters, whether one is a student, parent, teacher, volunteer, employer, employee, or taxpayer. Although an individual undoubtedly knows something about public education, he may be unaware of important facts about the U.S. education system or may be surprised to learn how things have changed in recent years. In this primer on public education, the Center on Education Policy has pulled together data, mostly from government sources, to answer these seven questions: (1) Where are the students?; (2) Who are the students?; (3) Who controls public education?; (4) How are public schools funded?; (5) How well are students achieving?; (6) What is the public school teaching force like?; and (7) What other services do public schools provide? As much as possible, the data compiled here come from the federal government--primarily from the National Center for Education Statistics. NCES is the chief agency in the U.S. Department of Education charged with gathering education data. For each topic, the authors have used data from the most recent year available, which is often 2002-03 or earlier, due to the lag time involved in collecting and checking the data. In cases where NCES data are not available, the authors have carefully chosen data from other reliable sources. This primer is meant to give an overall snapshot of the nation's public schools, so it relies on national averages. It is hoped this primer will provide individuals with sufficient background information about public education to encourage their interest in education issues and their involvement in their local schools. [Additional funding for this paper was provided by the Grant Makers for Education. For "A Public Education Primer: Basic (and Sometimes Surprising) Facts about the U.S. Educational System. 2012 Revised Edition," see ED528710.]
Center on Education Policy. 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 522, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: George Gund Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Phi Delta Kappa International
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment; National Assessment of Educational Progress; Progress in International Reading Literacy Study; SAT (College Admission Test); Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study