Today the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released The Condition of Education 2011, a Congressionally-mandated annual report that details all aspects of U.S. education, including early childhood education, student achievement, postsecondary education, teacher effectiveness, and school environment. There were a number of key findings related to high schools, their students, and implications for transitions to college, including:
- The average U.S. combined reading literacy score for 15-year-old students in 2009 was not measurably different from the average score of the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-member countries. The average U.S. score was lower than six OECD countries and higher than 13 OECD countries.
- In 2009, the average U.S. mathematics literacy score for 15-year-old students was below the average of the 34 OECD member countries. On the science literacy scale, the average U.S. score was not measurably different from the OECD average.
- In 2007–08, about three-quarters of public high school students graduated on time with a regular diploma.
- Undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions increased by 34 percent from 2000-2009, from 13.2 to 17.6 million students. It is projected to increase to 19.6 million students by 2020.
- Young adults ages 25–34 with a bachelor's degree earned more than twice as much in 2009 as young adults without a high school diploma or its equivalent. They also earned 50 percent more than young adult high school completers, and 25 percent more than young adults with an associate's degree.