The Education of Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2008

Each year since 1997, the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics publishes a report, America’s Children:  Key National Indicators of Well-Being.  The indicators are organized into seven sections, each focusing on a domain relevant to children’s lives:  Family and Social Environment, Economic Circumstances, Health Care, Physical Environment and Safety, Behavior, Education and Health. Copies of the report can be obtained  by contacting the agency at 1888/ASK-HRSA.  The report is also available on the World Wide Web:

In 2005, 60% of children ages 3-5 wee read to daily by a family member.  This represents an increase from 53% in 1993.  Not suprisingly, children in families with incomes of 200% or more  of the poverty threahold were more likely to be read to daily by a family member.

Average NAEP mathematics scores for 4th and 8th graders were higher in 2007 than in all previous assessments with a 39 percent of 4th graders and 32 percent of 8th graders at or above the Proficient level.

Average NAEP reading scores at the 4th grade increased 4 points (on a scale of 0-500)  between 1992 and 2007.  The bad news is at the 12th grade, 35 percent of students were at or above Proficient in 2005, 5 percentage points lower than in 1993.

In 2006, 88 percent of young adults ages 18-24 had completed high school with a diploma or an alternative credential such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.  Among White, non-Hispanics, the high school completion rate increase from 88 to 92 percent.  The rate of which Black, non-Hispanic youth completed high school increased from 75 percent to 83 percent between 1980 and 1990.  Among Hispanics, the high school completion rate increase from 57 percent in 1980 to 71 percent in 2006.

In 2006, 66 percent of high school completers entrolled immediately in a 2-year or 4-year college.